When Tommy Wiseau appeared from wherever he’s actually from (the consensus is still out on that one) and crafted the bizarre, wonderful, atrocious monstrosity called The Room – the Citizen Kane of bad movies, as it is proudly now known – he clearly didn’t understand what he had actually made. A drama without peers, the salacious story of some harpy named Lisa (Juliette Danielle) who tears apart the sanity and heart of her future-husband Johnny (Wiseau), all just to have an affair with his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero), it’s a masterpiece of side-plots (Breast Cancer! Bay-to-Breakers! Chris-R!), green screens, eschewing subtly and really capturing the beauty of San Francisco through about five or 100 tracking shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.
In the years since 2002, The Room has, of course, evolved into an unstoppable monster of cult success, leading to midnight Rocky Horror-style screenings (don’t come unless you’re armed with plastic spoons), endless quotables and years of audiences listening with a mix of fascination and admiration (and a little bit of horror) to Wiseau to wax poetic about his life’s philosophy when he inevitably shows up to a showing or two.
Though one can argue it never went away, The Room came back to public attention when Sestero wrote his memoir “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room”, a tome that detailed exactly what life was like working alongside Wiseau and hearing all of his nonsensical ideas firsthand. Please catch a bit from the audiobook if you get a chance; Sestero does a marvelous impression of Wiseau explaining to him how Johnny should actually be a vampire and how his Mercedes should be able to fly. You know, like Grease? But with Tommy Wiseau? The book is being turned into a film by Seth Rogen and James Franco, if you weren’t aware.
Now, another player from The Room’s supporting cast has wised up and realized that the world needs to know how her life was forever changed. Robyn Paris, who played Michelle, Lisa’s best friend with the unfortunate boyfriend with the “underwears”, has launched a kickstarter to film a mockumentary called The Room Actors: Where Are They Now? Though the title needs a little work, Paris has a great idea. She’s rounding up everyone The Room left behind – herself, Danielle, Philip Haldiman (Denny), Carolyn Minnott (Claudette) and Kyle Vogt (Peter) and making a “Christopher Guest-style mockumentary in the vein of This Is Spinal Tap” about their lives post-Wiseau.
They’re very upfront about the premise of the film and the reason for its existence. Though The Room is a cult phenomenon, they were all paid a few hundred bucks for their roles and never made anything else. They’ve also never quite gotten any other work again because of, well, think about it. Props to Minnott for wearing a “Breast Cancer” t-shirt in the pitch film and for Paris propping up a painting of a spoon in the living room. They know, guys.
Apparently, Paris was approached at a screening by Michael Cera, who encouraged her to stop fighting her past and embrace her place in bad movie history. Paris has written a script, and the extended cast will include players from Upright Citizens Brigade, The Groundlings and Improv Olympics. If they make enough money, the mockumentary will develop from beyond a short film to possibly a web series or even a feature film. They seem to be on their way; as of now, they’ve reached $14,735 of their $18,000 goal.
Danielle puts it bluntly, and has a point: “You’ve seen me naked, most likely multiple times, so the least you can do is donate.”