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.
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–
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.
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.
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.