Greg Sestero, who was launched into cult movie fame for his performance in Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room,” says that James Franco’s biopic “The Disaster Artist” is less about the making of that infamous film and more about the tumultuous friendship between him and the enigmatic director. Now that relationship has served as the inspiration for “Best F(r)iends,” the upcoming film written by Sestero and planned for a 2018 release will see him and Wiseau reunite on-screen fifteen years after “Oh, hi, Mark!”
If you’re expecting “The Room 2,” you shouldn’t. While “The Room” was Wiseau’s creation through and through, “Best F(r)iends” will be directed by Justin MacGregor and is based in part on a road trip Wiseau and Sestero took shortly after production on “The Room” was finished. Sestero plays Jon, a drifter who lost his family to a tragic accident and who is taken on an adventure by a mortician named Harvey Lewis, played by Wiseau. Together, the two hatch a get-rich-quick plan that quickly tests their newfound friendship.
The idea for “Best F(r)iends” traces its roots back to last year, when Sestero saw a rough cut of “The Disaster Artist,” prompting a reflection on his past with Wiseau, both good and bad. What stood out the most for him on this stroll down memory lane is that ultimately Wiseau wanted to be taken seriously as an actor. Even though the legacy of “The Room” hasn’t exactly pushed him towards that goal, Sestero still believes in Wiseau, and so he wrote Harvey Lewis as a role tailor-made for him.
“I’ve seen him and I know he can deliver something that can be captivating if it’s just handled properly,” he said. “So I decided to make a movie with a part that he can really dive into and take seriously and try to really make him act. I didn’t think he would do it, but one day he just texted me out of the blue and said that we should just take a risk and try it.”
As anyone who’s seen “The Disaster Artist” knows, shooting “The Room” wasn’t exactly a “pleasant experience.” But that’s exactly the words Sestero used to describe working with Wiseau on “Best F(r)iends,” as both men had something in this project that stoked creative passion. It’s a interesting new turn in a relationship built on arguably the most unique entry in the cult movie canon, and if you’ve seen “The Disaster Artist” and are amazed that Sestero and Wiseau are still friends today, Sestero would like you to know that he’s surprised too.
“For a time after the movie, we didn’t speak with each other,” he said. “But to be honest, ‘The Room’ is something that brought us together. It seems insane, and it is, but because we got there and we have a certain level of respect for each other because of that, there’s still a friendship that’s endured and isn’t easy to explain…much like ‘The Room’!”
Check out Sestero’s thoughts on “The Disaster Artist” and the legacy of “The Room” here