|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: April 19, 1978
Palo Alto, California, USA
Born: October 3, 1955
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Born: June 12, 1985
Palo Alto, California, USA
Born: July 15, 1978
Birthplace: Walnut Creek, California, USA
Born: April 15, 1982
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Born: October 12, 1992
Union, Kentucky, USA
Born: September 25, 1977
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Born: October 18, 1987
San Luis Obispo, California, USA
Born: April 30, 1972
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born: April 27, 1983
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Born: December 8, 1980
Birthplace: Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA
Born: May 25, 1947
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Born: May 12, 1983
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
June Diane Raphael
Born: January 4, 1980
Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, USA
Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Born: March 10, 1958
Meadville, Pennsylvania, USA
Born: September 4, 1930
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Death: April 5, 2008, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (pneumonia)
In the 2016 Room documentary titled Room Full of Spoons, Rick Harper claims that he investigated Wiseau's origins and believes him to be Polish, born in the city of Poznań. Our own investigation into Wiseau's birth yielded the same conclusion. We obtained his Petition for Naturalization, dated September 5, 1984. It states that Thomas Pierre Wiseau was born in Poland on October 3, 1955. At the time of the petition, he was living in an apartment in San Francisco.
Tommy himself long claimed that he was an All-American guy from New Orleans. However, in a 2017 interview with The New York Times, he finally revealed the true story, sort of. "It's not important, and No. 2, it's a personal question," he said. "Long story short, I grew up in Europe a long time ago, but I'm American and very proud of it."
Yes. The scene where Greg's mom approaches the car is based in fact. In answering how accurate is The Disaster Artist, we learned that she asked Tommy his age, what he did for work, and what his interest was in her son. She told him to please not hurt her son and to not have sex with him. -FACT Liverpool
Yes. The Room was based on a 540-page unpublished novel Wiseau had written.
Still to this day, it is not known exactly how Wiseau came up with The Room's $6 million budget. After coming to the U.S., he worked a variety of jobs, including restaurant busboy, hospital employee, and operator of retail stores called Street Fashions USA, where he claims to have designed leather jackets and sold defective blue jeans at marked-down prices. He stated that Street Fashions was connected with Levis. A search for the company on Google simply takes you to his own website where he sells t-shirts and merchandise almost entirely related to The Room. Eventually, Wiseau is said to have gotten into real estate, purchasing and renting large retail spaces in the vicinity of San Franciso and Los Angeles.
In friend Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist, the author finds it impossible to believe that Wiseau amassed such a large amount of money that quickly from the various jobs he had worked. He writes that numerous people involved in the making of The Room believed that the $6 million production was linked to a money-laundering scheme for the mob. Sestero himself doesn't believe the money-laundering theory to be true.
Yes. "My brother was pretty much in character the entire movie," said Dave Franco at an SXSW Q&A with the actors. "He also directed me as Tommy Wiseau."
"So there were scenes where you were playing Tommy directing the movie as Tommy, directing the movie as Tommy," adds Seth Rogen, who plays Sandy Schklair in the film.
No. "I think Greg did get an offer on something," said James Franco during a SAG Film Society Q&A. "It was not Malcolm in the Middle. I loved the idea that we would have Bryan Cranston circa early 2000s, pre-Breaking Bad. ... That's why we used him."
Yes. In researching The Disaster Artist true story, we learned that Tommy Wiseau paid to have The Room come out in theaters for two weeks so that he could qualify for the Academy Awards.
Yes. As we investigated to answer how accurate is The Disaster Artist, we discovered that, like in the movie, Wiseau paid for a billboard with his face on it and his phone number. If passersby called the number, Wiseau would answer and encourage them to go see his movie. -SAG Film Society
In a sit-down interview with the Los Angeles Times, the real Wiseau told James Franco, "I think I had a great reaction, 99% approve." He said that he did not like the way James Franco throws the football in the movie. He also had commented that the lighting was "uneven" in certain parts of the film but later denied saying that. "I think you did good job, and I think I did good job too," Wiseau told Franco, referencing his own small part in the movie. "They did excellent job, so I don't have to complain, about anything actually," he added. -LA Times
James Franco said that Wiseau originally suggested that Johnny Depp play him in the movie. However, he then approved of Franco, saying that he was a fan of Franco's work as James Dean in the 2001 film James Dean.
Yes. Released in 2003, The Room was trashed by critics, with some going as far as to call it the worst movie ever made. However, it gradually gained a cult following, and much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it has inspired midnight screenings where the audience is encouraged to wear wigs, interact with the dialogue, and throw plastic cutlery and footballs around the theater. Fans have also created The Room t-shirts, the most popular of which is displayed below.
Yes, the real Tommy Wiseau plays the character Henry in a scene in the movie. "His biggest stipulation in his contract was that he get a cameo in the movie," says James Franco, "and that he play opposite me." During a SAG Film Society Q&A for The Disaster Artist, James Franco said that prior to shooting the cameo, Wiseau sent him a photo of himself with a drawn on mustache, asking if he could have a mustache for the cameo. He offered to draw on a better mustache with a Sharpie, but Franco said that he would give him one for the scene.
Yes. James Franco wore extensive prosthetics to look more like the older Wiseau. "I've got a lot of prosthetics on," says Franco of his character. "I've got cheeks, nose, chin, lazy eyelid, wig, contacts." -TORYmax
Yes. During a Q&A, James Franco and Seth Rogen said that Tommy and Greg are still best friends and talk on the phone every day. James Franco actually had to change the ending of The Disaster Artist to reflect that, since it originally ended with Tommy and Greg on bad terms. With the release of The Disaster Artist, Greg Sestero was inspired to write another movie for himself and Tommy called Best F(r)iends. You can watch the Best F(r)iends trailer. -SAG Film Society
Not directly, at least not at first. James Franco said that he didn't meet Tommy Wiseau until they did their scene together. Prior to that, he had spoken to him only on the phone to get the life rights. Franco did watch lots of behind-the-scenes footage that had been shot on the set of Wiseau's movie The Room. "Tommy actually had somebody shoot like behind-the-scenes on The Room, like more footage than you would ever be able to watch in a lifetime I think," says Franco, "but I did watch everything that I could. ... I watched all of that, and you know, audio tapes I had of Tommy that I'd listen to in my car. ... It was Tommy talking to himself in the car, and it was actually really touching and moving, but as an actor it was gold." -LA Times
Expand on what you know about The Disaster Artist true story by watching the Tommy Wiseau interviews and The Disaster Artist cast Q&A below. Also be sure to check out the shot-by-shot comparison video of The Room vs. The Disaster Artist.