So, I just saw The Disaster Artist, and it was outstanding. It’s the second best movie I’ve seen this year, right behind Get Out, and I’ve been looking forward to it for at least a year. I’ve read the book twice, with the announcement of the movie happening inbetween my read-throughs, and yeah, they made a lot of changes for the movie. These were mostly good changes, with the only negative effect being that it painted Tommy with way more sympathy than he allegedly deserves, but they were mostly in the interest of tightening up the pacing and telling a good story, so I can forgive them.
But I’m still going to name a few of them, because if I have this knowledge, then as a christmas present to all of you, I’m going to share it!
These are 25 of the biggest changes from the book to the movie! Oh, but for this post, however, I’m going to assume you’ve already seen the movie, and want to know how things went in the book. Just wanted to let you know up front.
1: Tommy and Greg did the scene in class, and it wound up being a beautiful trainwreck that the class enjoyed, but the teacher didn’t.
2: Tommy didn’t immediately move in with Greg, he just lent out his unused apartment to him.
3: Greg actually landed a few roles in LA before The Room. He was a featured extra in Patch Adams(meeting Robin Williams), he had a brief recurring Soap Opera role, and he starred in Retro Puppetmaster.
4: Greg and his mother are french. Greg speaks both languages, and can use a flawless French accent, which is how he landed Retro Puppetmaster.
5: Before Tommy and Greg leave, his concerned mother says “No sex.” Tommy is bewildered by this, and says “What a story!” after they’ve left.
6: Tommy hired another actor to play Mark, and then bullied him out of the part through convoluted means.
7: Tommy and Greg’s friendship was already badly strained before he wrote The Room, what with Tommy becoming jealous of Greg’s limited success and becoming toxic over it.
8: Juliet Simmons got the part of Lisa because she was willing to make out with Tommy for it. I’m not making that up.
9: Tommy was emotionally devastated after seeing The Talented Mr. Ripley, which Greg considered a metaphor for his creepiness.
10: It wasn’t a conversation with Amber that convinced Greg the movie would be bad… He knew it from his first glance at the script, and tried to get out of it.
11: Dan Janjigian had to threaten Tommy to get his paycheck and expense coverage.
12: Tommy didn’t pretend to be Greg’s age. He pretended to be 28.
13: The Birdman story, which served as a potential backstory for Tommy, was not included in the film.
14: Greg wasn’t trying to keep his beard for a Malcolm in the Middle episode. He was trying to wait until after filming to shave, so he could have a better chance of getting work after the film with people not recognizing him from it.
15: Tommy blatantly lied about trying to get air conditioners. He didn’t just refuse to do it.
16: When Claudette’s actor fainted, Tommy actually drove her to the hospital.
17: The costume designer Safowa Bright was a black woman.
18: Sandy and his team left way before production was completed. The movie ultimately had three production teams.
19: At one point while still looking for work, Greg was almost seduced by a male producer, whom he did not name.
20: Tommy attacked Greg for using his french accent, not for asking too many questions.
21: Tommy promised to buy Greg a car after filming. When he showed up with a new camera crew to film some scenes around the city, that was Greg’s new van he was driving.
22: “Hi Doggy” was improvised. Afterwards, he asked the shop owner if the dog was a “Real thing.” Similarly, “How about your sex life” was not in the original script.
23: When Greg is telling Mark’s story about Domestic abuse, he improvised the ‘on Guerrero street’ line to try and piss Tommy off so he’d do a take without laughing, as that location was supposed to be one of Tommy’s secrets.
24: Tommy got his SAG card by filming a commercial for the mysterious company Street Fashions USA.
25: The Room being enjoyed as a comedy wasn’t so immediate. It took the efforts of the first two fans, who fell in love with it after reading a scathing review.