FilmDrunk

‘Oh. Hi, Mark.’ Twelve Years Of ‘The Room’ With ‘Disaster Artist’ Author Greg Sestero (Part Two)

I talked to Greg Sestero, aka Mark (“Oh, hi, Mark”) from The Room and author of The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, and Michael Rousselet, original The Room superfan, on the 12th anniversary of the first The Room screening. The Disaster Artist, incidentally, is set to be adapted into a feature film, directed by James Franco (last we heard, Dave Franco was set to play Greg). If you’ve ever wanted to get to the bottom of various Tommy Wiseau mysteries and theories, this is the interview for you.

Part one is here, and there’s also a full audio version. Part two continues below.

FILMDRUNK: Have you found out anything else about The Room‘s other mysterious producers, since you finished writing the book?

GREG SESTERO: Not really [chuckles]. I don’t know how much longer they were around while–

MICHAEL ROUSSELET: Chloe Lietzke? She passed away apparently a few years ago, I heard [true, so far as I can tell. I’m sure Reddit is already all over this.].

And there was another guy who’s listed as the casting director who…

GREG: Yeah, I don’t know whatever happened to him.

MIKE: I don’t even remember that guy’s name. I don’t know. Mysterious people. These are all just Tommy connections. No one knows. Who knows [chuckles]?

Rouss, what sort of screening trends– because you know there’s a whole cult around The Room, where people throw spoons at the screen. How many of those did you have a part in?

MIKE: My friends and I had a lot of involvement with the beginning movement. We started the spoons. I pointed out the spoons first, because–

I didn’t even notice that the first time I watched it.

MIKE: So we watched the movie twice in one night, and we snuck in 15 people [chuckles]. We stayed in the theater, snuck them in, and I was just trying to pinpoint everything about this movie, dissect it as much as I could. And I think it was the third screening, I noticed the picture frame with the spoons in it, and I started screaming, “Spoon,” every time it showed up.

And there’s multiple picture frames that all have a spoon picture, or is it just one?

GREG: Well, one has a spoon. One has a mascara tip, and the other is a corkscrew [chuckles]. That took a while to figure out.

MIKE: But they’re very prominently featured, which is weird.

And so that’s just a result of Tommy buying a picture frame and then not taking out whatever the stock picture was?

GREG: Yeah, I think the art department just was scrambling to make it look like a home.

MIKE: Because they didn’t have any pictures of Lisa and Johnny together. So they’re like, “Screw it. No one’s going to see it. Who cares?”

So yeah, there’s the spoons and then– God. Counting on how many times they say they’re “best friends”– noticing that they were together for five years in one scene and seven years in another. Screaming for the bridge during the “go go go” scene. “Because you’re a woman.” Every time you would see a Room screening, people always bring new stuff.

What do you think was the most creative thing that you saw someone else do during a screening?

MIKE: Right before Tommy says, “Hey, we’re expecting,” he does a little wave to the bottom left part of the screen. And somebody at one screening ran all the way down there [to the front of the auditorium] and was jumping at the bottom of the screen going, “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.” And then Johnny looks down and waves to the bottom of the screen where they guy’s standing.

Like trying to match his eye-line?

MIKE: I lost it, and it’s a staple now. That guy was a genius. And the “one, two, f*ck it.”

GREG: Oh yeah, when he’s pulling out the drawers.

MIKE: I was at one screening, and somebody brought out a bunch of umbrellas. So whenever spoons would be thrown, they popped up these little umbrellas to protect them. That was really funny.

Yeah, that’s like a secondary screening trend.

MIKE: Yeah, it’s really good. There’s a lot of stuff. I always see something new.

On that note, is there a story behind the scotch-vodka concoction [aka “scotchka,” a Room staple]? It kind of seems like Tommy has no familiarity with anyone drinking alcohol ever.

GREG: Well in the original script, it’s like cognac with chocolate. That’s what it was supposed to be. And I think probably the set people just grabbed whatever was there to put it together at the time.

MIKE: Maybe it’s supposed to be vodka and apple juice, but it looks like scotch vodka. And that was something we started, scotchka, because we were all drunk in the theater.

Of course.

MIKE: I think I’ve probably only seen that movie sober once. And I think it was the first time I saw it, I was sober [chuckles]. I swear to God.

How many times do you think you kept Tommy from getting charges filed against him just by being there and being like, “No, no, it’s okay, he’s not going to kill you.” What’s the craziest thing– when he was auditioning people, he would have different, bizarre things that he would do?

