James Franco directed The Disaster Artist in character as Tommy Wiseau

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

Well, this is all getting a bit ‘meta’.

‘The Disaster Artist’ just got a lot more interesting after actor and director James Franco revealed he directed the movie in character as legendary bad director, Tommy Wiseau.

During a recent Q&A (via SlashFilm) the actor/director revealed that he’s taken method acting to a whole new level… essentially doing a bout of method directing for the movie.

“When else am I ever going to direct a movie and play the movie where the lead is directing a movie and playing the lead?” he said. “Never! I’m probably never going to do that again. I’ll just tell you, sometimes it works to do the Daniel Day-Lewis.”

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‘The Disaster Artist’ tells the story of the making of ‘The Room’ – the ill-fated movie directed by the real-life Tommy Wiseau… and widely regarded as one of the worst film’s ever made.

That original project starred James Franco… and now, it seems he’s getting his own back with ‘The Disaster Artist’ as he takes on the role of his former-director.

But it seems he goes a lot further than that.

Essentially, Franco’s weird approach to the project meant that he adopted the role of Tommy Wiseau not just for the movie… but while he was behind the camera, too. And it sounds like one hell of a way to make a movie.

“I think it was a weird experience for most people the first time they came to set,” he admitted. “I’d been going through pre-production, testing out the prosthetics, and that was a two or two-and-a-half hour thing every morning, and then I was the director, so I was there before everyone.”

“So, I just showed up and I remember a pre-shoot day, we shot this commercial that’s not in the movie, but Tommy did a commercial for his Levis jeans company and we did it shot for shot. He quoted Hamlet in it: ‘To be or not to be? Come to Street Fashions!’ [laughs] He paid for that commercial to get his SAG card. That’s a way to do it. Then Seth [Rogen] showed up that day, and he hadn’t seen me or been around pre-production for a while, and he couldn’t handle it. The whole day, he could not handle it. That was how everybody was when they showed up. Like, ‘What?!’”

But perhaps there was a more practical reason behind it.

“I had that prosthetic on,” he explained. “It’d probably be weirder if I came up to you with all of that on and was like, [adopts purposefully normal voice] ‘So, Dave, I was thinking about for this scene…’ It’s just easier to just talk like [Tommy].”

Incredibly, there’s a lot more to the Q*A including a hilarious but slightly-spoilery story about Tommy Wiseau himself, who was involved in the making of ‘The Disaster Artist’ in what it sounds was an absolutely incredible cameo.

I’d recommend reading as much of this as you can.

And even then, you might get a tiny inkling as to just how odd Tommy Wiseau really is.

‘The Disaster Artist’ stars James Franco, Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Bryan Cranston (as himself), Sharon Stone, Josh Hutcherson and Judd Apatow.

James Franco directed the film, based on a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

‘The Disaster Artist’ is expected in cinemas in December 2017.

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