Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Tommy Wiseau

Illustration for article titled Tommy Wiseau

Little is known about 40-year-old Tommy Wiseau: He’s an American filmmaker with a vaguely Eastern European accent. He wrote the script for The Room, peddled it to big studios, then decided to scrape together $6 million to do the thing himself in 2003. But unlike his background or personal life, the movie—which Wiseau also produced, directed, and starred in—is known in close detail by its ever-growing cult following. It tells the story of Johnny (played by Wiseau), a regular guy from San Francisco whose girlfriend Lisa is cheating on him with his best friend Mark. Simple? Sort of. There are scenes dealing with drug use, job security, softcore porn, losing underwear, and tuxedo football. (At one point, one of the characters famously says, “I got the results of the test back: I definitely have breast cancer,” and it’s never brought up again; later, a character trips while playing football, then disappears from the film altogether.) The sets are haphazard, the camerawork is blurry, most of the actors’ IMDB pages are surprisingly barren; in short, midnight-movie audiences have been eating up The Room for years in Los Angeles. And other than his appearances at Room screenings, plus a role in an episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Wiseau has remained in the shadows. He put out an independent documentary called Homeless In America in 2004, and began work on a TV pilot called The Neighbors, but that’s it. His film continues to gain exposure, though, and this week, screenings are cropping up in Chicago, New York, Austin, and beyond.


In honor of The Room’s expansion, The A.V. Club reached out to Wiseau for an interview. His assistant insisted on seeing the questions up front, then sent Wiseau’s responses within a few hours; the interview was still on, the e-mail said, but these answers were to avoid any misquotes. Here’s that first e-mail volley, as well as the follow-up phone chat with Wiseau about how he got into film, why he made his casting choices, what’s wrong with women today, and the decision to name a character Chris-R.

Via e-mail:

The A.V. Club: What have you been up to since finishing The Room?

Tommy Wiseau: Currently I’m working on The Neighbors sitcom, and feature movies like vampires, and another one. I’m also attending some screenings of The Room.

AVC: How did you audition the actors in the film? What stood out to you about them?

TW: The usual way, by interviewing actors and determining who will play the different characters, then casting them. Each character of The Room had a backup. If you are referring to the characters of The Room, each character has a different personality which you can see very clearly on the screen. If you are referring to the actors, they give me different emotions, personality which represents human behavior.

We have many Lisas, Marks, Dennys, Johnnys, and other characters from The Room in America and in the entire world.

AVC: The central plot of The Room concerns infidelity, but a lot of other things are brought to the table—drug use and terminal disease. What do you feel these other plots add to the film?


TW: All topics, issues, and subjects in The Room add to the depth of the characters in the movie, and they are equally important.

AVC: Tell me about your process as a director. Are scenes tightly scripted, or do you allow improvisation? Can you give me any examples?


TW: As a director, I have to feel realism from actors, and they can’t be plastic. The words for me are secondary, but the chemistry between the actors is most important. However, you have to go by the script because it’s related to production, otherwise you will not finish your project.

My background are acting, film production, directing, and I studied them for many years. Keep in mind that you need many other skills when you are starting any film project related to real life.


AVC: Why did you decide to set the film in San Francisco?

TW: First, I love San Francisco, and it offers spectacular scenery of the city, and it adds to the uplifting quality of the movie.


AVC: The Room has had many public screenings since being released. What is the experience like, watching other people watch your film?

TW: I’m thrilled about it, and the entire country, and as well as the entire world should see The Room in theaters and buy The Room DVD from Amazon.com, and again see it in the theaters at least three times.


AVC: Are you happy with the way the film turned out?

TW: Yes, I’m satisfied with the way The Room turned out, and I don’t want to change anything.


AVC: You also wrote a novel and play based on The Room. How does the plot translate to other formats? What differences have you noticed between formats?

TW: It is the same story, there is not difference, however, you have more descriptions and details about the characters in the novel.


AVC: You’re also writing a book about the differences between camera formats, shooting with 35mm and HD cameras side-by-side through the film’s entirety. What did The Room teach you about those types of cameras?