GREG: Well see, because I knew Tommy from before, so I knew his intentions were there, and I knew his way of doing things were different. But at the end of the day, he was a really nice, gentle guy. Just the way he did things was completely off. So when he auditioned these girls, he’d just throw them in front of the camera, and say things at them. He’d be like, “Your sister just became lesbian.” And I think they thought–

And they didn’t know he was doing lines even?

GREG: They’re like [staring blankly]. And Tommy would be like, “Okay cut, you don’t know what you’re doing. Get out.” And then the water bottle incident on set. Because Tommy, he feels like he’s generous, and he provides food and all that. So that one day when she’s like, “We don’t even have water on set,” I think he just flipped, because it was her telling him that he’s not professional. That was his panic button, so he just flipped out and threw that empty water bottle. He’s like, “Nobody in Hollywood will give you water,” and he gave her water [chuckles].

Which is funny, because every other movie set, they kiss the talent’s ass. You have food, and they’re babying you.

MIKE: Tommy is the talent [chuckles]. Everyone is there, because they’re lucky to be there for him.

Also, one of my favorite parts of the book is when you’re just reading off different voice mails that Tommy has left you, where he just sort of gets lonely, and he’s kind of half-talking to himself. What were some of your favorites that he left you?

GREG: I think it was probably early on, when I first moved. He’s like, “Don’t be scared. Enjoy life. La, la, la. Oh by the way, this girl Jennifer called me. You don’t know her. She wants something. I don’t know. Bye [laughter].”

And just getting to LA, you’re feeling kind of lonely. You’re going out on all these auditions, and you’re wondering, “Will I go anywhere? Will this happen?” Coming home to those voice mails, looking back obviously it’s weird, but it was kind of refreshing, because it kind of took your focus off wondering about what was going to happen. It just kind of made the whole thing more of an adventure, but it was out there.

Some of the things that– Tommy’s quirks that are actually really funny, like if you hit him on the left shoulder, he’ll be like, “God, now you need to make it even.” So he’s like, “Hit me on the right shoulder [chuckles].” So stuff like that, it’s almost like you marvel at it, because no one else comes up with things like that. So most of the time, you’re laughing. But when you’re living in a small apartment, and you can’t have the phone ring before noon…

MIKE: It’s going to get awkward.

It seems like you spent a lot of time having to translate Tommy to the outside world.

GREG: Yeah, like just the people living in the same building, explaining the parking situation, like, “You can’t go in this way, or he’ll blow up,” because he’ll always assume that people are disrespecting him, when they’re just actually saying something cordial or normal. And so, just calming everybody else down after he blows up is always fun.

MIKE: Tommy one time grabbed me out of a line. I was in the line to go see The Room, and Tommy goes, “Oh, it’s the Michael. Hello, Michael, how are you?” And he grabbed my arm really hard, but I think he was trying to be sweet and pull me over to talk. And he’s like, “I want to show you something.” And I was like, “This is it. He’s going to kill me [chuckles].” And he took me, and he’s like, “Look at all the bobble heads and the t-shirts. For you, I will give 20% discount.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s really sweet, Tommy.”

GREG: It’s still going to be a hundred bucks.

MIKE: Yeah, I know. But he was trying to be sweet to me, but with his mannerisms, I thought he was going to kill me.

It’s like he’s got that creepy uncle quality, creepy, but also cheap. So he’s like, “Hey little girl, would you like to buy some candy?”

MIKE: He’s got a little Joe Biden in him.

So did you ever find out anything more about whether he was a gymnast or something, or why he had really strong hands, and can do the iron cross on the rings and stuff?

GREG: Yeah, I don’t know how– he can still do it. It’s the one thing that he can do that I can’t do, so he always rubs it in my face. He’s like, “Try it, try it.” And I’m like, “No, I’m fine.” Like Michael was saying, he’s got this really strong grip, so I don’t know if he was like a pull-up a champion or something back in the day.

The one part you didn’t really go– I guess because the book was more about The Room and Tommy, but you went to Milan to model when you were 17? What was that like?

GREG: It was pretty cool. I got to get out of senior year high school, but it was a whole different experience. I remember getting there and just feeling totally out of sorts. You’d show up at these auditions or castings with like 500 people. So I guess it taught me a lot starting out, and I was happy to get home and get started. I know that’s not what I was wanting to do. But again, I think it was a really great experience. Just to be able to travel at that age, I felt like it opened my mind a lot.

