Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero will go down in history as one of the most charismatic, enigmatic and mesmerising duos Hollywood has ever seen.
Their friendship is unique. Their road to stardom like no other. And the way they make movies will simply not be replicated by any writer, producer, or director for all of time.
After The Room, and the money subsequently made from it, you’d think these two best friends would simply ride off into the sunset, enjoy their wealth and have some fun.
And yet that’s exactly how Tommy and Greg came up with their latest movie, aptly named Best F(r)iends.
In 2003 we were taking a road trip up the California coast to Bodega Bay and there was this mysterious morgue up there that was abandoned and haunted.
We took this weird trip up there and it was really late and I didn’t want to drive all the way back so we were going to stay at this hotel and I thought it would be easier to get a hotel room on my own and for Tommy to meet me round the back.
He thought that was suspicious and I was up to no good and that’s where the story came from.
Though they laughed about the movie’s inception, the movie explores themes similar to that of The Room – friendship, betrayal, love, jealousy. You get the gist.
Greg plays a regular down-and-out who lives under a bridge and wants to make some money to get out of the predicament he finds himself in. One day, his life would change forever when he encounters an eccentric mortician who runs his own morgue, played by Tommy.
The opening 30 minutes of the film sees their friendship blossom, before Greg’s simple plan to sell dead people’s teeth on the black market backfires and puts a strain on these two brand new best friends.
Coupled with the introduction of a love interest, that’s when it all gets a bit weird…
My brother is a dentist and he told me about the business a lot of dentists run where they sell dental scrap.
It’s kind of an underground business and gold and silver is worth so much now that they make more through that than dentistry.
The teeth you see in the movie are actually real teeth he gave me.
At this point, Tommy, unusually quiet, chimed in:
About the teeth, you know, Hitler used to do it too. In World War 2, they used to do it. Hair, teeth… it was a huge big business.
Following The Disaster Artist, and how Tommy and Greg’s relationship was portrayed in it, it may seem coincidental they released a film called Best F(r)iends so shortly after their story was plastered all over the silver screen.
But as it turns out, they’d planned this long before.
“It’s random how it worked out. We started shooting two years ago, so well before The Disaster Artist was coming out,” Greg explained.
“We just went out and made the movie because we wanted to work again but it was almost perfect timing. We’ve evolved and it was a good chance to show people our new idea.”
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Their newest idea saw them film Best F(r)iends out of a working morgue in LA. Only, the morgue they were filming in was still running day-to-day business which meant dead bodies were being carted in and out all day – the kind of set only Wiseau and Sestero could work out of.
Talking about the experience of filming on a morgue, it’s plain to see Tommy’s eccentricities and desire to create something that truly touches the human soul are still being balanced out by Greg’s measured telling of their tales, all these years later.
Tommy Wiseau: While we were filming, the bodies, the dead bodies, they were arriving. It was on the same lot and it was pretty horrific because I didn’t expect that. It’s weird, I was just like ‘Oh my God, maybe they’re dead, maybe they’re alive’ but it was just dead bodies. I was completely shocked.
Greg Sestero: You go next door and you have these bodies there and they’re really weird.
TW (snapping): Stop saying next door, it was right there.
GS (laughing): It was this real morgue in LA that recreated a replica set next door that you could film on. It was on the same lot and they gave us a lot of feedback and advice and stories about what we were making.
TW: The morgue was together on one lot, one stage. The bodies arrived in the same gate as when we arrived with the cameras. I’ve never experienced anything like that and it was so eerie. You can’t imagine how eerie it was. Shooting on the morgue gave the film a distinctly unique feel and actually ended up influencing a few scenes any fan of The Room would have recognised. Replace the American football with a basketball and you can probably picture it…
GS: When the bodies came in, sometimes we’d have to stop filming. Tommy and I picked up playing basketball in the last few years so we just started playing on the lot.
There’s obviously random call backs like the basketball scene and it was just a dumb thing we ended up including. Everything that’s in Best F(r)iends worked its way in organically, there was no plan to bring anything in to do with The Room. The Room is a force that appears when it wants to, Best F(r)iends is its own thing.
Tommy interjected at this point: Best F(r)iends is nothing to do with The Room, bottom line.
Overall, Best F(r)iends is yet another completely unique Wiseau-Sestero rollercoaster, tied together by their friendship and the story which has so brilliantly and mysteriously preceded it.
As they’ve been at pains to reiterate, Best F(r)iends stands alone as a movie, inspired by a true story and events they’ve experienced together.
But with clear stylistic and thematic callbacks to their accidental masterpiece The Room, any fan of Wiseau and Sestero would be wise to get themselves to the cinema to see Best F(r)iends as soon as they can.
And for anyone wondering, Tommy finally answered where he’s from. In the film, he said ‘Planet Earth’.
To me he said:“I’m American, I’m very proud of it. Watch Best F(r)iends and watch The Room and have fun.”
Best F(r)iends Volume 1 is available worldwide on digital and on demand now.
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