TW: For your information and your readers’ information, The Room is the only one feature movie which was shot on two cameras, 35mm and HD cameras at the same time. We learn many different aspects of the two camera formats, such as for example the cost of production, quality of finish product, a system approach to post-production and other aspects.


In short conclusion, the film format is the film, and the HD format can be very close to the film format, but can’t replace it. Again, that’s why I’m writing a book about it, because is base on the above facts, not base on just comparison through basic data about it, but practical experience and by doing it, not just comparing data.

Via phone:

The A.V. Club: You mentioned that you’re working on The Neighbors, a project that has been in the works for a few years. What’s its status?


Tommy Wiseau: I have a pilot, which is 22 minutes. And then basically, right now, I’m waiting for green-light, if I may say that. And long story short, I don’t know what will happen, to be honest with you. But eventually, I have a script for 10 episodes already. So that’s what the goal is.

AVC: What inspired you to write that pilot?

TW: It’s something different. I always wanted to work with a TV. So I’m open. If you know anybody who is open for it, let me know. [Laughs.]


AVC: If you’ve always wanted to work in television, what inspired you to make The Room as a film, not a series?

TW: If you ask me, you see, I prefer doing film. The reason I’m doing a sitcom is because it’s much more approachable. If you compare cost… I’m working currently on several different projects. The sitcom is funny thing I want to do, you know. It’s a much different approach. We already have a stage, we have props, we have everything. So just do it, you know.


AVC: So basically it’s just a matter of someone turning the key?

TW: Right, green-light.


AVC: Have you always been interested in film?

TW: Yeah, the film is better for me than the sitcom. But the sitcom is like much more practical approach, if I may say that, because of the cost. Everything costs money, a lot of people don’t realize that.


AVC: Did you attend film school or anything?

TW: Yes I did, but I will not tell you which one. [Laughs.]

AVC: Was it in the United States?

TW: But it was the short time, and long story short, I did some acting in college, took some workshop, classes, et cetera. But then I attend film school, and you know, my background is acting and directing. But the acting does best, I like to work on the stage. [American Conservatory Theater] San Francisco, et cetera. So whatever you see on the IMDB, that’s true story, no question about it.


AVC: A lot of actors and directors people were inspired by one movie that got them into film or acting. What was that film for you?

TW: I don’t have one, however, I will tell you that the word “inspire,” it doesn’t click in my mind, if I may say that. I like The Guns Of Navarone, I don’t know if you saw this movie, and also a James Dean movie, Marlon Brando, or Citizen Kane, etc. I have a bunch of really, I cannot say that this movie trigger interest. But the issues of acting, I used to want to be a rock star, to give you little secret. [Laughs.]


AVC: What kind of music do you like?

TW: I like rock music. I also like classical, if you ask me. I’m very adaptable, they say that. But I have certain preference too, be honest with you. I don’t like, speaking about the movie, if I may say couple more words, I like a movie that doesn’t drag too much, unless it’s purpose. In The Room, we have certain… when you ask me, I don’t want to give away. But I like a movie with an action with a certain pace. If it’s too monotone, I hate it. No, I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it, period.


AVC: So when you were editing The Room—the pace comes together in the editing room, I would imagine?

TW: You’re absolutely correct, 100. Because that also relate to ratio, you see. In The Room, I don’t know if you heard the statement ratio. Our ratio is from one to four, means that each scene we did four times. You see, a lot of people don’t… anyway, never mind. Okay continue, I’m sorry.


AVC: Let me guess what you were gonna say: That people see the film, and they assume that you did it all in one take.

