Synopses & Reviews
The hilarious and inspiring story of how a mysterious misfit got past every roadblock in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms: a $6 million cinematic catastrophe called The Room
. Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero's nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau's last-second offer to Sestero of costarring with him in The Room
, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct — in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.
Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like "getting stabbed in the head."
The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.
"Even if you haven't seen Tommy Wiseau's cult film phenomenon, The Room, it would be a mistake to not pick up The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made." The New York Observer
"Hilarious...the stories behind the making of The Room are even more bizarre than one might expect; truly, like the film itself, they must be seen to be believed." The Paris Review
"Downright thrilling...a making-of book like no other."
Booklist, starred review
"Funny, engaging first-person account of the making of The Room....A deft, energetic narrative...an improbably resonant tale of warped creativity and friendship."
"One of the worst movies of all time has spawned one of the most entertaining books I've read in years. It's a happy ending worthy of Hollywood." A. J. Jacobs, bestselling author of Drop Dead Healthy
"The Disaster Artist has to be one of the funniest, most deliciously twisted tales I have ever read. This extraordinary book is many things: a guide on how to succeed, sort of, in Hollywood; a life lesson in the virtues of deaf, dumb, and blind persistence; a very surreal variation on the archetypal American story of the immigrant dream. But at its heart lies the story of a deep and abiding friendship that survives against all odds, and the insanely bizarre film that stands as proof." Ben Fountain, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
"The Disaster Artist is not only the terrifically engaging tale of a bad Hollywood movie, it's one of the most honest books about friendship I've read in years."
Los Angeles Times
"A book about a cinematic comedy of errors...sharply detailed...funny."
The New York Times
"A story of obsession and friendship that only Hollywood can birth....Readers aren't propelled through this book simply wondering what will happen, they're more concerned with how in the world it all happened — whether they've never heard of The Room or they've watched it dozens of times."
"I laughed so hard reading The Disaster Artist that I cried."
From the actor who lived through it all and an award-winning narrative nonfiction writer: the inspiring and laugh-out-loud funny story of a mysteriously wealthy social misfit who got past every road block in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms — the making of The Room
, “the Citizen Kane
of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly
In 2003, an independent film called The Room — written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau — made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love. While it does unravel mysteries for fans — who on earth is “Steven,” and what’s with that hospital on Guerrero Street? — The Disaster Artist is more than just a hilarious story about cinematic hubris. It is ultimately a surprisingly inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will capture your heart.
About the Author
Greg Sestero is a French-American actor, producer, and writer. He costarred in the cult phenomenon The Room
Tom Bissell is the author of several books and a winner of the Rome Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He writes frequently for Harper's and The New Yorker.