By Haley Costen
On Saturday Nov. 22, a living legend visited the Coolidge Corner Theater. Well, depending on who you ask.
Tommy Wiseau is the director, producer, writer, and star of “The Room,” a film widely regarded as the worst in history. On Friday and Saturday, he appeared at two of the theater’s monthly midnight showings of the film, and presented his latest work, a strange and vaguely racist sitcom called “The Neighbors.”
While “The Room,” which Wiseau describes as a black comedy, is about a man’s descent into depression and eventual suicide after an affair between his best friend and the girlfriend he financially supports and cares for: “The Neighbors” was a lighter feature.
In it, Wiseau plays a young letterman jacket-clad man in a blonde wig, and a landlord in a black spikey Rod Stewart-style wig. Chaos ensues in the buildings, with an affair, a fight, and a missing chicken.
“’The Neighbors’ represents America,” Wiseau said. “You inspired me. America inspired me!”
Wiseau gave high-fives and tossed a football (one of the main components of “The Room”) with fans before the showing. He took pictures and signed merchandise with fans throughout the showing as well.
Wiseau also offered a brief glimpse into his mind during a Q and A session, sharing such gems as “there is nothing wrong with to be retarded” and “I have a black friend.”
Fans asked everything from his favorite musicians (“Rod Stewart, Metallica and U2”) and what he eats for breakfast (“YOU!”). He also offered some advice for a female fan going through heartbreak.
“Think positive. Invite your friend for coffee at Starbucks and don’t pay,” he said.
He also said that he prepares for his roles physically, mentally, and sexually.
Little is known about Wiseau. He wore three belts, the one nearly around his knees featuring a bedazzled “The Room” etched across it. He seldom took his sunglasses off, and eagerly showed off his jeans, which featured his initials on the back pockets. Some in line for the showing whispered that he’s a vampire, others that he’s a genius. The truth is, most will probably never know.
Wiseau is not exactly forthcoming about his background, simply stating that he’s from America to one questioning fan.
Many have wondered not just about how his background, but how he raised the $6 million budget for the film.
Wiseau told Esquire he gained his fortune selling pleather jackets and Levi’s and worked as a psychologist. Cracked.com claims that he worked at a hospital cleaning bedpans. Sestero claims in his book that he sold trinkets and toys in San Francisco.
Whatever his past is, his present includes attending showings of his cult masterpiece; selling T-shirts, bobble heads, footballs, and signature Tommy Wiseau underwear. Also, look for Tommy Wiseau signature jeans in December.