TW: Yeah, that’s part of it. Because you see, a lot interviews what I have, I emphasize this. One of the biggest problem we have at the time of production, we use the two cameras. So again, you don’t have to be expert, and I don’t know you, it seems to me you have a nice voice, and you know what you’re doing. But the fact is, logically, any person will logically say, “Wait a minute, where’s the film, where’s the HD?” You see, the HD came, it doesn’t cost so much. So before production, they ask you brainstorm the plan, what is the ratio? Any filmmaker, big directors, and I’m not dropping any names—I actually have couple names I want to say, but I will not—we have a ratio. Each thing you repeat, my ratio is one to four. This choice, you see, we have a lot of footage, that we don’t have it, we don’t put in the movie because it’s the same footage, the same scene, and that’s what we call ratio one to four. Actually some people are ratio one to 34, for your information. I know couple directors, big directors, they are just shooting over and over, you know.


AVC: What did you do when, after four takes, you still weren’t satisfied with the scene? Did you have to move on?

TW: No no no, that happened—good question, by the way. My principle was, we cannot do no more than four, but occasionally we go a little higher. Occasionally. I think that was around 10 scene when we did a little higher. Again, that’s related to cost, because otherwise it’s no way you can finish the project. It’s no way.


AVC: In our e-mail interview, you mentioned that the auditions for the film were pretty standard. The role of Lisa is such an important one—what stood out, specifically, about Juliette Danielle’s take on the part?

TW: Let me say it again, and I say this many times, and I think I respond to your question as well, that we always had duplication of actors. I learned this from—my background again is acting in the theater, from a theater production. So theater actors in the theater, you have two people, and you have some people understudy. We actually have three Lisas and four Lisas, and the fact is that people did not perform the way I want it. So we let her go, some of these people, and she did better job. That’s basically what it is. And let me stress one thing, as a director right now I’m going by the chemistry of the actors, not so much words. So you see here, I don’t know, did you see The Room?


AVC: Of course. Many times.

TW: Okay, cool. So you can see it. The question is, can Michelle—you compare other girls in the movie, can she deliver what Lisa does? You see, this is the thing, the choices what I make is not subjective. It’s much more objective than subjective choices, based on what people deliver, how they deliver. The words, the line, the situation, what they think, what you can see it. Let me tell you one thing, that not a lot actors can do that, by the way. We have big stars actors, again I’m not dropping any names, very famous actors, and they doing good job, but guess what? They will not deliver. Guarantee you 100 percent. It doesn’t matter how much you pay them, they will not deliver.


AVC: Why do you think that is?

TW: It’s very complex, because human behavior is very complex. Like I’m talking to you now, I try to be nice, you try to be nice, because you want to interview me, we have certain objectives. Now, we actors, as a general speaking, we have the same thing. Where the director comes is, say… Wait a minute, what is between actors, script, and director? Well, surprise surprise, the audience. So how to please the audience? And my job as a director is now not just to please the audience, no, to led them to think about it. And I don’t know how you sense about it, but you see, right now I notice that a lot of people are much more kind for me, if I may say that, much more positive when they talk about The Room. They don’t butcher it anymore. You see, some people were just…


Let me tell you one that I am very honest about. The person who wrote the article about it for Variety did not see the movie. I do not believe he saw the movie, and I will say this publicly. Because you see, my point is, and I say this many times to everyone who knows me, that you don’t have to like my movie. I don’t ask you to like my movie, as long as you enjoyed yourself. And I think you have so many different dilemma issues, you may name it, you have there. So you may have some interest. And also the fact is—I’m just laughing because I think it’s funny too—I can’t open certain door when you are very uncomfortable with it. Perfect example is scene with the love scene. A lot of people at the screening, they are uncomfortable, they go to bathroom, they are turning their heads. You can observe the audience, this is a fact.

AVC: The bulk of the film concerns Mark, Johnny’s best friend, having a secret affair with Lisa. But at the same time, he remains Johnny’s friend. As the screenwriter, can you explain why Mark decides to cheat?


TW: This is good question. You are the first one. I’m not saying because you are Steve, I’m saying because it’s true. First of all, let me tell you this—I studied psychology; I might actually go back to school, believe it or not. So this particular observation which you describe is that, sometimes, you don’t have to say anything. When you push back, we are, you know, many kids do that, and adults do the same. It’s a certain feelings and understanding between two people. It’s the same situation when Lisa and Mark are kissing at the end, she says, “This is our secret.” Now wait a minute here, what is this secret, you just kissed her? What’s going on here? You see, this is so awkward, but the question is: Does secret continue, or secret remain as is, and we finish, we not do anymore? Well, as you know, the film is progressing and we have the same situation on the couch, even the party, still Lisa did not give up. This is the thing what drive Johnny crazy, you see. The intuition is there, you say, wait a minute, there’s something wrong here, but I just don’t believe it.

