Being a movie about the making of a movie, there is a certain natural meta quality inherent in The Disaster Artist -- but the roles played by James Franco within the production make it a unique beast. Not only is it a movie about the making of a movie (specifically the notoriously terrible The Room), but it's made by a director (Franco) who is also starring as the director of the movie within the movie (the notorious Tommy Wiseau) that the movie is about. When you also throw in the fact that Franco would often direct The Disaster Artist while staying in character, you're left with a film that Seth Rogen believes is unlike anything else that has been attempted in the medium. He recently told me,
Seth Rogen, who first worked with James Franco back in 1999 on the cult TV series Freaks & Geeks, stars in The Disaster Artist as script supervisor Sandy Schklair, and earlier this month joined co-stars Ari Graynor and Paul Scheer for interviews during the Los Angeles press day. When I had the chance to sit down with the trio, my first question was about whether or not Franco would actually direct the film in character Tommy Wiseau, or create a separation between jobs -- and they explained that it was more than just a minor thing during production.
As it turns out, James Franco wound up drawing no distinction between his job as an actor and a director in the making of The Disaster Artist, and pretty much impressed the hell out of his cast. Picking up where Rogen left off, Ari Graynor and Paul Scheer explained that he was always very specific in what he was doing as the director of the film, but at the same was making calls from a strange kind of hybrid mind space. Said the actors,
Driving it home, Seth Rogen chimed back in noting that it didn't ultimately matter what perspective James Franco was coming from in the making of The Disaster Artist. Whether he was "James" or "Tommy," he was their director and he was calling the shots:
Given how amazing The Disaster Artist turned out, it sounds like listening to James Franco during the making of the movie was definitely the right choice.
You can watch the three actors discuss their odd time working with James Franco/Tommy Wiseau on the set of The Disaster Artist by clicking play on the video below.