How James Franco turned the world’s worst movie into the great ‘Disaster Artist’
By Bob Strauss
If you’re like most people, you probably know James Franco best as the goofy comic actor from “Pineapple Express,” “This Is the End,” “The Interview” and the like, or the intense dramatic actor who earned an Oscar nomination for “127 Hours,” played “Spider-Man’s” best friend/nemesis in Sam Raimi’s movies and headlined an acclaimed James Dean TV biopic after getting his start on “Freaks and Geeks.”
Or maybe you recognize him as the hardest working man in show business, popping up in all kinds of roles in all kinds of shows from micro-budgeted indie films to the soap opera “General Hospital” to his recent portrayal of twins in HBO’s “The Deuce” series. Perhaps you also knew that Franco has attended some of the country’s finest universities and writes books.
You may not be aware, though, that Franco’s combined all of those interests in a series of fine but little seen adaptations of great American novels he’s directed and appeared in, including William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury,” Cormac McCarthy’s “Child of God” and John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle.”
Well, it’s all true. And it makes you wonder, a little bit anyway, why this clearly cultured talent would want to direct and star in a movie about the worst movie of all time, “The Room.” But that’s what Franco’s latest feature, “The Disaster Artist,” is, and unlike the picture it’s about, the new film is receiving rave reviews, as is Franco for his portrayal of the totally bizarre character who made and starred in the 2003 calamity-turned-cult-hit, Tommy Wiseau.
“’The Room’ has been playing for 14-and-a-half years, sort of like the new ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ but, like, even worse,” Franco, 39, chuckles about the ineptly written, acted and directed tale of romantic betrayal that novice director Wiseau thought […]