How Tim and I met the stars of ‘the Citizen Kane of bad movies’ – The Room.
It all started with an email in early November.
For months, we had known that at some point we would have to show The Room, so I was deep into researching how we would go about getting permission. Full screening rights for The Room lie with Tommy Wiseau and if he doesn’t want you to show it, you can’t show it. He’s also notoriously hard to get hold of.
I contacted the Prince Charles Cinema in London, who famously do regular screenings of the cult classic, in order to pick their brains and it was then I read the most awesome sentence ever.
“Well, Tommy and Greg are coming to London in February to present some screenings here, so if you want to ask him face-to-face, there’s your opportunity.”
TOMMY WISEAU AND GREG SESTERO ARE COMING TO LONDON?!
That was all I needed to hear. Quickly, an email was sent out to the Bristol Bad Film Brain Trust (the group of people who are regularly forced to endure the latest monstrosity that I have uncovered) informing them of this amazing news.
Their response was equally ecstatic, with one even putting forward an elaborate plan to kidnap both Tommy and Greg in order to have them at our future screening.
Tickets were promptly purchased and over the intervening months, I finally managed to get a screening licence for The Room (although that was an epic feat in its own right).
Finally the day came and eight of us made the trip to London (complete with Tube strikes) in order to see if meeting Tommy and Greg would be as awesome as we had always imagined.
They did not let us down.
In front of a crowd, Tommy is everything you’d expect him to be. Confident, funny and with one eye on the pretty girls. Greg is, understandably, fully aware that this is Tommy’s World and he’s just living in it, but seems to enjoy meeting the fans of his most infamous role.
There was also a Q&A. Sure that they must have been asked the same questions ad nauseum regarding spoons, footballs and ‘Why is it called The Room?’, I decided to try something a little different…
Keen to get Tommy and Greg to film an intro for our screening, Tim and I slipped out as the film got underway. We’d been told that Tommy and Greg hang around the bar for the film’s duration.
Not only did they sign our merchandise and pose for photos, but they both seemed genuinely interested in our screening. Tommy even mentioned that he had never been “to the country of Bristol” and would love to go, therefore we should show the film every month. Once he heard it was a charity screening, he furnished us with a bunch of free bags, and was keen to point out he also designed them himself.
As for the intro? Well, he essentially directed us on how it should be done, but then he was the only ‘qualified’ director out of us.
He also blessed Tim, who had decided that the one thing missing in his life was Tommy Wiseau underwear.
As we left the screening, happy that we’d met them both and that they were both as nice as we’d hoped, we noticed Tommy was out front playing football with the crowd who were waiting for the next screening.
Well aware of the devotion of his fans, Tommy was not going to let them down and whether you like The Room or not, you have to admire his boundless enthusiasm.