made of meat
Hearing Greg Sestero detail his relationship with Tommy Wiseau is fascinating. It seems less a friendship than an experience, and he shares it in full bloom with the help of Tom Bissell. I expected a funny, behind-the-scenes look at The Room, but I got a second hand biography that was both nuanced and engaging.
Greg pulls no punches in regard to Tommy's perceived strangeness or his uglier qualities. At the same time, he humanizes Tommy Wiseau in a way I've never heard anyone come close to accomplishing before. I empathized with Greg throughout, and enjoyed the story of his attempted career as well as his history with Tommy, but more surprising was that I found myself empathizing with Tommy. Three steps out of phase with everyone in the world and still so determined to make himself a part of it, make his mark. How deeply he is affected by the concept of the American dream, and a glimpse into what might have been parts of his past.
It was heartfelt and, as it was his own story, deeply personal. He didn't flinch away from performing really awkward and emotional content that would have been so much easier to just leave on a page. And he does the best, most accurate, most blinding Tommy Wiseau impression I've ever heard.
This was a great book for downtime, especially unwinding. It's never too emotionally intense, and while I always wanted to hear more, it was relaxed enough that I didn't feel the need to gobble it up all at once.
The Disaster Artist is so much more than I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised. It's easy to see a phenomenon like The Room and Wiseau himself and forget that there are real people behind it; Greg Sestero's obvious kindness and however much Bissell's ghostwriting contributed made them all real. A must-read for people interested in the industry, especially when it comes to indie, b-movie, so-bad-it's-good cult films. Thanks for the experience, Greg!