AVC: Not to give too much away, but did you always have it in mind that the film would end so… dramatically?


TW: Yes I did, because I think the… You see, it’s a lot different factor to consider why the ending is what it is. But the ending is… by the way, hopefully the book will be published this year. The film is based on a novel, The Room, and I already have the book long time ago, and I say I condense everything to the script form. But anyway, this is a lot factors that contribute to that. You look at today’s society, and you look at society 100 years ago, human behavior did not change. Environment did change, but not the human behavior. And I think that a lot of people don’t realize that. You know what I always say, simplicity is the virtue of success. Means that, as simple as an issue is, it’s much more difficult to present it. You may use the fancy words, you may use whatever you want. Just recently somebody said in some statement, I was just laughing. The simple present you better reach people than you trying to use all these fancy words. But again, it’s a free country. [Laughs.]


AVC: There’s a lot happening in The Room: infidelity, but also drugs, cancer, job stress, etc. If simplicity is a virtue, how do all these other plots fit in?


TW: I simplify as much as I could, if you ask me. Keep in mind that I have only 99 minutes to present all the obstacle life. And I think we did. From the pregnancy of a woman, if you really think about it, to cancer, to drugs, to behavior, to betrayal, to relationship between two is better than one, or three is better than two, or vice versa, two is better than three—you know, when Denny says, “I like to watch,” look at kids today. I have nephews myself. And I say, what are you doing here? “Oh yeah, I just want to watch.” In a very innocent way. But if you look at society today, society 50 years ago, look at how forward society come, and people forget about this stuff. You see I don’t know you, Steve, but I’m just telling you right now, sometimes I’m extremely disappointed with people who writing about The Room, because it’s so many angles you can go. And you can be negative, there’s nothing wrong with that. Contrary, I like free expression. I always say in my Q&A, you can write, you can cry, you can express yourself, but please don’t hurt each other. Because you see idea is that you have to have free will. You cannot just say, “Oh well, wait a minute, I will insult somebody.” No, just a minute. You see, I am not a person like that. I prefer people say straightforward, “You know what, I just don’t like this.” I have couple [writers] that apologize. I say first of all, don’t apologize to me, just express yourself. Contrary, when you honest, that’s what people should have in society. Say, “Look, I like this, I don’t like that,” or “I don’t like it at all.”


AVC: How old is Denny supposed to be in the film?

TW: He’s supposed to be around 16, 18.

AVC: What do you think Philip Haldiman brought to the role of Denny?

TW: I think he brought a lot stuff. One thing was people actually, he’s really retarded a little bit.


AVC: Is that how you wrote it?

TW: Indirectly, so he’s confused. I don’t know if you remember the scene when Johnny and Denny is talking on the roof, and he say, “I’m in love with Lisa, what’s wrong with that?” You see, this is the thing what some people missing, but this is one of the example I wanna give you. You see, we don’t talk like that. But the same time, I know dozen of people who actually do. So they’re open to say, “Yeah, I love your life, I love your girlfriend, but I really don’t like sexual, I like as a person, as a friend.” And that’s what a lot of people missing the point here. And he’s saying very quirky way, sort of innocent, very afraid of the statement what Johnny will say. “If I pay your apartment, I give you money for your school, and suddenly you try to hook up with my girlfriend. What’s going on here?”


AVC: How much of Tommy Wiseau is in the character Johnny? How much did you draw on your personal experiences?

TW: Let me say this way, very general speaking, we all have Johnnys, we have Lisas, we have Mark. In America we have across the country, the entire world. That’s my answer. [Laughs.]


AVC: The film’s poster is everywhere. How did you settle on that particular image to use in the film’s marketing campaign?

