March 29, 2018 / 11:21 PM / 6 months ago

Tommy Wiseau bounces back with new movie 'Best F(r)iends'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When film producing partners Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero released “The Room” in 2003, the drama was laughed off as a dreadful comedy that several critics called one of the worst films ever made.

FILE PHOTO: Tommy Wiseau, the original actor from "The Room," and writer Greg Sestero (R) arrive for the gala presentation of "The Disaster Artist" at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

But the partners had the last laugh as the film about two friends warring over the same girl turned them into cult icons and inspired last year’s affectionate and critically acclaimed tribute “The Disaster Artist.”

Now, the pair is trying to catch lightning in a bottle again with “Best F(r)iends,” a comedy-thriller about a down-and-out drifter, played by Sestero, who befriends Wiseau as a mortician and together decide to make it rich. The movie will open in U.S. theaters on Friday.

“We tried to pave new ground and make something with a totally different aesthetic and different vibe,” Sestero said in an interview at the Hollywood premiere on Wednesday.

“So I hope it’s a fun cinematic experience like ‘The Room’ but I also hope it surprises the audience and gives them something they’re not expecting.”

Unlike “The Room,” which was directed, written and produced by Wiseau, “Best F(r)iends” was written and produced by Sestero, allowing Wiseau to focus on acting - a topic on which he is particularly sensitive.

“People don’t realize I can do acting, number one,” Wiseau said. “Number two, as you know, there was very negative blogging about Tommy Wiseau, about me, and they don’t understand that I’ve been acting for 20 years, so I feel very good about it.”

Actor Paul Scheer, who also appeared in “The Disaster Artist,” said the new movie came from the heart.

Wiseau and Sestero, he said, “have all the passion of a Paul Thomas Anderson or a Steven Spielberg. Their execution is definitely different but they love what they’re doing and they want to do exciting, interesting work and I think that that’s what I love about them.”

“It’s not about cashing in on making another movie like ‘The Room,’ they’re trying to make something different. Now, will it be received that way? Who knows?” Scheer said.

The pair is banking on more demand from audiences. Already, Volume 2 of “Best F(r)iends” is scheduled to arrive in U.S. movie theaters in June.

Reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Richard Chang

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