“Our movie seems to have two different faces to it. We are getting a lot of awards recognition and great critical response. But audiences are really taking to our movie,” declares James Franco about his new film “The Disaster Artist” which has him directing, producing, and starring. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “It’s such a nice energy that I love being around. The first weekend, I went around to different theaters in L.A. and introduced it and then just sat in the back when they didn’t even know I was there. It felt so good that people were having such a good time! It’s almost like this movie is weirdly schizophrenic because it seems to be a huge audience pleaser… but hits a deeper chord where people are recognizing the effort we put into it.”
The film tells the real-life behind-the-scenes story of “The Room,” the 2003 cult movie that is one of those “so bad it’s good” classics still being played in art houses. Franco portrays Tommy Wiseau, a man with an almost indecipherable accent that aspires to be a Hollywood actor. He is turned down frequently and decides to make his own movie with best friend Greg Sestero (played by Dave Franco). To this day, nobody knows the real age or place of origin for Tommy or even how he turned up with the millions he needed to film the movie he wrote and directed.
For this year’s awards, “The Disaster Artist” is already taking off. It has Best Actor nominations for Franco at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics’ Choice, and Independent Spirit Awards. The film has comedy bids at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are nominated at the Critic’s Choice Awards and won for Best Adapted Screenplay with the National Board of Review.
Regarding this recent success, Franco says, “I’ve been down this awards path before with ‘127 Hours’ and a bit with ‘Milk,’ but this is the first time I’ve had a project that I directed that’s getting this kind of attention. It’s humbling. It’s gratifying…. The subject matter is very personal to me. This is a project that involves my family with my brother and my sister-in-law but also so many of my good friends. Seth Rogen is a friend and collaborator for 20 years now.”
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