Award-winning actor and writer James Franco is a Hollywood Renaissance man, who’s now earning praise for a film he’s directed about a cult classic movie that won nothing but raspberries. Tony Dokoupil has our Sunday Profile:
“The Room” has become the stuff of Hollywood legend, a 2003 film so bad isn’t almost … good. It’s considered one of the worst movies of all time. And the film’s director and star, Tommy Wiseau, has become a cult hero.
Fourteen years later, his film is still in theaters, with a line down the block for a midnight showing at the Landmark Regent Theatre in Los Angeles.
“There are a lot of things I would like to do other than watch a bad movie for two hours. And yet you have hundreds of people in there. Why are people packed for this?” asked Dokoupil.
“Well, you’ll see,” James Franco replied. “It’s an event!”
Wiseau and his critical flop are now the subject of a new film that’s a critical darling, “The Disaster Artist,” directed by and starring Franco as Wiseau.
Wiseau introduced him to “The Room”‘s fans — and Franco decided to address them in Wiseau’s curious accent. [“Everyone close your eye and see if you know who talking!”]
“I think Tommy is artist, you know, and I, like, tell story about artist, great artists,” Franco said.
Franco, too, is an artist, and a serious one. You may have seen him in “Spider-Man,” or his Oscar-nominated role in
But he’s also written fiction and poetry, and stage dart exhibitions over the course of his two-decade-long career.
Today, Franco — now almost 40 — says he’s slowing down … and putting a new focus on Franco.
Two weeks ago he got a new surfboard, and invited Dokoupil along for its maiden voyage.
To hear him tell it, the new James Franco swims with a different kind of Hollywood shark. On his very first day surfing, a shark appeared: “A baby great white,” he laughed. “This fin, like ‘Jaws,’ pops up.”
No fin sightings this time. But Franco barely escaped Dokoupil’s wobbly first ride of the day.
His board wasn’t so lucky. “Brand new board. Virgin session. Tony sliced it!” Franco said.
You could say…