James Franco relates to Tommy Wiseau's 'outsider with a dream' story in 'The Disaster Artist' 

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
How do you go about making a movie about the making of "the greatest bad movie ever made"? When you're James Franco, very seriously.

"Essentially it's about the artistic process. It's about outsiders with a dream. But it also has commercial possibilties and potential," Franco told our Devon Soltendieck of The Disaster Artist while in Toronto for TIFF. 

The film tells the story behind the 2003 movie The Room, which was financed, written by, directed by and stars the mysterious Tommy Wiseau. While it could have easily gone completely unnoticed upon release, over the years it's reached cult status, thanks to its bizarre script, dropped storylines, poor production value and all around random, inexplicable elements. 

Franco takes on the role of Wiseau, a man with mysterious origins and an indecipherable accent, neither of which he tends to discuss. As an artist, Franco says he could relate to the character, and it was important to him not to appear like they were making fun of him with The Disaster Artist.


"That's one of the things I really admire about Tommy is he got his movie made despite the whole world telling him no no no no no no. Hee got that thing made. The problem was... he felt like nobody was on his side, and so then he coudln't collaborate well in a colalborative medium."

The project was a family affair for James, whose brother Dave plays Greg Sestero, an actor who co-starred in The Room, and wrote the book on which The Disaster Artist is based.

As Dave told Devon, James connected with Tommy so much, it was sometimes hard to tell them apart.

"He had the Tommy makeup and he was doing the accent the entire time," he says of  his older brother, who also directed The Disaster Artist. "It was kind of like we were being directed by Tommy at points. But ... there was new people showing up [to shoot cameos] every day, so you kind of had to prep them and be like, 'So you're not going to really see James today.'"


With the world Oscar being tossed about in reference to James' performance, Dave thinks it would be a perfect end to The Room's story.

"He's had so many incredible roles, I swear to god this was the role he was born to play," he says. "The fact that there is even Oscar talk... it is pretty incredible."

Wiseau and Sestero, who both attended the Toronto premiere of The Disaster Artist would also likely use the word incredible to describe their journey from The Room to The Disaster Artist.

On the red carpet, Wiseau said he was mostly impressed with James' work on the retelling of his breakthrough project -- with the exception of how he handled one recurring prop from The Room.

"He didn't know how to throw a football, that's all," Wiseau says. 

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