MIKE: Being surrounded by beautiful women, awful.

Fashion seems like it would be just this completely bizarre, surrealist world to be an insider in.

GREG: Yeah, it took me a while to appreciate it, because it kind of sounds glamorous. But when you get there, your agency puts you to work, and you’re figuring out this whole new city, and you’re by yourself, and it was football season. I was kind of very American in that way, where I wasn’t used to all that.

Were you just looking around confused, going, “Hey, uh… Does anybody know where the 49ers game is on tonight?”

GREG: Yeah, that’s what I’d do. I’d try to find news stands that had the USA Today, so I could find out all the scores and stuff.

I imagine that went over super well in the fashion world [laughter].

GREG: Yeah, they had no idea what you were talking about. But yeah, in that regard, as soon as I lost that and became interested in what I was doing, it was cool. And I got to go to the homes of Versace and Armani and hang out in these huge villas. It just gave me an opportunity to learn and meet people that I’d never would’ve had.

I’ve read a few books about the fashion people. And it sounds so strange where some big designer, he has this entourage of young, good-looking people who don’t work, like, “Oh, these are my muses, and we just go places and party, and that’s how I get my ideas for clothes [chuckles].” I was trying to imagine what that would’ve been like to see first hand.

GREG: It taught me early on about crashing castings. I didn’t get called back for certain things, and then I’d just still show up and pretended like I had to be there. And I actually got more jobs doing that than anything else. I just showed up and was like, “Hey, I got called back,” even though I didn’t. I ended up getting these really cool shows. I did the same thing for this big cologne ad. They’d been casting for a week or two. And actually, the football thing worked out, because I went to an American bar to try to find a playoff game, and there was this producer there randomly – not watching this game, just hanging out – and he saw me. He’s like, “Hey, come to the casting.” So I ended up getting a job that way and stuff and then went on to Paris. But yeah, it was cool.

MIKE: How much of Zoolander do you see in the fashion world that you were in?

GREG: Well, Zoolander was pretty dead on [chuckles], because I was there in like ’96, ’97. Zoolander came out in 2001, so I definitely appreciate it. Like the roommates doing sit-ups in the– it’s all pretty ridiculous, when you look back.

It’s funny, because it’s like this whole world that presents itself as the most glamorous, elegant thing ever, but then most of the people involved are like 16 to 22 years old.

GREG: Well, especially for females, the peak for them is like 15, 16 to 24. And then for guys, it’s actually the opposite. For a guy, it’s better being like 25 to 45.

Oh, really?

GREG: Yeah, you peak much later, because guys aren’t going to buy a suit from an ad from a guy who’s 25. They’re going to want more of an older, rugged guy, so it’s kind of a reverse. But in Europe, it’s different. If you want to do Calvin Klein and all that stuff, they usually look for late teenagers. The business turns over so much.

What was the weirdest thing you ended up having to wear, or the weirdest shoot you had to do?

GREG: One time I had to wear a sarong or whatever on a runway show. And then one time, there’s this very well-known photographer named David LaChapelle. He wanted me to do a shoot for him. I was like, “Okay, this is great. Whatever.” He’s like, “Yeah, would you be willing to wear a thong?” I remember just thinking, “Oh, man. My one chance to get to work with a big photographer, and that’s it.” It didn’t end up happening luckily, but–

Did other fashion people tell you, “Yeah, you should do that.” Wouldn’t other people be like, “What are you thinking man?! Of course, I’m going to go wear a thong for David LaChappelle!”?

GREG: Yeah, a photographer like that is like a Quentin Tarantino type, so you do whatever they ask you to do. But looking back, I’m kind of thankful it didn’t happen.

Wouldn’t they get upset when you would admit that you wanted to be an actor?

GREG: Yeah, because they say that you’ve got to take modeling seriously, but I don’t know. It’s kind of a ridiculous business. I’m grateful that it allowed me to travel the world, so I can’t really diss it, but it’s not something that I’d ever recommend.

And you met Tommy after you came back from modeling?

GREG: Yeah, because I wanted to get into acting. That was my whole goal, and so I did a little thing on Nash Bridges and then started taking acting classes.

So have you traveled to see The Room in any other places too?

MIKE: I traveled to go see The Room at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York, because Greg was out there, and he was like, “You should come, and you should be a part of this.” I can’t remember what anniversary it was, but it was the largest Room screening in history.

