Exc: Interview and clip with Tommy Wiseau & Greg Sestero for Best F(r)iends

In 2003, a mysterious filmmaker by the name of Tommy Wiseau arrived on the Hollywood scene alongside his good friend, Greg Sestero. Together, the two unknowns starred in a film directed, written and executive produced by Wiseau titled THE ROOM. While often referred to as "the CITIZEN KANE of bad movies," THE ROOM has undoubtedly achieved much as a cult classic favorite among fans of the genre. To this day, people from all across the globe flock to special screenings of THE ROOM, no doubt to revel in its unique majesty. Now, 15 years after their on-screen pairing debut, Wiseau and Sestero are back with the comedic thriller BEST F(R)IENDS VOLUME 1 Directed by Justin MacGregor, the film tells the story of when a drifter befriends a quirky mortician, and an unlikely business partnership is formed. Paranoia soon develops, however, and both men are forced to come to terms with the fragility of friendship and loyalty.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with both Greg and Tommy about their latest collaborative effort, and let's just say that the conversation goes to some pretty strange places. We're talking killer clowns, acting beside real cadavers, playing basketball in platform shoes, and much more. Enjoy!

Greg, I’ve heard it through the grapevine that the events of BEST F(R)IENDS were inspired by a road trip that both you and Tommy took together in April of 2003. Can you tell me how that trip relates to the film, and how the journey aided to your creative process?

Greg: “We did take a trip together, yeah. Tommy had been checking out this old mortuary, saying that it had been closed for a long time and was supposedly haunted. So we’re driving up the coast - and anyone who’s driven up there knows that it tends to get windy and very foggy late at night - and I thought it’d be a better idea if we stayed up there and came back the next day. So there was this one little random hotel in the middle of nowhere, and then I told Tommy that maybe it’s better for me to go in and get the room. I said he could meet me around back, because back then, I think vampires weren’t as cool as they are now [laughs],” said Greg, referring to Tommy’s signature goth-like appearance. “Tommy found that a little strange, and it sort of became this little joke between us for a long time. He wondered if I’d had something I was planning. I mean, I wasn’t at all, but I always thought it was funny in a way, and so I drew on that.” Sestero added.

“The road trip was really the driving force for the story, as well as the gold teeth. My brother’s a dentist, and he was telling me about this real life business where dentists sell their scrap, and that some make more money from that than dentistry. There were all of these bizarre stories sort of hovering around me, so I just kind of plugged them into this world in my mind and that’s how the story came together.”

Did you happen to come across any one story that was deemed too bizarre for the movie?

Greg: “Yeah, I mean, we did have to cut out quite a bit of stuff. There was a lot of strange, dreamy stuff where we were going to Vegas and the car breaks down. One thing I learned when writing the script is to be mindful about what’s acceptable to shoot. A lot of the time we have ideas that we think are grand, but they’re a nightmare to shoot. What I learned on this film is that you can tell a story without having to do too much, in a sense of coming up with elaborate themes. The whole movie is very crazy, but I think a lot of the craziness made it into the film.”

Tommy, after being so heavily involved in the making of THE ROOM, what was it like for you to act from of a script written by your best friend?

Tommy: “Ah, pretty good. I read the script just like anything else and I said ‘Let’s do it.’ I’m a very simple guy, so I try to stay away from politics. Greg and I, we would always talk about it, and I would encourage him to make a movie. Despite the struggles of THE ROOM, I love THE ROOM. I love the fans. I’m very proud of Greg and I think that I’ve accomplished a lot as an actor. I’m not sure if people enjoy it or not but I try my best.”

What was it like to step into the role of a shifty mortician for BEST F(R)IENDS? Did you do any research for the part or did you just dive right in?

Tommy: “Well, both. I did some research, you know, based on the script. You have to keep in mind that we set up in a real morgue, so we actually had real bodies around while we were shooting. There was something surreal about it in the sense. I’ve always been big on realism. Special effects are all hunky dory but I always want the real thing. Best F(r)iends accomplished that, friendship before money. Definitely preparation was there. You have to prepare for that as an actor. We would do the rehearsal, I would ask Greg questions about my character, and who he expects me to be, and basically that’s what transpired.”

Did you feel like having real cadavers in the room changed the atmosphere on set?

Tommy: “Absolutely, I mean, imagine needing to act while having this real dead person next to you. I grew up with family that always said that you need to have real respect for others. People don’t always understand that I’m very big on that. At the end of the day, to have a real dead body there, you go ‘Wow,’ am I still working? Do you go home? Do you take a shower? But we keep going. The body is there, we did the scene, and the producer says you have to do what you have to do [laughs]."

