Last week, we attended a special screening of James Franco’s latest film “The Disaster Artist” at Metrograph. The A24 film is now playing in limited release and goes wide on December 1.
Director and star James Franco was in attendance in addition to cast Dave Franco, Ari Graynor and screenplay writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Neustadter and Weber brilliantly adapted the screenplay from Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. I had never heard of The Room or Tommy Wiseau before the screening, but the film was absolutely hilarious and compelling. It tells the true-story of aspiring filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and the making of The Room, which became a cult classic and has been dubbed the worst movie ever made.
In his introduction, Franco said, “Thank you for coming. I love this theater. When I was shooting The Deuce last summer, I was in here many, many, many times. This is the best theater. Really happy to be here and thanks everybody for coming. We started this project four years ago when I read the book by Greg Sestero, one of the actors in [Room], and Tom Bissell, this great journalist. And first step was [for] my producer [Vince Jolivette] and I to give it to my good buddy, Seth Rogen, to produce with his company, and then we got these amazing writers, Scott Neustadter and Mike Weber. I had not seen The Room at that point. I was halfway through the book. I knew I wanted to do it. The hairs were rising on the back of my neck and I just knew I wanted to do this. I wanted to play this guy, as different as we were on the surface, I felt very close to him … on the inside. I knew I wanted my brother, Dave to play Greg Sistero. After a brief, glancing discussion with Britney Spears, I knew that I wanted Ari Graynor for the role of Lisa. I think I made the right choice. We could have gotten Britney Spears who is amazing in her own way or have like an amazing actress. That’s who we chose.”
He continued, “We’re really proud of this movie. It was a passion project. It was a family affair, a friend affair. It’s a story of friendship between two guys that met in acting class. One was in his teens and one said [he] was in his early twenties or teens. It’s really my story. I met Seth Rogen when I was 20. He and I have been working together for almost 20 years, I know my brother all of his life and most of my life. It’s really a movie about friendship, outsiders following their dreams and anybody that goes into a creative profession knows how scary that can be, how exhilarating. So this is all of our story.”