Meet The Room-mates
Oh hi, readers. After a getting rousing reception as a work-in-progress screening at South by Southwest and a subsequent world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this fall, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is finally hitting theaters. The Oscar-nominee directs and stars in the comedy about the making of The Room, the 2003 cult favorite that has been called the “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” And to play The Room‘s little-known cast, Franco rounded up an impressive ensemble of high-profile names. Ahead of The Disaster Artist’s limited release on Friday (out nationwide on Dec. 8), see the actors side-by-side with their real-life The Room counterparts.
James Franco as Tommy Wiseau
In addition to directing, Franco takes on the lead role of Tommy Wiseau, the mysterious figure behind the cult classic. Wiseau, who speaks with a thick Eastern European accent despite claiming to be from Louisiana, wrote, produced, directed, and starred in The Room, playing Johnny, a dog-loving, water bottle-throwing, football- tossing banker.
Dave Franco as Greg Sestero
The younger Franco portrays Greg Sestero, The Room‘s second leading man, who wrote the book on which The Disaster Artist is based. Sestero starred as Johnny’s best friend, Mark.
Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle
The I’m Dying Up Here star plays The Room‘s leading lady Juliette Danielle. In her debut film role, Danielle portrayed Lisa, the object of affection for both Johnny and Mark.
Josh Hutcherson as Philip Haldiman
The strangest role in The Room (and that’s saying something) goes to Philip Haldiman’s Denny, the third-wheeling, pillow-fighting, who-knows-how-old-he-is neighbor. Josh Hutcherson, who worked on Franco’s In Dubious Battle, dons Denny’s striped shirt for Disaster Artist.
Zac Efron as Dan Janjigian
In a scene-stealing cameo, Zac Efron frightens and delights with his aggressive portrayal of Dan Janjigian’s beanie-wearing, drug-dealing character, Chris R. Yes, he goes by Chris R., and we have no idea what the R stands for.
Nathan Fielder as Kyle Vogt
The Nathan For You mastermind takes a break from saving struggling businesses to play Kyle Vogt, who starred as Mark and Johnny’s psychologist friend Peter. The character was to have a bigger role in The Room, but with filming taking much longer than expected, he departed before the film was completed. And to think of the other glorious football scenes that could have been!
Jacki Weaver as Carolyn Minnott
Franco didn’t just recruit his friends for The Disaster Artist. Two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver portrays Carolyn Minnott, who played Lisa’s mother, Claudette. Yes, the character with the random (and strangely never mentioned again) breast cancer plot line.
Seth Rogen as Sandy Schklair
Franco’s friend and frequent collaborator portrays The Room‘s script supervisor Sandy Schklair, who has said that he, and not Wiseau, is the film’s true director. (Wiseau denied this in a 2011 interview with EW, saying, ”He was hired as a script supervisor. If he was my assistant, so be it. But direct? I don’t think so.”)
The Disaster Artist
No need to tear yourself apart over this one — The Disaster Artist arrives in theaters Friday.