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18th of July 2018


The Room's Greg Sestero on why Tommy Wiseau wears high heels in latest film Best F[r]iends


Greg Sestero, star of cult film The Room, is in Wellington to promote his latest movie Best F[r]iends.

It's been a "crazy journey" for Greg Sestero. After all, not everyone gets to co-star in the best worst movie ever made.

​He started his career in the strange cult masterpiece that is The Room opposite one of the most eccentric actors around (Tommy Wiseau), wrote a book about that weird time (The Disaster Artist), had that book turned into a film that won a Golden Globe (with James Franco starring, and his brother Dave playing Sestero).

Now, the American actor finds himself sipping peppermint tea at Miramar's Roxy Cinema hours before showing off his latest project, the two-part film, again with the one and only Wiseau, called Best F[r]iends. But it's the Q&A with the diehard Wellington fans of The Room, that really has everyone excited.

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And diehard is a fair description. Once a month, fans venture out in their droves to sit through the two hours of The Room on the big screen. A lot of them are Weta employees the cinema's marketing manager tells me, others are plain old fans, while some arrive on the hook of a recommendation. 

READ MORE:* The Disaster Artist: A glimpse inside the ultimate Midnight movie* The Disaster Artist: How James Franco made a good movie about the worst film ever* The Disaster Artist's James Franco proves as elusive as The Room's Tommy Wiseau​* Franco tackles worst movie of all time* The Citizen Kane of bad movies* Tommy Wiseau has plans to remake The Room in 3D

It's something of a surprise for Sestero, who has just come from a couple of days speaking in Auckland. Before that he was in Melbourne and Brisbane.  All of this for the "Citizen Kane of bad films", made 15 years ago.

Greg Sestero played Mark in The Room, widely regarded as the worst film of all time.

Greg Sestero played Mark in The Room, widely regarded as the worst film of all time.

"You could never expect it, even if you made a good film - or what's considered to be a good film - right? So it's been a crazy journey. It's taught me that you don't know what life has in store for you, you might make something you think is going to be worthless and it ends up being something people respond to, or vice versa," he says.

"I've just come to try to see the positive in everything, despite people saying The Room is the worst movie or whatever, it's brought about a lot of great things."

Sestero was 25 when he starred in The Room. Now, at 39, he isn't in any rush to put the best worst movie to bed - sort of.

The Room's writer/director/financier Tommy Wiseau in a scene from the film.

The Room's writer/director/financier Tommy Wiseau in a scene from the film.

"As long as you're evolving [as an actor], I think The Room is great. It's something people keep coming back to and watching every month. It's something people love - and it's really hard to make and be a part of [something like that]. As long as I'm evolving as a person and challenging myself I have no problem being a part of it."

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The Room's major cult following worldwide is phenomenal, and it's proved to be the perfect platform for Best F[r]iends

The film - split into two parts, with the second instalment set to be released later this year - follows a homeless guy Jon (Sestero) who is invited in by a morgue owner, Harvey (Wiseau). Harvey collects gold teeth from his bodies (of whom he has utmost respect for) and Jon comes up with a cunning idea to sell the gold fillings on the black market. They make millions of dollars, but the only problem is, the taste of fortune blinds their commitment to friendship. 

James Franco, center, accepting the award for best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical for his role in "The ... Paul Drinkwater

James Franco, center, accepting the award for best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical for his role in "The Disaster Artist," as Tommy Wiseau, left, is about to take over the mic at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

It's a quirky story line, and at the end of the film you might sit there wondering, 'what the hell has captivated my eyes for the last two hours', but really, the thing is, you were really captivated.

And it's mostly the smaller details, like the high heels Wiseau wears, that make this movie all the more charming.

"I pitched (the story) to Tommy and he said, 'yeah it sounds like a good idea but I have one request: why don't you and I be same height in movie'," Sestero says.

"I'm about six inches taller... It had nothing to do with the story but I was like, sure why not."

As a result, Wiseau had platform shoes made and wore pants to cover them.

"And then he's like, you cannot show my shoes in movie, that is one rule."

Of course, his shoes are the first thing you notice.

And then there are Wiseau's hilarious lines you might think have come when he went off script. In reality, the script was the script, and the charismatic star's only ad-lib was a song about his character's friend who had died.

Oh yeah, and the time Sestero watched as Wiseau was almost killed by an overly-enthusiastic actor-slash-clown on set. Turns out he didn't really know the difference between stage combat and a real, full-on fight, despite Sestero's co-star trying to give the renegade some quick acting lessons.

"I thought, if we don't finish making this movie it was worth it just to see this go down. I laughed at that, no joke, for three to four weeks uncontrollably," he recalls.

"It's a bizarre movie."

Whether the end result ends up as beloved as Sestero's first big, cult hit remains to be seen. But the main thing is that he and Wiseau achieved what they set out to do.

"It's been called a David Lynch [film] filtered through The Room divided by The Disaster Artist, and I think that's an interesting way of putting it. I think it hits a few different notes while doing its own thing and that was the goal - I really wanted to make a movie that stepped away from [The Room] and went along on its own direction and tried do something different."

 - Stuff

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