Friday, July 22, 2011

An Interview with Greg Ellery aka Steven aka Peter

During the release of all these Marvel comic book movies, we learned early on that you had to stay past the credits in order to see some more revealed teasers for the upcoming Avengers movie. 

After Iron Man people would say "Hey, did you see Samuel L Jackson?" and then you'd reply "No, what are you talking about?" 

Then maybe you'd go to a theater and sneak into the last 10 minutes of the movie to see what they were talking about or you could just, ya know, find out on the internet.  And sure enough there was Sam Jackson, aka Nick Fury. 

He showed up even after the movie, was not a part of the movie at all, and then was thrown into the mix.  But it was cool because you know, or were told about, why he showed up and he wasn't just thrown to you without any introduction or as if you were supposed to know who he was or what was going on.

That's not the case with the unnamed (but I suppose named in the script) character of Steven.  He just shows up at Johnny's party and famously announces that he's sitting on an atomic bomb.  Since The Room was a slightly less popular movie than Iron Man, there was no way to get answers on what just happened or who the hell this was.  He just showed up.

Thankfully, after The Room became a cult hit, people were obsessed with getting an answer and finally we got one: The psychologist friend Peter quit in the middle of the movie so Tommy Wiseau replaced him with another actor who was "like Peter, but you are Steven" and just spoke Peter's lines instead.


The brilliant guys at Rifftrax, formerly Mystery Science Theater 3000, tracked the actor that played Steven down in 2009 and forced him to answer questions about his time in the POW camp known as The Room.

Here's the link

The more interviews I find from actors and crew on the set, the more of a picture I get of what Tommy and making the movie were like. And the answer is just as confusing as the film itself.  One thing I am starting to believe is that Tommy Wiseau is no Andy Kaufman.  He's probably just as amazingly crazy and slow-witted as Johnny is.  Thank God for that.

Hey, look at how happy these two are to be here:

Greg said in the interview that he's now turned to directing and wouldn't appear in another Room movie if one ever got made.  I just have to say that this interview was 2 years ago and Imdb has no new information on him.  I wonder if his stance would be different now.

Highlight of the article for me:
That included the purchase, not rental, of a brand new film camera, as well as a new $30,000 digital camera to shoot the “making of.” Skeptical of course, Birns and Sawyer looked at Wiseau’s bank account, saw an appropriate amount of numbers in front of the decimal point and figured, What the hell?

I've been reading a lot lately on the idea that Wiseau bought, not rented, the film equipment.  I'm not an expert on film-making but it sounds like the conversation went something like this:
Tommy Wiseau: Oh hai, I need camera for making movie. How is you?
Birns and Sawyer: Hi there.  Great, thanks.  So you need a camera, huh?  What kind?
TW: The kind that you can make movies with.
BS: Well, there's digital and film.
TW: Haha, good story.  Okay, give me both.
BS: Both?
TW: Yes, you said film and digital, I will need them both to make my movie aboouutt this world.
BS: Okay then.  The rental costs are $400 a day.
TW: What is this rental?  Can I give money all at once?
BS: Typically we would just rent this stuff out.  You give us money based on how long you keep the equipment and then give the equipment back.
TW: Hahaha.  You guys are quite comedian.  How can I make movie if I give back to you. 
BS: So you just want to buy this equipment then?
TW: Of course, why would you even ask?  How much?
BS: Umm... Thirty-thousand dollars.
TW: Okay, here is fourty-thousand.  Bye doggie.

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