A man named Sandy Schklair claims it was he – rather than Tommy Wiseau – who directed The Room, the notoriously terrible movie written, directed and acted in by Wiseau.
Schklair, whose credits include War, Inc and The Devil’s Rejects, has stayed mostly silent about his involvement with the film for the past 15 years.
The timing for Schklair to come forward is interesting considering James Franco’s biographical adaptation of the film, The Disaster Artist, just won a Golden Globe for ‘Best Musical or Comedy.’
In The Disaster Artist, Schklair was played by Seth Rogen, helping out Wiseau on set.
Schklair claims his job was originally as The Room‘s script supervisor, but that he ended up directing the majority of the movie when he was made director and first assistant by Wiseau.
“He had no idea what the directing process was, no idea how you shoot,” Schklair explained to THR. Schklair has now detailed his claims in a new book titled, Yes I Directed the Room, which will be released this Friday via Canadian publisher Finding Dimes Literature.
“You know what, I don’t care if it’s a sh***y movie. I directed crap and got it noticed all around the world,” he said. “I directed this entire movie, except for the love scenes and the second unit stuff in San Francisco.”
In the 2013 book version of The Disaster Artist, Schklair’s involvement in the film is detailed by authors Greg Sestero (Wiseau’s close friend and The Room co-star) and Tom Bissell saying, “Sandy helped set up eyelines, blocked scenes, worked on the dialogue, and established a basic through-line of minimum coherence,” later explaining Schklair was the “only reason we’d gotten anything remotely watchable on film.”
It’s understandable as to why Schklair’s involvement with The Room would have been downplayed for the past 15 years, considering it wasn’t a part of mainstream pop culture for so long.For more than a decade, Tommy Wiseau has been regarded as one of the most infamous Hollywood outsiders, the mysterious man known for directing what’s considered the worst movie of all time. That film is The Room, a cult classic so-bad-it’s-good phenomenon that last year inspired an award-caliber fictionalized feature film called The Disaster Artist. Wiseau, the long-haired, triple-belted, enigmatic “filmmaker”—who also starred, wrote, and produced The Room—has become something of a pop-culture fascination, a bizarro ironic “celebrity” whose origin story is as baffling as his movie.
If you’re unfamiliar with “The Room,” all you need to know is that an insanely mysterious man named Tommy Wisseau made an absurdly bad independent film in 2003 about a successful banker in a tragic love triangle and came up with the funding to screen it in theaters in L.A. for a short time. Soon after, the internet and movie lovers heard about “the worst movie ever made,” and it took on a life of its own.
Midnight screenings of the film became commonplace at movie theaters in L.A. and later across the country and even world — including here in San Diego — and Wisseau has been known to show up at them from time to time. In 2011, a book called “The Disaster Artist” came out with the story behind how the film was made, and then old pals Franco and Seth Rogen and others turned that book into a movie of the same name.
“The Disaster Artist” was nominated for best picture, musical or comedy at the Golden Globes and Franco won for his portrayal of Wiseau.
So the hype surrounding “The Room” has reached such a level that, for one night only on Jan. 10, it will be played simultaneously at about 600 theaters nationwide.