You should almost be a screening consultant, where you teach people how to watch The Room.

MIKE: Oh, yeah [chuckles]. Well, I’ve done lectures at Cal State Fullerton, and Chapman, where I would come in, and I actually gave an hour long lecture in a cult cinema class about why The Room is the greatest movie ever made. I brought clips and it was beautiful. And then they did a screening, and they were like, “Do you want a microphone, so you can shout?” And I was like, “Oh no, that’s weird. I’m just going to scream and tell everyone else to–” because they said, “Do you want everyone else to be quiet, so they can hear you?” And I was like, “That would be the worst thing ever. Everyone should be screaming.”

GREG: You should almost do your own riff for the movie.

MIKE: That would be fun, yeah. And when I went to New York for the screening– I’m a publicity whore, and I was wearing a 5-Second Films shirt, as I’m wearing my Dude Bro Party Massacre III shirt right now. People came up and were like, “Oh, you’re Mike Rousselet from 5-Second Films. You discovered The Room. Will you sign my spoon?” And I signed five spoons from separate people. That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to do, but that was an honor.

So you use The Talented Mr. Ripley as this parallel thematic element of The Disaster Artist. Do you think that was a conscious reference point for Tommy, when he was writing The Room?

GREG: I think it definitely sparked something in him, I think the extremity of The Kill. And again, Tom Ripley’s just a guy who just doesn’t fit in, who’s not accepted, and I think the drama of it made him feel like he could write something or create something that’s just as powerful, based off his life experience.

And it’s funny, because Tommy has elements of Matt Damon’s character in real life. But then when he writes the movie, he writes himself as just the ultimate, innocent, good guy.

GREG: Yeah, I thought that was really interesting.

Didn’t he say he based your character Mark on “Mark Damon [laughter]”?

GREG: Yeah, I love that so much.

MIKE: Oh, my God.

What are your favorite ways that he butchered English and English idioms and funny ways?

GREG: That’s definitely at the top of the list, and then also “human bean.” B-E-A-N, I love that [chuckles]. He just has a way of putting his own spin on words that just become– like you’re tearing me apart, “You’re taking me apart.”

So did you originate that idea to write the book, or did someone say, “Hey, maybe you should write a book about this.”

GREG: I’d always thought the story with Tommy and the making of the movie was fascinating. It was just, “Who was going to want to read the story about a terrible movie that nobody saw?” But then as it started to gain momentum, and there was an audience for it, I figured if they knew the stuff that happened to get to this point, I think it would be nuts. And also the same time, I think it would humanize Tommy a little bit more. That what he pulled off, it’s a bad movie, it’s also heroic in a way, that he came through and did it.

MIKE: That’s what I love about the book is, it’s not, “Oh, it’s going to be a tell-all book about Tommy and all the crazy sh*t he does.” It’s very sincere. It’s very sweet, and it’s about friendship. And I think that makes the movie even more powerful, because it’s about, you were basically there for your friend to help him realize his dream. We may not believe in a lot of our friends’ dreams, but we’ll help them do it, and it came together.

It’s almost just a memoir with a really good hook. Whenever you’re talking about trying to find your path in life, that’s always compelling, and it’s that much more when you’re stuck in this house with this guy who has all these crazy quirks [chuckles].

GREG: And you’re only there because that guy gave you a shot. So it’s this weird twist.

You can’t untangle your life from his ever, really.

MIKE: You’re stuck with him. He’s like family, man.

Do you think that it’s helping you get work at all now or hurting?

GREG: Well, all you can ask for in this business is a chance. We all got to find that thing that’s going to allow us to keep working. So with The Room, it gave me a
chance to still be creative and write the book. I got to meet Michael, and I got to be a part of his great movie, and now there’s a lot of other stuff I’d like to try to do. I’m working on a TV pilot idea, and I’d love to do more writing. And now, there’s going to be the whole adaptation of this book, and so.

Between the book and Dude Bro – I don’t know if other people will have this experience of it – it’s kind of like, “Oh wow, Greg Sestero is actually a really good actor.” That pretty much never happens, where you know someone from a cult movie, and then you find out they’re actually talented.

