Greg Sestero

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Greg Sestero
GregSestero (cropped).jpg
Sestero in 2011
Born Gregory Sestero
(1978-07-15) July 15, 1978 (age 39)
Walnut Creek, California, U.S.
Education Monte Vista High School
Occupation Actor, model, author
Years active 1996–present
Notable work The Disaster Artist

Gregory Sestero (born July 15, 1978) is an American actor, model, producer and author. He is best known for his role as Mark in the 2003 cult film The Room and for his 2013 memoir The Disaster Artist about his life and experience making The Room.

Early life[edit]

Sestero was born in Walnut Creek, California, to a mother of French and Sicilian descent,[1] and an American father. He was raised in Danville, California, where he attended Monte Vista High School.[2]

At the age of 12, he wrote a sequel to the then-recently released 1990 film Home Alone with a leading role for himself.[1] He submitted the screenplay to Hughes Productions and received a commendatory letter from filmmaker John Hughes.[1][3]

During his junior year of high school, Sestero began modelling, working in Milan and Paris for designers such as Giorgio Armani and Gianfranco Ferré. He returned to the United States to focus on acting, enrolling in the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. His eventually signing with Hollywood agent Iris Burton prompted his eventual move to Los Angeles.[1]

Career[edit]

Sestero's early acting work included minor roles in the television show Nash Bridges and the films Gattaca (1997) and Patch Adams (1998). In 1999, Sestero was cast as the lead in Retro Puppet Master. He followed this with a one-episode role on the television soap opera Days of Our Lives.[4]

The Room[edit]

Sestero's best known role to date is as Mark, the best friend to Tommy Wiseau's character Johnny, in the 2003 cult film The Room. Sestero met Wiseau at an acting class in 1998.[1] Wiseau told Sestero that if he was able to raise the funds to make the film, he would hire him as his co-star; Sestero arrived on set, only agreeing to work behind the scenes and help Wiseau with auditions and casting. However, Wiseau wanted the original actor cast as Mark out of the film, and formulated an elaborate plan to replace him with Sestero.[1]

Sestero has said that he made the film assuming no one would see it and that it would go direct to video.[3][5] The film was immediately lambasted by critics and fared very poorly at the box office. In Sestero's book, The Disaster Artist, he revealed that Wiseau had sent a copy of the film to Paramount Pictures to gain wide distribution and was denied by the studio within 24 hours (the typical response time is two weeks).[1]

Ross Morin, an assistant professor of film studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, called it "the Citizen Kane of bad movies",[1] and Entertainment Weekly referred to Wiseau as "the Orson Welles of crap".[6] Despite the poor showing, Sestero remained humorous and usually deflected much of the criticism of the film.[7][8]

The film quickly began to receive attention from audience members because of its poor production values rather than in spite of them; it soon became a "cult classic" with late-night showings at theaters around the United States. Audience members typically arrive wearing wigs resembling their favorite characters, interact with the dialogue on screen, and throw plastic cutlery and footballs around the theater.[1]

This attention grew into what was dubbed The Room's 2010–2011 "Love is Blind" International Tour, and the film was screened in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Australia, France, and India, among other locations. Sestero appears at many of these events, posing for photographs with fans and often addressing them before the screenings.[9]

The Disaster Artist[edit]

In June 2011, it was announced that Sestero had signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to write a book based on his experiences making The Room, Tommy Wiseau, and his journey of trying to become an actor. The book, titled The Disaster Artist, was released in October 2013.[10][11][12]

On November 23, 2014, The Disaster Artist won for Best Non-Fiction at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The judges praised the book, stating "The Disaster Artist is not only a hell of a good read, it will make a great film if ever adapted. It's equal parts Ed Wood, American Hustle and demented Citizen Kane — with a dash of Monty Python thrown into the mix."[13] On February 11, 2015, The Disaster Artist audiobook, narrated by Sestero, was nominated for Best Humor Audiobook at the 2015 Audie Awards.[14]

In 2014, Seth Rogen's production company, Point Grey Pictures, acquired the rights to a film adaptation of The Disaster Artist. James Franco was attached to direct and possibly star as Wiseau.[15] Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber wrote the script,[16] and, in 2015, Dave Franco was cast as Sestero.[17] New Line Cinema produced the film, titled The Disaster Artist. Distribution rights were later acquired by A24.[18] Shooting began on December 8, 2015.[19] The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 12, 2017,[20] and had a wide release on December 8, 2017.

Other works[edit]

In 2006, Sestero appeared in the television series Fashion House and had an uncredited role in Accepted. In 2010, he appeared in Miranda Lambert's music video "White Liar," which won the Country Music Television and the Academy of Country Music award for best video and song of the year; the video was also nominated for best video at the 2010 Country Music Association awards. Later that year, Sestero was featured in the 5-Second Film End Zone, directed by Michael Rousselet, one of The Room's original fans who helped propel the film to cult status.[1][6][21]

Sestero starred with NYC comedians Jason Saenz, Nick Turner, and Travis Irvine for a sketch comedy video in which Sestero turned into the "new" Jason Saenz via jaw surgery.[22] The July 2010 edition of Diablo magazine labeled Sestero as one of the "Best of the East Bay Stars and Standouts."[23]

In July 2011, Sestero teamed with comedian Patton Oswalt in You Got Mail, a 5-Second Film that features Oswalt as a mailman and Sestero waiting for his suspicious delivery.[24]

