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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

James Franco directed The Disaster Artist in the voice of Tommy Wiseau

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James Franco’s upcoming film The Disaster Artist (out Dec. 1) details the making of director-star Tommy Wiseau’s notoriously terrible movie The Room and is based on actor Greg Sestero’s memoir about its production. For a film about a bad, and initially obscure, movie, The Disaster Artist has an eye-catching cast. Franco himself plays the strange — and mysteriously-accented — Wiseau, while his brother Dave portrays Sestero. The film also features Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Zac Efron, Nathan Fielder, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Paul Scheer, Sharon Stone, Hannibal Buress, and Jason Mantzoukas, among many other notable names.

“My part is miniscule, but the movie is fantastic,” says Mantzoukas, who can currently be seen in the just-released comedy, The House. “When Tommy and Greg Sestero start to make The Room, they go to get all the filmmaking equipment they need. And Hannibal Buress and I play the people that run the rental house. There’s this great scene where Tommy is insisting both on the fact that he wants to shoot it on digital and 35mm concurrently, and that he wants to buy all of the equipment, not rent it. So, it’s this very funny scene of confusion and miscommunication between the four of them.”

Mantzoukas reveals that Franco directed the film using Wiseau’s distinctive accent and syntax.

“Franco directed the whole movie in character as Tommy Wiseau,” says the actor. “Well, I should amend that — he wasn’t in character as Tommy Wiseau, but once he started the day doing Tommy’s voice, he would spend the rest of the day doing the voice. So, it wasn’t like he was pretending to be Tommy, but it was like James using Tommy’s speech pattern and accent. It was really special and very funny.”

Watch a trailer for Sestero’s book, above.

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