TW: Well, we call “Evil Man,” because… By the way, this is one of the good questions. If you go to The Room movie website, you can see two posters. One of the three characters—John, Lisa, and Mark, which is another poster—and then we have a poster with main characters, and then we have Evil Man. This project, Evil Man was Johnny; I mean, my face, my image, one eye is blinking a little bit. This is a provocation. Otherwise people will not talk about it. This was intentionally done, a lot of people referred to The Room as a horror movie in the beginning, I said “Wait a minute, that’s not what it is.”


Again, I’m not a famous director yet, and I’m not into fame, be honest with you. I like to just work. As a director, as an actor, whatever people consider me is fine with me. One of the things you have to understand with The Room, I never approached a studio to produce, because I know no one in Hollywood will produce this. I came to Hollywood and I said “I will produce this movie the way I want it.” It’s not a secret, you probably heard about it, yes it is true, we have three different crews, we fire some people. My biggest expression was, “On the set, you see the door, you enter through this door, have your pay, and don’t come back. Because you see, I already have a vision about The Room, I want to present it the way I want to present it.” And to answer you, Steve, I wanted people enjoy themselves. If I did The Room as a regular movie, which actually I would have soon—I’m working about vampires movie as well, it’s the other movie where we’re shooting in San Francisco again. I say shooting, I didn’t say shot, because somebody misquote me and I hate that. Somebody wrote “He is shooting,” I say, “I’m not shooting, I shot or shooting, I know what the present past or whatever you talk about.” The one will be in San Francisco dealing with relationships, and the vampires movie is again movie, you will see it will be totally different. You see, because approach is different, and people don’t realize that. And The Room is 90 percent… One of the big studios, it’s no secret, Paramount Pictures actually reviewed The Room and decided not to release it, after the movie was completed. They give me really good feedback, they say, “Good job, but we’re not interested.” We submit it to Academy Awards, etc. So I am very respectful toward big studios, what they doing, what I’m doing. I already worked with them a couple project, and we’ll see what happens.

AVC: On a video interview, you said that your favorite scene in the movie is the “tearing me apart, Lisa” scene.


TW: Yeah one of them, as well as the Chris-R.

AVC: First, what about the “tearing me apart” scene makes it your favorite?

TW: You see, Johnny coming from work, right, and he sort of everything going hunky-dory, and suddenly, we have a sense of smell, but we have a sense also of intuition. And after that, it’s something wrong here, because he hear Michelle saying, “What secret?” Long story short, he’s just furious about it. It’s something wrong here. And the reason I like the line because it’s have very impact toward people as well.


AVC: So you enjoyed playing that scene because of the emotion?

TW: Well one, the emotion, and the other aspect is that this relate to many different obstacle in life. Emotion, yes, I love emotion, for your information, very much so.


AVC: Going back, the entire scene with Chris-R. feels… No offense, but that scene didn’t have to be there.

TW: [Laughs.] No, you can say whatever. To me it’s compliment, actually. But the same time again, you have to understand that the concept with The Room is not just to present one particular issue, like the drugs, like the way you describe right now, no. We want to present the other thing. That’s why I say it’s no use for me to… If you read the book, you will see it, that Chris-R… [We] go to police station, and Johnny can go with them, actually they go together, Johnny and Mark, and then they put the pistols and the evidence et cetera, they inspect to each of them what happened, et cetera. So you have much more detail work. Here, we just don’t have time. Plus, idea behind is, we are there already oriented, so why even drill all that in the first place? But see, this is good point, I’m surprised you didn’t ask me why I put dash next to Chris-R as a character. Because see again, if I call him only Chris, I say “Wait a minute, it has to be distinguished.” I get a lot of e-mails from regular fans, and they say “Why you put dash next to R?” Because again, he is a gangster, and his initial is R, that’s why we call him Chris-R.


AVC: What else do fans e-mail you about?

TW: They ask me how I find it, what’s the budget, etc.

AVC: How did you get the $6 million for the film?

