A cheering, full house audience greeted Greg Sestero in the Library Community Room on Friday, August 10 for the Film & Author Night showcasing both “The Disaster Artist” movie and book. Sestero, a South Pasadena resident, first gained widespread attention for his portrayal of Mark in the enduring cult hit “The Room.” Greg later co-authored a book about its making, “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ The Greatest Bad Movie Ever made.” The book and the film both tell the hilarious, sometimes heartwarming story about the power of friendship and following one’s dreams. The South Pasadena Public Library collection contains checkout copies of “The Disaster Artist” book –donated by Greg Sestero, as well as a DVD and a Blu-Ray copy of “The Disaster Artist” film. James Franco’s film adaptation of “The Disaster Artist” book was nominated for two 2017 Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) and won for Best Actor (Musical Comedy) for Franco. It also garnered one Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
The free event, presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the Library, amply demonstrated that “The Disaster Artist” had strong appeal for a general movie audience comprised older teens and those on up to the senior citizen sector, with no age gaps in between.
Although 2003’s “The Room,” was dubbed a “disasterpiece” and “the Citizen Kane of bad movies,” it was not a film that never could have ever been anticipated to play continuously for midnight theatre audiences around the world for 15 years. The Disaster Artist., the film about the making of “The Room” is a first class experience for moviegoers all the way. It’s directed by and stars James Franco as the mysterious Tommy Wiseau, a unique, unforgettable actor and filmmaker, and also showcases the talents of Dave Franco as Greg Sestero, as well as Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, and Alison Brie, who grew up in South Pasadena.
Carl Kozlowski, film critic and arts editor for the “Pasadena Weekly,” asked Greg a number of probing questions during the lively Q & A including whether or not his feelings were hurt when watching “The Room” was compared to getting stabbed in the head. Greg was also asked if he had finally learned specific details about Tommy Wiseau’s background. A member of the audience asked Greg if he and Tommy are still best friends and if he still talks to him every day. Greg revealed that he had just received a text from Tommy only 20 minutes earlier inquiring about the Library showing.
As fans lined up to meet Greg up close, and to purchase books, screenplays, and DVDs, it was evident how well Greg Sestero had connected with the audience.
Many compliments were voiced about how much fun the event had been. Deserving of mention for their support toward the success of the evening are 210eastsound, The Friends of the Rialto Theatre, and Videotheque.
When Greg was asked what is next on the horizon for him and Tommy, he revealed that they have a new film together called “Best F(r)iends” for which Greg wrote the screenplay. Filming began in January 2017 and a key scene was shot in the South Pasadena Library, as well as other locations in Los Angeles. Shooting also took place in Big Sur and Las Vegas.