James Franco on Portraying Tommy Wiseau in 'The Disaster Artist' and the Most Surprising Thing About Acting | Actor Roundtable
"Everybody that comes to Hollywood is on the outside with a dream. It's all of us," Franco told THR.
“I watched [The Room] about 50 times. It’s like the gift that keeps giving. People just keep coming back. You have to, sort of admit, there's something there,” James Franco, who stars as Tommy Wiseau in the upcoming film The Disaster Artist, said on The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable. “I don't think it's just that he made strange, bizarre, choices all the way through. I think it's partly the magic sauce, that there is so much passion underneath.”
Although The Room, which became a “cult hit,” premiered in 2003, it has consistently been playing in theaters in almost every major city once a month for the past 14 years.
On the film's unconventional success, Franco said, “There are thousands upon thousands of bad movies that we will never watch again, but people watch this one over and over, and I think it's partly because of the heart and soul underneath.”
The Oscar-nominated actor (127 Hours) took a respectful approach on capturing Wiseau and his experiences as a filmmaker. “I tried to make the best movie I could, but it was about how I treated him. I treated him with respect as an outsider artist just trying to do what we're all trying to do. Everybody that comes to Hollywood is on the outside with a dream. It's all of us.”
Franco’s acting career has spanned decades, and he shared with the Roundtable why he finds his industry such a special one to work in saying, “[Acting] is one of the only professions, I think, where you get to work with all your heroes and in such an intimate way. In most cases it's usually just a dream come true in addition to everything else.” He continued, “my guess is there’s not a lot of professions that work quite that way.”
The full Actor Roundtable also features Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell and Willem Dafoe, and will air Sunday, Jan. 28, on SundanceTV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top films.