What was it like working with BEST F(R)IENDS director Justin MacGregor?

Greg: “I met him through a mutual friend, after he saw THE ROOM and was fascinated by it. We both shared a love for movies of all genres. And so I was very focused on having BEST F(R)IENDS be different than THE ROOM, with a very different vibe and look. That was really important to me, and as someone who understood THE ROOM, and knew why THE ROOM worked, Justin knew why we wanted something entirely different.”

Tommy: “Like I always say, the more skills you have the better. At one point I had to say something about the wardrobe, because the choices were really odd - a little awkward to me. Still, I enjoyed working with everybody there and I think that everyone did a good job, overall.”

Now that you’ve mentioned your character’s wardrobe, I have to ask, what was it like to film in some of the heavier outfits you were wearing? After all, your character wore a lot of black with heavy jackets and chains.

Greg: [Laughs] "Luckily we shot during the rainiest season in LA in 30 years. It rained every day. It was cool though, it was an LA movie that had rain in so many scenes. If you look in the background there are all these green mountains. I’d never seen that. Essentially, the jacket was needed,” Greg says in reference to having Tommy’s outfit stand out against the film’s natural backdrop."

If I could, I’d like to talk sports with you just for a moment. In THE ROOM, you played football, and in BEST F(R)IENDS you play basketball. So, Tommy, if you and Greg were to play a traditional game of Horse, who do you think would win?

Tommy: “Probably Greg, but recently I’ve gotten much better at basketball. He’s a little taller though, so he probably has a better chance to win, but you never know. [Laughs]”

I must say that I believe you, especially after seeing your moves in the film while wearing those platform shoes.

[Both Tommy and Greg laugh riotously in unison]

Tommy: “I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I never complain, you can ask Greg. That was my goal, every day, because I have a lot to say at the time that we’re shooting, but I say ‘Look, this is not your project,’ but I would give my five cents. Especially when we filmed the clown scene. Greg, do you remember the clown?”

Greg: "Yeah. That was the funniest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life; watching this scene in which a clown rises from the table while Tommy’s typing on a typewriter. So the clown, the actor, he just goes up, and I thought that he was just going to tap Tommy, but he violently started choking Tommy with all of this force. I was watching the scene, watching Tommy struggle to stay alive, and Tommy’s like ‘Cut!’ Then Tommy jumps up and says, ‘Do you know anything about acting?’ It was Tommy yelling at a clown while giving him acting lessons, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen and Tommy was like, ‘What’s going to happen next on this set?’"

Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from BEST F(R)IENDS VOL. 2?

Greg: “Volume 2 comes out in January of 2019, and like Volume 1 it’s a very bizarre, twisty experience. It has a whole different aesthetic. I think that if you think of the inspiration for Vol. 1, you think of NIGHTCRAWLER or DRIVE. I think for Vol. 2 you can kind of go in the direction of BREAKING BAD or NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. They’re very different films. I think the easiest way to sum up Volume 2 is if Tommy and Greg did BREAKING BAD."

How has the cult status of THE ROOM and the success of THE DISASTER ARTIST changed your lives?

Tommy: “It did change in a certain way, but I’ve always been passionate about acting, and directing as well. Again, I was very proud of Greg as I watched him set up the location for the movie, because that’s what I did for THE ROOM. Because we filmed in two locations, people don’t always understand the cost of shooting green screen versus a real rooftop. Again, I always do what I can, with money or without money, you know? [Laughs] You have to commit yourself and know who you are. Creative and constructive criticism is very important. There’s nothing wrong with people who come up to you and say, ‘I didn’t like THE ROOM.’ That’s okay, and it’s okay with Tommy as well. BEST F(R)IENDS is a different cookie cutter, so I think people will hopefully enjoy it.”

Greg: “I think my life did change in a good way, in certain aspects, with regard to writing and producing. I’ve realized that, as an actor, there’s more than one way of telling a story. I’ve kind of grown to have a broader love for film. I think it would be interesting to write and produce a film and not be in it, so I think my interest have changed in that way. I’d rather diversify at this point than focus solely on acting.”

In addition to our exclusive interview coverage we also have an exclusive clip from the film to share with you as well:

In the clip, Jon (Sestero) gives Harvey (Wiseau) the low-down on their newest buyer for the dental scrap. Shortly thereafter, we witness Jon and Harvey's first meeting, which is promptly followed by Harvey giving his new friend a tour of his workplace.

BEST F(R)IENDS VOLUME 1 is now available to own worldwide via Digital and On Demand.

Source: JoBlo



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