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The Real Life Man Behind The Disaster Artist Is An Absolute Enigma

The Real Life Man Behind The Disaster Artist Is An Absolute Enigma

There's been a lot of follow up controversy about James Franco's Golden Globes win Sunday night for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The spectre of all the Hollywood sex abuse scandals hung over the entire evening, with many attendees wearing black clothes and males wearing badges in support of the "Time's Up" movement. The controversy surrounding Franco's win started when Breakfast Club actress Ally Sheedy, in a tweet she has since deleted, seemed to call out Franco. It read:

Ok wait. Bye. Christian Slater and James Franco at a table on @goldenglobes #MeToo.

This was followed up by actress Violet Paley accusing the award winner of sexually assaulting her and attempting to lure her 17-year-old friend to his hotel room (which Franco was caught doing to another 17 year old a few years ago).

So while Franco's win continues to be steeped in controversy and possibly more to come, it overshadows the man that Franco has won the award for portraying in "The Disaster Artist", the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau.

If you've seen the trailer or even the movie you'll probably have done your own research into who Tommy is, or of course if you knew of "The Room" before the Disaster Artist was ever released, you certainly already know. But for those who don't know anything about him, you need to know who that weird long haired, sunglass sporting man was who was on the stage with James Franco while he accepted his award.

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So, first of all, why would Seth Rogan and James Franco want to make a movie about the worst movie ever made? Simple. Because of Tommy Wiseau. The film asks three questions of Tommy that to this day he still will not give a straight answer to: How old is he? Where is he from? Where did all his money come from?

Despite his extremely strange, seemingly some sort of European accent, Tommy always insists to be from "New Orleans" when asked. He also claims to be the same age as The Room co-star and best friend Greg Sestero, which would make him 39. Clearly, Wiseau is neither 39 (he wasn't even 39 in 2003 when he made the Room!) nor from New Orleans so how old is he and where is he from?

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Well the simple answers, according to his IMDB page are he is 62 and he's from Poznan, Poland. But nobody really knows the real answers. Even in his book, The Disaster Artist - which the film is based on - Greg Sestero never really pinpoints where Wiseau is actually from, though he does reveal that Wiseau is not his original last name (and that it may have been inspired by the French word for "bird").

Tommy spent a supposed $6 million on his "disaster-piece" The Room back in 2003 but nobody has any idea where all that money came from. Not only that but Wiseau also rented a billboard on Hollywood Blvd to promote the movie and it stayed up for over five years, costing Wiseau in the region of $300,000. So where did this seemingly bottomless bit of money come from?

The seemingly accepted explanation is that Wiseau made his fortune selling imported leather jackets from wherever he is actually from. (Probably Poland, as mentioned above) But it's not hard to see why a, quite frankly, brilliant conspiracy has popped up instead since the sheer amount of 6.5 million that was needed just to make the movie and rent the billboard and brought into play. $6.5 million is a LOT of money to make selling leather jackets and that's not even taking into account his living expenses for the rest of his life!

The conspiracy theory suggests that Tommy Wiseau is in fact DB Cooper. Cooper hijacked a plane in the 1970s, upon landing demanded a vast sum of money and some parachutes, jumped from the plane mid flight with the money and was never found again. Ever. That's despite the search for him being one of the most intensive in US history. DB Cooper wasn't his real name, just an alias, he supposed spoke with an ambiguous, possibly affected speaking style and the FBI even theorise that he got his fake name from the Dan Cooper comic books from Belgium which were never translated into English. All things that would make sense to link Wiseau to DB Cooper (if we accept Wiseau comes from mainland Europe originally).

I mean, sure, it's crazy but this whole thing is. This part being true would just be the cherry on top of the weirdest story possibly ever told by Hollywood. "You've just pulled off the most successful hijacking in human history and gotten away with it, what are you going to do next?" Why make the worst movie ever made of course!

The Disaster Artist will most likely get a re-release now that it's starting to garner major honours and I couldn't recommend seeing it any more, it's fantastic! Check out the trailer below:

Tony Kelly

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