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Do You Need to See ‘The Room’ Before Watching ‘The Disaster Artist?’ James Franco, Ari Graynor Weigh In

Plus, the cast shares the one thing they learned from making a film about the worst movie ever made

Do you need to see 2003’s “The Room” before watching “The Disaster Artist” when it goes wide this weekend? Stars James Franco and Ari Graynor say, not necessarily.

“No, they don’t have to see ‘The Room,'” Franco, who plays Tommy Wiseau in the film, told TheWrap. “This is a movie about friendship so everyone can understand it.”

Graynor — who in “The Disaster Artist” plays Lisa, the actress playing Wiseau’s fiancee in “The Room” — agreed: “I don’t think you need to. ‘The Disaster Artist’ operates on two levels: if you’ve seen ‘The Room,’ it’s a love letter to the film and a scavenger hunt for fans. If you haven’t, it’s a movie about big dreamers and making your art no matter what people think.

“It’s a win-win either way. But if you haven’t seen it before, you will definitely want to see it after,” she added.

“The Disaster Artist” chronicles the making of “The Room,” which has been described in pop culture as the worst movie ever made. Wiseau and his friend Greg Sestero form a friendship and move to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

Franco’s brother, Dave Franco, stars as Sestero, while “The Disaster Artist” also stars Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Paul Sheer, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver.

In another recent interview with TheWrap, Sestero said, “‘The Disaster Artist’ isn’t really about ‘The Room.’ It’s about friendship and how dreams can come true. I know older couples who hadn’t seen ‘The Room’ who went to go see this film and didn’t really feel the need to go see ‘The Room’ afterwards but just enjoyed this journey and were very touched by it.”

Franco added that he watched “The Room” a “thousand times,” but the cast and crew made “The Disaster Artist” in such a way “that you understand what ‘The Room’ is about without watching it.”

The movie, while it has its funny moments, also conveys a deeper message: that everyone should follow their dreams no matter who or what stands in the way.

The one thing Franco learned from directing and starring in “The Disaster Artist,” he told TheWrap, was that “everyone has dreams, and it’s the people that follow those dreams fearlessly, no matter how crazy they are, that get something done.”

Graynor learned something from Wiseau himself: “Tommy never let any of the actors read the script so when he would give direction that made no sense, for lines that made even less sense, and people would ask for clarification he would just say ‘that’s the twist.’ Seeing what’s happening with ‘The Disaster Artist’ now, I wonder if Tommy was right all along —┬ábecause this is a hell of a twist.”

“The Disaster Artist” opened in limited theaters last week and is expanding to 800 theaters this weekend.