TW: Well that’s basically what I’m saying, and today I would say to you the same thing, so you already know the answer. I usually don’t like to talk about money, but I talk about the movie, and the other aspects of directing, etc. They ask me for example similar question like what is my favorite car, what’s my favorite colors, et cetera, you can go on.


AVC: Do you like cheesecake?

TW: Yeah, I do, actually.

AVC: In the film, the woman who runs the coffee shop pushes the cheesecake on every customer.


TW: Good statement, Steve. I do like cheesecake, I’ll be honest with you. That to me, is coming from my life. Some people do like it, I’m one of them. [Laughs.]

AVC: Natural follow-up: The sex scenes. How did you shoot them?

TW: Good question. Let me tell you, the love scene, to do any love scene, and I don’t care who you’re talking in the future talking to them, they will tell you the same thing I’m telling you right now. Is extremely difficult to do. We all have a shortcut. As you know, we use the two cameras, so we need two crews. And you have no shortcut. You have a lighting—of course we call it closed stage or closed production, means that we need the minimum people who are actually on the set. Closed set, we call it. But the bottom line is, with two cameras, you need least six, eight people, that’s the minimum. It’s a lot of preparation, like the lighting, we want to only have one person; instead we have three or four usually. Grips, et cetera. Closed set, nobody on the set except minimum crew possible. Basically, you have to do what you have to do.


AVC: But did you actually have sex?

TW: No, you don’t do it. You mean do you do the sex? No, absolutely not.

AVC: Do you wear special underwear or something?

TW: If you ask me precise question… general speaking, it’s extremely difficult to do as I said before. Sometimes you have a certain dilemma how far you can go, but we are not doing any sex whatsoever, zero, zip. I’m very against that, because this is not a porno movie. We call zone, if you’re in a zone position, let me give you a little history here. I don’t know if you know the acting Stanislavski Method. We have couple actors in past history that they perform in the stage. And that was the thing, killing people, okay. The person actually did kill the person on the stage, that’s a fact. The reason for it is because the person was already in the zone, we call acting zone. So it’s borderline between realism and fake. And that’s what happened with the scene sometimes, you go as real as you can. I personally think that all the scene that you see, love scene, is pretty real, almost 100 percent.


You see Juliette, she did a good job, the other girls did also good job, but she didn’t give me that realism. That’s why I decided you know what, we will cast Juliette.

AVC: What didn’t the other girls give you that you felt you needed?

TW: The chemistry was not there. The same with Mark. When you look at Mark, even though they say Mark is sort of a mannequin performance, he delivers certain innocence. If you look at James Dean, it’s the same thing. Look at James Dean movies and look at The Room, some of the characters. Compare format. This is also lead me to statement what I said before, social situation in America today did not change, meaning relationship did not change, when you look at 50 years ago, 100 years ago, through the movie today, the biggest difference is environment change, Internet, TV, etc. But I can cite you dozen of films, a dozen situation that is similar to The Room, and people are talking almost the same way. But the environment’s different, of course.


But speaking of Lisa, another aspect of her is you can see her female manipulation. I don’t know if you notice, but again I am just saying as a general speaking, I always say to girls, when I interview them at the time for The Room as well for The Neighbors, “Show me something.” You know the difference between guys and girls today? Usually girls say it’s no different whatsoever. But you see, a lot of girls, you know what they’re missing? They don’t understand that they are better than us guys, if you think about it. They are much more manipulative, that’s what Lisa is about. She can twist words around, and when she say, “I wrap Johnny around my little finger,” this is the message we have in today’s society: that the woman’s extremely strong. But other end of the story is that a lot of girls, woman, female, whatever you name it, they do not use it very instinct. This is the problem, Steve, with due respect. I don’t know how you grew up, but I’ve been many countries, and et cetera, I always find it funny that to me, girls have much more instincts of manipulation better than we guys. Because they can actually accomplish better. But today’s society says they have to be equal. They don’t have to, as long as they use their own instinct. And that’s what Lisa come from. Lisa come from a background that she knew already—that if she showed her real herself, she can get away with anything. She can lie, she can do anything. I always say, I notice—when I was going to school in Oakland as well as New Orleans—to some of the girls, I say, “Why you try to wear jeans? In a dress you’d be looking better.” “No no, we want to be equal.” I said, “Okay, you are equal, but you don’t understand what you missing.” You know, because they have much more power, that’s the idea behind it.


