A/V Blog: An evening with Greg Sestero
The Mayfair Theatre has showcased various movies and events since its’ inception in 1932: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, (which features a shadow cast of actors alongside the classic cult film), a morning filled with cartoons and cereal, and perhaps, one that they are more well known for: screening The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau, for the last 99 months.
In celebration of this landmark event, Greg Sestero made an appearance at the Mayfair, to discuss his experiences with the filming of the movie, his time with Dave and James Franco as they took his memoir The Disaster Artist and adapted it to film, and his latest collaboration with Wiseau.
Written, directed and starring Sestero himself, Best F(r)iends, is the first time the two actors share a screen almost fifteen years after The Room. Sestero was all smiles when discussing how he felt about this project during an audience Q+A, citing it as something he was so excited to create and develop with Wiseau.
During the evening, Sestero showed his documentary, featuring members of the cast and crew of The Room, as they explained their experiences with Wiseau and his hopes for the film. It was at this point that The Charlatan got the chance to speak with Sestero:
The Charlatan: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.
Greg Sestero: No worries.
TC: So, my first question for you is, how do you feel about Dave Franco’s portrayal of you in The Disaster Artist?
GS: (laughs) Dave is a really likeable guy, so we got along really well. We talked about the character of Mark and my experiences with it. I wanted him to get the idea of the character of the young, believable actor. When I first started out with the room, I was a young actor in LA who hoped that this would be my big break because I was only in one other movie before this, which was Retro Puppet Master. I really wanted him to capture how I felt, because when you’re an actor and you’re just starting out, you want to find success and fame but it’s not often what’s promised.
TC: In terms of classic genre conventions, how do you classify The Room?
GS: I don’t really think you can define it like that. It’s a whole other movie going experience, there’s nothing like it. Seeing your friend’s reactions when you go with them, it’s something on a whole other level. It’s not something you can just show like you would with any other movie, it’s something that you can’t really explain so simply.
TC: Do you have any advice for up and coming filmmakers?
GS: In this day and age, the best thing you can do is to make your own stuff. There’s so much opportunity to be creative and explore what is possible. Collaborating with people is always such an interesting time too, because you get to see your ideas from different perspectives and you adapt your own work from that. You can’t just wait for someone to call, you gotta create.
TC: You and Wiseau recently worked together again, what was that like?
GS: Oh, it was a great experience this time around, after all these years. Tommy was late, as usual, but I’m glad we’re able to continue past The Room and create something new.
TC: How would you describe Best F(r)iends? What should audiences expect?
GS: Um, I was really excited to work on this and create something new. My goal with this movie was to make it like an LA noir film, something more serious and something that would be a totally different experience from The Room. I had such a great time creating this movie and audiences should expect something different. I really hope they’re gonna like it.
TC: That sounds great, thank you so much for your time.
GS: You’re welcome, hope you enjoy the movie.
Sestero presents himself with a calm and cool aura, complete with the leather jacket and pushed back blonde hair. He’s very sincere and honest about the journey he’s been on, sharing his stories about Wiseau and their first few interactions from acting class. Sestero doesn’t regret The Room since it’s lead him on the journey he’s on today, and encouraged audiences to see The Disaster Artist.
If you’ve never seen The Room before, it’s an absolute must watch. Everything about the movie is cringy and awkward, but there’s a reason it’s cemented itself in pop culture. The Mayfair encourages audiences to get involved with the film and participate alongside it, and what better time to watch the movie during it’s 100th run.
Photo by Jas Foong