There are many ways to promote an upcoming movie, from running television ads to marketing on certain products. One of the simplest ways to capture attentions in metropolitan areas is to rent a billboard. That's what Tommy Wiseau did for The Room back in 2003, and James Franco did the same for The Disaster Artist. The Disaster Artist's billboard looks almost exactly like how The Room's did, which includes displaying a phone number for folks to call. While The Room's number was merely a way for you to RSVP for the movie, there's a chance that if you call The Disaster Artist's number, you'll get to chat with Franco in character as Wiseau. Watch the below video for an example.
Considering how much the internet has grown since 2003, few people, if any, would need to call a number to reserve tickets for The Disaster Artist or any other movie. So instead, that number on The Disaster Artist billboard is for a flip phone that James Franco carries around with him, and whenever he feels like it, he can answer it and start talking with folks as Tommy Wiseau. Franco has been doing this for a while, as costar and co-producer Seth Rogen revealed on social media, but while visiting Conan last night, Franco took the opportunity to clue even more people in on the fun. Breaking out the phone during the interview, Franco started chatting with someone from New Zealand who's familiar with Wiseau, but evidently didn't know who Conan O'Brien is, as he initially thought "Wiseau" was talking about Conan the Barbarian, and later, Conan Washington (I don't know who that's supposed to be either).
After the call ended, Franco revealed that he's received over 200,000 calls, though one can logically surmise that Franco only answers a fraction of those. So if you dial 323-616-2024, be prepared for the possibility that James Franco might answer the phone as Tommy Wiseau. Considering that The Disaster Artist is completed and available to the masses, it's the best chance you'll have to interact with this "character." That is, of course, unless you run into the real Tommy Wiseau, in which case that's even better!
Based off the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Film Ever Made, The Disaster Artist movie chronicles Tommy Wiseau making The Room with fellow actor Greg Sestero. Along with James Franco, Dave Franco and Seth Rogen, the cast includes Ari Graynor, Josh Hutchinson, Jacki Weaver, Alison Brie, Megan Mullally, Hannibal Buress and many more. The Disaster Artist has been met with critical acclaim and was nominated for two Golden Globes last week.
The Disaster Artist is now playing in theaters, and be sure to read our review of the movie. For those of you wanting to plan your trips to the theater next year, head over to our 2018 premiere guide for release date information.
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