James Franco was “dead” to Seth Rogen’s wife for three months after annoying her with his method acting as he directed and starred in The Disaster Artist.
Seth produces and co-stars in his best friend’s film, which chronicles 2003 movie The Room, a flop that became an unlikely late-night cult favorite.
Franco cast himself as Tommy Wiseau, The Room’s director and leading man, and he decided to stay in character throughout the shoot, which proved to be a rather “bizarre” experience for all involved, including his brother Dave Franco and his real-life wife Alison Brie, and Zac Efron.
“I talked like Tommy (in front of and behind the camera), so I’m sure it was bizarre,” James explained on Good Morning America, “but it also set an atmosphere, because they (other co-stars) were all playing actors in Tommy’s movie, so I think it made it easier (to stay in character).”
His on-set behavior was so unusual, Seth and Dave made sure to warn set visitors and celebrity pals like Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone, and Melanie Griffith before they arrived to shoot cameos for the movie.
However, the 127 Hours star’s physical transformation to look like Wiseau, coupled with his odd accent, left Seth’s grandparents utterly confused, while his wife Lauren Miller quickly became fed up of James‘ antics.
“Seth brings his family to every set – his grandparents, parents, his wife Lauren – and they know me… (but) they did not get it,” James chuckled. “It was like, two-and-a-half hours of prosthetics every morning, and they were like, ‘Where’s James?’.
“Then Lauren… she just wasn’t having it. She hated it. Like, I was dead to her for three months! She just did not want to be around me!”
James‘ dedication to his portrayal of the elusive filmmaker has already started paying off, with the movie earning rave reviews and picking up a number of early awards.
He even got the seal of approval from Wiseau himself, after he attended the South by Southwest Film Festival premiere earlier this year (17), although his one criticism about The Disaster Artist left Franco raising an eyebrow.
“Tommy is… a bit of a mystery… but I think he loves it…,” James shared of the elusive director, who is known for his trademark long hair and dark sunglasses. “It was an incredible screening, but he sat there with the (sun) glasses on in the theatre… and he wasn’t making any reaction… I asked him after (the screening)…, he was like, ‘Well, I approve 99.9 per cent,’ and I go, ‘What’s the 0.1 per cent?,’ and you think he’s gonna say, ‘Well, I never said that’ or ‘I never did that,’ but director to director, he goes, ‘I think you should look at the lighting at the beginning of the film, it’s a little off.’ But then I realized, he’s wearing the glasses the whole time!”