Interview: Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero of ‘Best F(r)iends Vol 1’
By Dr. Zaius
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Back in 2003, Tommy Wiseau‘s name became one of legend, but not for the reasons he originally wanted. His film The Room, one which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in, simultaneously became known as one of the worst films of all time by critics, but a cult classic to fans. In the 15 years since, Wiseau’s film has enjoyed a consistent presence in midnight showings across the country. His friend Greg Sestero was his co-star in The Room and in 2013 Sestero wrote The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made with co-author Tom Bissell. That was then turned into an Oscar-nominated film directed and starring James Franco as Wiseau and his brother David Franco as Greg.
Fresh off a new generation getting to love and appreciate The Room, Wiseau and Sestero reunited for a project, written by Sestero and directed by Justin MacGregor called Best F(r)iends. Best F(r)iends is about a homeless loner (Sestero) who stumbles into a bizarre friendship/partnership with a mysterious mortician (Wiseau). I got to speak to both men about their upcoming film, their on screen reunion, and more.
Read the whole interview here below.
Geeks Of Doom: Hey guys, pleasure to talk with you. I guess my first question is what prompted the on-screen reunion of Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau after 15 years?
Greg Sestero: It was one of those things where I felt The Room had done its thing for so many years and we had the book and then the wonderful movie that was about to come out and I realized it was a great chance to try to make something again in the right way. As an actor, you know I met Tommy in an acting class, and I felt as an actor he hadn’t been given the right part. I thought it would be fascinating to make a film, a noir film and give Tommy a part that would really fit him, something new and fresh that would surprise our fans in a way they wouldn’t expect. I had been writing ideas for TV shows and once I got the idea that Tommy and I could do a movie together it came together very quickly. I was finally excited to tell a different story and work together.
Geeks Of Doom: You mentioned Tommy’s part and I watched the film and I found it very interesting and very entertaining. Tommy you play a mortician who puts masks on corpses and has a very secret hidden life. What was it like getting into character to play Harvey?
Tommy Wiseau: Good question, so yeah I definitely did some research into who I am, what I am, what I do. You go into places you never went before, that’s my expression in acting. I was into it so that’s it. You study your character, you try to adjust accordingly. I talked to Greg when we did rehearsals everyday and we prepared, etc, etc. Keep in mind, the set was a real morgue so that was much more powerful, being in the real thing.
Geeks Of Doom: Correct me if I’m wrong but was one of the pictures hanging in the morgue James Franco?
Greg Sestero: I think you’re the only one who caught that. There was a point where James was going to be in the film but we couldn’t get our schedules right so that was kind of a nod to him.
Geeks Of Doom: Greg you wrote this film, and Tommy of course wrote The Room and I noticed that these films share similar themes.
Tommy Wiseau: Wait, let me stop you there. What do you mean because I don’t see it?
Geeks Of Doom: I’m not comparing the works, just noticing the themes, namely friendship, paranoia, and betrayal.
Tommy Wiseau: Oh, ok you mean in general.
Geeks Of Doom: Yes, I was wondering of you can speak about friendship, betrayal and paranoia and why you think they’re so prevalent in these films.
Tommy Wiseau: Well one of the things in Best F(r)iends for example, friendship equals money. But you’re right. When you look at The Room the subject is betrayal, and friendship and here friendship equals money. I don’t know if it’s coincidence of not but as part of a society where we live we always talk about friendship. I don’t care who you are, what you do, how much money you have or don’t have, it’s all the same, you talk about friendship, and relationships. To me relationships are very important because of respect and I think you’ll find that in both The Room and Best F(r)iends. Greg you take over, because that was my take on this and you are definitely right.
Greg Sestero: I thought about it but I think the themes of The Room are common to those in a lot of people’s’ lives. I’ve had a lot of people tell me, “˜Man I lived The Room this week’. For me, I wasn’t trying to tie anything to The Room, it was going around the friendship and I think you see those conflicts in any friendship. But The Room is very personal to Tommy and this story is very personal for me so there are similarities that cross over.
Tommy Wiseau: What I think he meant and I’m just guessing is the topic of friendship is alike in war movies or relationship movies. Coincidentally any friendship could be very difficult, let’s put it that way. If you don’t like the word “difficult” I’d say complex. I think people will enjoy seeing Best F(r)iends and they’ll say “˜Hey, maybe I should change my life a little bit here’.
Geeks Of Doom: Greg this movie was very original. We already discussed Tommy’s character, but the whole scheme involving selling gold fillings from corpse teeth, where did you come up with this idea?
Greg Sestero: It was just kind of random. One night I started writing the story and I had had some interesting experiences through family and friends. My brother is a dentist and he was telling me about this business that was going on where dentists were selling their scrap and making more money doing that than actual dentistry and I thought that was really fascinating. He showed me these huge bags of gold teeth and what they were being sold for and the contacts and he kind of walked me through this whole underworld I never knew about. And it just kind of worked its way in when I was thinking about Tommy and what kind of character he would be. Some of my favorite movies that I’ve seen over the years teach you about worlds you don’t know anything about. Nightcrawler takes you into the world of news and Drive takes you into the world of stunt drivers, Birdy is another film I love. They create their own world about things that do actually happen and that what I was trying to do with this story. Yeah I think it’s incredibly original and bizarre but that’s because we just don’t know about this world. That’s the story I was trying to tell.
Geeks Of Doom: Last year around this time everyone was so excited about The Disaster Artist and that lead to people revisiting The Room. And here we are a year later and you guys are back together releasing a new film. Can you speak about what this last year was like for you guys?
Greg Sestero: It was one of those things where each month has been a different story and it’s been overwhelming and rewarding. We started out with a call and a dream. So many things this year have come full circle. The first movie I saw that inspired me to get into acting and filmmaking was Home Alone and just a few months ago I got to sit down with Macaulay Culkin and talk to him about a script I wrote and I’ve met a lot of people who I’ve looked up to for years. Tommy and I got to go the Golden Globes which was something we talked about when we first got to LA. It’s been a great reward for all the years of struggle and the time put in. Last year kind of showed that a lot of great things can happen if your heart is in the right place.
Tommy Wiseau: Same here. I was thinking of a response to your question, and I feel differently because I feel like, “Let’s move on to the next project”. I hope the people enjoy what we tried to create. My life hasn’t changed that much, maybe it’s gotten a little crazy sometimes but I like that. I just stay positive and think positive. I appreciate any support, from media and you guys and anyone in the world for supporting The Room and supporting Best F(r)iends.
Geeks Of Doom: Obviously this is Best F(r)iends Vol. 1 so what’s on tap in Volume 2 and when can we expect to see it?
Greg Sestero: Volume 2 is coming out in January of 2019. It is equally crazy and bizarre just with a different landscape. I think it’ll be really unique and there are definitely surprises in store. One thing I’m really excited about is on the 25th (of September) with the release of Best F(r)iends Volume 1 there are going to be a lot of special features which should be a lot of fun. Making this movie, there were a lot of weird happenings on set, we did shoot in a morgue. There’s one scene where Tommy is choked by a clown. So that’ll be a good holdover until Volume 2 comes out in January.
Tommy Wiseau is a cult icon and it was truly an amazing experience hearing his unmistakable voice on the other end of the phone. He and Greg Sestero seem to live the title of their new saga and I’m thankful to them for giving me some time. Best F(r)iends Volume 1 is available to rent or buy now on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Stay here to Geek Of Doom for my full review of the film.