GREG: Yeah, and I think that that’s the other challenge, is you’re part of this thing, where everyone is kind of basically wanting to stick to the fact that you suck. And that’s what they’re going to love you for. And so really the challenge is to embrace The Room. Because I got it early on. I thought it was hilarious, and the fact that that’s one of the things I loved about meeting Micheal early on is seeing this movie through fresh eyes. And the way he embraced the movie was kind of the way I would’ve. And so it’s just working your way out of that. The Room is never going to be a movie that directly is going to get you work. “Now from this point on, you’re going to have to prove yourself and work your way out of it.”

MIKE: Does Tommy have any plans on writing a book?

GREG: He said he wanted to write his own version and call it “The Super Disaster Artist.”

MIKE: When that happens I would love to talk to the ghostwriter and see how long before they kill themselves [laughter].

It’s just funny to me, when there are people like Tommy, where he’s got that whole cop incident in Strasbourg, and he’s got three separate crazy immigrant stories, plus a rags-to-riches angle that he could write about. And yet, when you’re like, “Oh, you should write a movie.” He’s like, “Okay, I write about this guy who has girlfriend who cheat on him, and his mother-in-law’s a bitch…”

And you’re like, “That‘s the f*cking story you wrote?” I would kill to have that life experience to draw on.

GREG: Yeah, you’d expect a Memento-type intense crazy movie out of him, but he kind of took the basic– this generic American story in a room.

MIKE: Right, “Johnny and Lisa.”

Yeah, Johnny and Lisa, exactly. It’s like if you got the dude Unbroken was about, and he wrote a book, and it was like, “See Spot Run.” I mean what the f*ck, man? Really?

GREG: Yeah, I think there’s an element where you can – this is all a construct – but you realize there’s so much deeper going on there. You wonder why he’s constructed this and what–

MIKE: It’s like if John Rambo made a family melodrama. Was it cousin Vanya or Uncle Vanya?

GREG: But it’s also kind of the dangers of what can happen when we see ourselves as something we’re not. And I think at the time, he saw himself as like a Fabio leading man, or that’s what he wanted to be, and that’s what he was going to go for. That’s why you have other people balancing you out and being like, “No.” It’s like, “I want to be the starting point guard for The Lakers. I’m going to go for it.” People kind of reel you back and be like, “Well, maybe not.”

You said Tommy has become more comfortable with people knowing him as him. Do you think he’s become more comfortable being that quirky character that he is now?

GREG: I think so. I think he’s embraced it for the most part. I think he still believes that The Room is a great movie in the way he intended.

MIKE: I still believe it is a great movie.

Yeah, I don’t really believe in being like, “Oh, it’s good, because it’s bad. It’s blah, blah.” Whatever, entertaining is entertaining.

GREG: He achieved what he wanted to achieve, just in a different way, but the success was still there. And I think it’s going to be showing now for 12 years.

MIKE: I was told by Alec Owen that the cast and crew private screening for Dude Bro was on the same anniversary that The Room was released.

GREG:  Yeah, 12 years. So I guess you can’t really knock that, that people still want to see something 12 years later.

After The Room became this cult phenomenon, who do you think that was the hardest on, of the cast?

GREG: I think everybody in the cast figured that it was never going to go anywhere. After seeing it at the premiere, they figured that was it. So I think in a weird way, everyone was kind of excited that anything came out of this, and I think that’s kind of the feel that I’ve gotten from everybody is, “We did a movie in our early 20s that we never thought would go anywhere, and now people are watching it.” And I think a lot of people have moved on with their lives, and it’s just a cool side-factor of something that they’ve done. So I think everyone was pretty open with it.

Hasn’t Sandy [Schklair, The Room’s script supervisor] written things about how he was the real director?

GREG: Yeah, maybe he’s the one wasn’t fond of it. I think he’s been in the business now for a long time. He’s worked on supposedly a lot of respectable projects, so maybe it’s a little annoying that this filmmaker makes his own movie on his first shot and makes something that people are queuing up to see.

MIKE: Well, I think he was actually trying to help make the days. He was like, “If I don’t help and try to shepherd this guy–” because I don’t think there was an assistant director, right?

GREG: No.

MIKE: It was just–

GREG: I was just doing everything. I didn’t really have any film experience.
So I think that Sandy was trying to just make the days and move on. And he’s like, “Oh, Tommy obviously needs help.” So he stepped in and kind of helped him do rehearsing and calling action when Tommy’s on set, and just to get Tommy to just finish. And then it got to the point where Tommy’s too much to work with, that he said, “F*ck this,” and left. And probably that upset Tommy, and Tommy took his name off the script supervising, I think, for the blu-ray or whatever.

