For the second year in a row, Tommy Wiseau was on hand for the Valentine’s Day weekend screenings of The Room at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Having just experienced the surrealness that is The Room for the first time a couple months ago, I was eager to see how, uh, “unique”, Tommy is in person. Accompanied by my ever-ready girlfriend, we braved the cold to join the raucous crowd.
Saturday was a hectic day, and we had to rush to make it to the Music Box in time to get a good seat. In our hastiness, we forgot to get plastic spoons. Drat! We quickly went down the street to Jewel Osco but were shocked to find the entire supermarket was SOLD OUT of spoons! We went across the street to CVS, and they only had boxes of assorted cutlery left. Yessir, The Room was in town! We were able to grab extra spoons from the deli, and then we made our way to stand in the loooong line outside. To its credit, the line moved quickly and we were able to get inside and snag some good seats.
I was pleasantly surprised to see someone sitting at the Music Box’s organ, playing some snazzy tunes in preparation of the main event. The organ player received a loud round of applause every time he transitioned into a new song. The crowd was certainly rowdy and excited for what was about to transpire. Several guys were wearing tuxedos, many girls were in red dresses. Footballs were being thrown around, and every single person had spoons in hand. Shortly after 10pm hit, everyone started chanting for Tommy.
After a brief introduction from the Music Box manager and one of the dudes from Ain’t It Cool News, the man, the myth, the legend himself Tommy Wiseau came out to a standing ovation. Tommy basked in the glory, eager to soak up any and all adoration from his fans while he was there. The plan was to have a quick Q&A session before the movie’s screening, but before that happened, none other than GREG SESTERO was brought out to join Tommy on stage. He didn’t look too thrilled to be there, but hey, it was still cool of him to show up.
Early in the Q&A session, some bombshells were dropped. First, it was announced that The Room is coming out on Blu-ray this year, and there will be a special screening of that in December at the Music Box. Second, Tommy is currently in the process of converting The Room to 3D (whaaat??). Now we can see Lisa’s bizarre neck bump, Tommy’s naked ass and Chris R putting a gun to your face in the glory of 3D! Will the madness ever end?!? Oh yeah, Greg Sestero is writing a book about his experience working on The Room, as well as his thoughts on the movie exploding into an unbelievable cult classic. So fans of the movie certainly have a lot to look forward to.
Anyway, the Q&As were definitely the highlight of the evening. After seeing him in person and listening to him speak, I can safely say that Tommy is certifiably INSANE. Some highlights:
- Tommy telling someone to “have a good sport” after they walked away disappointed with his answer.
Q: What was your inspiration?
Tommy: Life, sweetie, life! I love life! I love Shakespeare!
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?
Tommy: Walking, talking, and making exercise S-E-X, hahaha.
Q: On a scale of 1-10, what was hooking up with Lisa like?
Greg: I would probably say, a hundred.
Tommy: I would say 8.5. (When prodded, Tommy said she wasn’t as great as in the rehearsal process.)
Tommy’s thoughts on what’s happening in Egypt? “They should watch The Room one hundred times!”
How is he able to maintain his body? “One hundred pushups, and SEX, hahaha”
Q: From start to finish, how did you make The Room?
Tommy: (paraphrasing here) The ship was sinking, but the captain was still there. AND THAT’S HOW WE FINISHED THE ROOM!
In general, the Q&As were pretty hilarious. Tommy was nonsensical, but always amusing. Greg was less than enthused, but he was a good sport for being there. Also, for whatever reason, Tommy continually encouraged us to “sing” (as he put it) “U-S-A! U-S-A!” several times. This chanting made its way into the movie screening, which was pretty funny. During the Tommy & Greg scenes near the end, the “BEST FRIENDS” chants merged into “U-S-A!” and this happened at a few other points as well.
Other than the improvised U-S-A chants, the screening was similar to the first time I saw it. We ran out of spoons within a few minutes of the movie starting, but there were so many on the floor that we were always able to reload our ammunition. Footballs were tossed, laps were ran, and chants were had. Everyone was having a great time.
I am glad I got to experience the “wisdom” of Tommy Wiseau in person, and I can safely say it is something I will never forget. One thing is for sure: the man loves his fans, and he went out of his way to do anything for them.