Tommy Wiseau may not have really directed The Room, the terrible movie that made him famous. James Franco’s current film The Disaster Artist recounts the unusual production of The Room, uncannily recreating several of the film’s infamous scenes. Franco won a Best Actor Musical/Comedy Golden Globe for portraying the idiosyncratic Wiseau.
The legend of Tommy Wiseau has become well-known to movie fans thanks to Franco’s The Disaster Artist. Wiseau was a talentless man who dreamed of being an actor. One day he met Greg Sestero, a fellow aspiring actor. The two traveled to Hollywood together to pursue their careers. Frustrated by his inability to get hired, Wiseau ultimately decided to make his own film. So he wrote The Room and somehow scared up $6 million to produce it. Because Wiseau was terrible at all aspects of filmmaking, his movie wound up an unintentionally hilarious disaster. Later, The Room would build a cult following, inspiring Rocky Horror Picture Show-like adoration.
But according to Sandy Schklair, who served as script supervisor on The Room, things didn’t exactly go down as The Disaster Artist depicts. Schklair claims he and not Wiseau actually directed most of The Room. Speaking to THR, Schklair says Wiseau arrived on-set in the beginning and had no idea how to direct a film. It therefore fell to Schklair to set up most of the shots. Wiseau would not even show up on-set for scenes he himself did not appear in, claims Schklair. Furthermore, Schklair claims many of The Room‘s now-iconic terrible scenes came out terrible on purpose. And he says Tommy Wiseau was the only one on-set not wise to what was going on. Schklair says:
“The idea was to keep the insanity, but push it as far over the top as I can and preserve the fact that everybody there knows I’m making a comedy – except one person.”
The Disaster Artist depicts Schklair, played by Seth Rogen, as an exasperated movie pro who performs his grim duty by helping the clueless Wiseau get his movie made. The film does show Schklair directing certain scenes, but according to Schklair, his control of the proceedings was much more extensive than what the film depicts. Schklair also says that, contrary to what we see in the film, The Room never had a full script. In reality, according to Schklair, Wiseau would produce a few pages at a time. Schklair says all the directing was him except for the love scenes, which he likens to pornography, and some second unit work.
Wiseau has previously responded to Schklair’s long-held claims with dismissal. He pointed out that Schklair quit the film prior to its completion, and was not even present when many of the most famous scenes were shot. At one time, Wiseau even dissed the script supervisor by referring to him as his “assistant.” But in typical Wiseau fashion, he says Schklair can claim anything he wants because “it’s a free country.”
Though Schklair has made similar claims in the past, he has become a lot more adamant now that The Room and Tommy Wiseau have received mainstream recognition. It’s worth noting that Schklair also happens to have a book coming out with the unsubtle title Yes, I Directed The Room. Schklair insisting on proper credit for directing an objectively terrible movie might seem odd, but then again he does have at least some financial incentive. With Schklair now casting the whole legend behind The Room into doubt, the mystery that is Tommy Wiseau just gets deeper and deeper.
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