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You’d forgive Greg Sestero, one of the stars of The Room, for putting a positive spin on the ‘Citizen Kane of bad movies’.
More and more fans are joining the 2003 cult classic’s fanbase, he told The Daily Express US, ensuring one of the worst films ever made will be quoted and packing out cinemas for years to come.
“After 20 years of audiences enjoying The Room, you have to tip your hat to what it has become,” he said. “You make movies for the audience, and they’ve turned it into a phenomenon that you have to appreciate to some degree.”
He added: “I believe The Room cornered a part of film audiences lore for the live movie experience. Mysterious, quotable, rewatchable, hilarious: It does so many things that the classics have done, albeit in a very different way.”
“The passion of the fan base I think will keep it alive for years to come. I’ve met 11-year-olds that are obsessed with it. Even my three-year-old nephew was fascinated by the Chris R scene. That means we owe it to the next generation to support their endless ‘oh, hi Mark’s!”
Prior to The Room, Greg was a jobbing actor and model, who, alongside his friend Tommy Wiseau, was hellbent on becoming a Hollywood star.
Making The Room, however, led Greg to believe no one would ever see Tommy’s film and that it would go straight to video. It premiered on June 27, 2003, at the Laemmle Fairfax and Fallbrook theatres in Los Angeles, and Tommy arranged a screening for the cast and the press at one of the venues, renting a searchlight to sit in front of the cinema and arriving in a limousine.
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Actress Robyn Paris described the audience laughing at the film, and Variety reporter Scott Foundas would later write that it prompted “most of its viewers to ask for their money back—before even 30 minutes [had] passed.”
The Room earned its nickname as ‘The Citizen Kane of bad movies’ but its notoriety made it an instant hit among film fans.
Now a Hollywood name, Greg’s 2013 memoir about the film was adapted into The Disaster Artist starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, Sharon Stone, Bryan Cranston and Alison Brie, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2018.
Charting Greg’s relationship with Tommy, a man he now shares numerous acting and writing credits with – including the 2017 dark comedy Best F(r)iends – the book captured many of their filming difficulties.
Greg said: “I was always fascinated by the backstory of The Room, and over the past two decades it has taught me so much about perseverance and the unknown of artistic endeavours. I’ve known Tommy since 1998 and it’s been a wild journey.
“It’s kinda cool to see that we are still making movies and following our passions. The rest of the cast has been very cool in embracing the film as well.”
For the uninitiated, The Room follows the story of Johnny – a businessman whose fiancee Lisa becomes involved in a romance with his best friend Mark. As the trio’s relationship disintegrates, a cast of bizarre characters reveal their own secrets and desires, culminating in a wonderful conclusion.
It celebrates its 20th anniversary on June 27. To mark the occasion, a special remake starring Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk will be released.
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