AVC: So what you’re saying is that women these days have a lot more power, but a lot of them don’t use that power?

TW: Exactly, thank you very much. I don’t know if you agree with me, but besides The Room, I can send you hundreds, and I’m not exaggerating, hundreds of different situation. And let me tell you… “I want to be fireman,” the women want to be firemen. Well you know what, you can be president, for God’s sake, but use your charm. You see, I always say we need in society, it doesn’t matter if you like girls, you don’t like it, it’s irrelevant. But we need colors, different colors. In acting, you would call colors. Lisa, Juliette, she delivers certain colors. In real life, she’s pretty manipulative, if you really ask me. But the same time, I think all actors including her, they did excellent job, and that lead me to, because she was understudy, and she did excellent because she was listening. Do you know that she, as well as Claudette (played by Carolyn Minnott), they never miss any rehearsals. In rehearsals, I show the actors some of the weakness on the screen. And they make notes, they really put really a lot stuff into role. A lot of people don’t know this stuff. But again, irony of the story is that today’s society as a whole, the women, they don’t use it they own instinct, and they own group will, and they can do much better.


AVC: That isn’t a very positive view.

TW: You look at backwards, 50, 60 years ago, you have many actresses, many people, woman in politics that they did very well. Today’s society, they do the same thing, but I think a lot of girls today want to equal the men, and they don’t realize it doesn’t work so well—they should use what they have, that’s my point. The Room is perfect example, because Lisa can do much better, you see. But she decide to go upward, like I go to Mark, I go to somebody else, and in the end she’s by herself, basically. So whatever you think it’s positive or negative, I still would say the same thing, that a lot of girls are missing the point. Dressed in jeans or dressed in skirts, what is better?


AVC: What’s a typical day like for you?

TW: It’s crazy. Tomorrow I have another interview and a photo shoot, and then I’m working on planning for the production.


AVC: How do you relax?

TW: That’s personal question, actually.

AVC: I don’t know, I thought maybe you like playing videogames or something.

TW: Well, I watch TV, but I don’t watch too much. I like to play basketball on my own basketball court here at my house. I do so many different activity, if you ask me. General speaking, I like sports. My next movie will be also basketball, you’ll be surprised too.


AVC: Reviews of the film tend to use some form of, “It’s so bad, it’s good.” How do you feel about that phrase, as it applies to The Room?

TW: Well you know what, you are the first person to actually say that. I think it’s a contradiction. To me, if you ask me, let’s say I saw X movie, and I said to you, “I recommend you to see this movie.” I would never say, “Well, it’s bad, but you have to see it.” I think The Room is something magnetic, a certain magnetism in The Room that is related to human behavior, and that’s why people relate to it. If you not connect to industry—basically people bashing me, as you know, it’s no secret about that—I think people who are too negative about it, I personal think they don’t know what they are talking about. Because I am a director, and actor, blah blah blah, and my idea is to entertain people. So as long as they laugh or enjoy themselves, I enjoy with them. I’m not, like, some people say, “They don’t laugh with Tommy, Tommy not laugh with them,” or something like that; no, on the contrary. I enjoy very much, and I wish I could attend all the screening in the world, it’s impossible. You see, it’s contradicting. I don’t like to use this phrase, but they come out, I think, because of the Internet, they come out with this statement. For me, it’s very difficult to understand.


Let me say five sentences, very conservative way. I call sharks—sharks meaning big studios… anyway, I don’t have so much comments except it’s like this. It is difficult sometimes to give credit to someone who is strange… I am a very simple guy. When people enjoy themselves, I like that. If they want to say it’s good, you have to see it, it’s fine with me. But, [“It’s so bad, it’s good”] is strange phrase. You didn’t offend me whatsoever.