MIKE: But what I’ve thought about it all along is, “Why would you ever want–

GREG: Credit for that?

MIKE: –credit for directing this movie?” Do you know what I mean?

Well, it sounded like he wanted credit for knowing that it was a joke sort of.

GREG: No, but that’s not true though, because it was taken totally seriously. He didn’t think it was, but it was to be taken seriously by Tommy, and the cast, and everything, so it wasn’t being directed as a comedy in any way. That’s what makes it work so well, is the camera angles are taken so seriously. It’s being shot, and it’s trying to capture the best drama you can.

MIKE: I heard a podcast he did, where he said, “Oh yeah, I knew it was garbage.” Yeah, whatever. And he said he helped make some of those decisions to make it funny, which I think is awful, because you’re stepping in and trying to sabotage somebody’s movie, and he’s trying to take credit for that. So you’re taking credit for being a bad director, or are you taking credit for trying to ruin somebody’s film? I think he just has sour grapes.

GREG: Yeah, I just think he was–

That could be his book, “The Saboteur.”

MIKE: I think just let it go. It’s an audience movie. It’s only there because creative people found something in it, responded to it, and the people championed it. It’s not done by publicity companies. It’s the people’s movie. Let it go.

Do you guys know what he’s working on now at all?

GREG: He’s got an idea for a movie called Foreclosure about the housing crisis.

MIKE: Is it a doc?

GREG: No, I think it’s a feature.

MIKE: Because he did that documentary, Homeless in America, which was not funny at all. It was just sad, and interviewing homeless people, and it was like, “Oh, God.” And then he did The Neighbors, and so now he’s going to do Foreclosure. Interesting.

If you can ever steer him towards doing an account of his own life, I think that would be the way to go.

MIKE: Or that vampire movie I keep hearing about.

GREG: That’s what I think would really be the way to go. He’s been talking about that now since I met him, and he had ideas even before I met him.

Like the vampire driving off the roof–?

GREG: The Vampire From Alcatraz, yeah.

MIKE: Someone’s just got to give him the money. Just give it to him and just walk away.

GREG: That’s really the best way to do it is to let him– that’ll be the most entertaining is to know that he had creative control.

MIKE: If I was a billionaire, that would be my charity. I’d donate to Tommy, and just be like, “Go ahead, just do it again. Whatever, or fail. I don’t care.”

And somehow erase his memory of any sort of novelty fame and just be like, “Be 100% hundred earnest.”

GREG: When he’s trying to be funny, it’s not funny. But when he’s trying to be serious, it’s– you watch The Neighbors now, and it’s awful. But The Room, he’s trying to–

MIKE: And that’s why every frame of that movie works, is because you see this guy giving everything he has.

Does his old commercial exist? [To get his SAG card, Tommy Wiseau financed a commercial for the store he owned, in which he starred, doing a version of the “To Be Or Not To Be” speech from Hamlet while wearing a puffy shirt. Essentially, he figured out a loophole and bought himself a SAG card.] Is that online anywhere, the Shakespeare commercial?

GREG: I brought a VHS of it to Michael, and he made it into a DVD for me. That’s the only–

MIKE: I have the file on my computer. I cut together a doc that I worked with Greg on for The Disaster Artist. It was kind of like a promo video that he plays before his book tour. It has a lot of footage that no one’s ever seen from the BTS, and I slipped in the–

If you ever wanted to give someone an exclusive…

MIKE: Oh, yeah. Well, I think Tommy found out, and you told me I had to take it down. I had a private unlisted link, and I think what happened is, some reporters got hold of it, like one guy, then he just sent it out. In one week, I came to look back on the video and it had like, 3,000 views.

By the way, I called The Room hotline and it’s still in full effect. [You can hear the outgoing message at the end of the audio version of this interview]

MIKE: Oh, that’s great.

GREG: That used to be my old phone number living at that apartment.

That’s funny because I didn’t call it the first time I listened to the book, then when I was coming down here I wanted to listen to it again so I’d have everything fresh in my mind. I was walking through the airport and I finally took down the number and called it to see if it still worked. And it still works.

MIKE: That’s amazing.

GREG: That’s one thing that’s great about Tommy, is consistency. The billboards are up for five years, the hotline is like 12 years going now.

MIKE: His website still looks like it’s from 2001. Its got wingdings on it. Oh, my God. God bless him.

Vince Mancini is a writer and comedian living in San Francisco. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.

×