On November 12, 2013, Sestero made a cameo appearance on an episode of the Nostalgia Critic internet review show, which had previously reviewed The Room, reprising his role of Mark.[25] Sestero continues to model and has appeared in ads for Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, and Ralph Lauren, among others.[7]

Sestero costarred in Dude Bro Party Massacre III (2015) from the creators of 5 Second Films. The film also stars Patton Oswalt and Andrew W.K. The film premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13, 2015.[26]

Sestero is set to team up with Wiseau once again for a new film, Best F(r)iends, based on a story written by Sestero about a road trip he took with Wiseau back in 2003.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Sestero lives in Southern California.[7] He is fluent in French.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Gattaca Gattacan Citizen Uncredited[28]
1998 Patch Adams Jaime Uncredited[29]
1999 Retro Puppet Master Young Andre Toulon
EDtv Roach Uncredited[28]
2003 The Room Mark Line producer
2004 Homeless in America Himself Documentary
Executive producer
2006 Accepted Frat Guy Uncredited[28]
2009 Alien Presence Ash
The Pit and the Pendulum Alicia's Boyfriend
2015 Dude Bro Party Massacre III Derek
2017 The Disaster Artist Casting Agent Scenes deleted.
2018 Best F(r)iends Jon Kortina Writer and producer

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Days of Our Lives Jules 1 episode
2006 Fashion House Model 2 episodes
2013 The Blessed Ignorance of Men Fr. Mark Pilot

Web[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 How Did This Get Made? Himself Episode 23: "The Room: Director’s Edition"[30]
2013 Nostalgia Critic Mark Episode: "Dawn of the Commercials"
2014 Shut Up and Talk Himself Talk show

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Greg Sestero; Tom Bissell (October 2013). The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (First Hardcover ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1451661193. 
  2. ^ Hicks, Tony (March 14, 2017). "Franco's Disaster Artist has many Bay Area connections". The Mercury News. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Kozlowski, Carl (August 27, 2009). "'The Room' to Improve". Pasadena Weekly. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ Greg Sestero on IMDb
  5. ^ Heisler, Steve (February 23, 2010). "The Room's Greg Sestero, best friend extraordinaire". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Collis, Clark (December 12, 2008). "The Crazy Cult of 'The Room'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Hicks, Tony (October 5, 2010). "'Worst movie ever' — 'The Room' — is best move of Alamo actor's career". The Mercury News. Retrieved October 25, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Five questions with Greg Sestero from the Room". Popgun Chaos. October 5, 2010. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  9. ^ "The Room Official Movie Site". Theroommovie.com. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Collis, Clark (May 26, 2011). "Greg Sestero memoir The Room". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ "CNN Entertainment (extended cut)". YouTube. CNN. February 1, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ Turner-Dave, Kieran (February 15, 2013). "Understanding 'The Room': An interview with the stars of 'the worst movie ever made'". The Independent. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2017. 
  13. ^ "2014 Winners - 7th National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards" (PDF). Los Angeles Press Club. 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  14. ^ "20th Annual Audie finalists announced in thirty categories" (PDF). Audio Publishers Association. February 11, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  15. ^ Fischer, Russ (May 8, 2014). "James Franco Likely to Play Tommy Wiseau in 'The Disaster Artist'". /Film. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  16. ^ Fischer, Russ (September 8, 2014). "'The Fault in Our Stars' Screenwriters Scripting 'The Disaster Artist'". /Film. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  17. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 12, 2015). "Scott Haze, James Franco Discuss Their New LA Theater, Upcoming Projects (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (May 15, 2017). "James Franco Comedy 'The Disaster Artist' Gets Award-Season Release From A24". Variety. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 29, 2015). "James and Dave Franco's 'The Disaster Artist' Headed for New Line". Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  20. ^ "The Disaster Artist (Work-In-Progress)". South by Southwest. 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  21. ^ Collis, Clark (July 30, 2010). "Greg Sestero from 'The Room' stars in new '5-Second Films' comedy short". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  22. ^ Turner, Nick (October 2010). "Here You Have It Folks! The Brand Spankin' New Jason Saenz!". Yourfreecomedy.tumblr.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ Crooks, Peter (June 22, 2010). "Best of the East Bay - Stars & Standouts". Diablo Magazine. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  24. ^ Collis, Clark (July 13, 2011). "Patton Oswalt and Greg Sestero team for five-second movie. Watch here!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  25. ^ Walker, Doug (November 12, 2013). "Nostalgia Critic: Dawn of the Commercials". Channel Awesome. Retrieved October 25, 2017. 
  26. ^ Siegemund-Broka, Austin (June 25, 2015). "'Dude Bro Party Massacre III' Enlists Andrew W.K. for "Bizarre" Slasher Film Send-Up". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 26, 2017. 
  27. ^ Ford, Rebecca (October 12, 2016). "'The Room' Director Tommy Wiseau and Star Greg Sestero Reunite for New Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 25, 2017. 
  28. ^ a b c Bacher, Danielle (October 4, 2013). "Remembering 'The Room'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  29. ^ Sestero, Greg (October 22, 2013). "My epic turn in Patch Adams". Twitter. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  30. ^ Paul Scheer; June Diane Raphael; Jason Mantzoukas. "How Did This Get Made Episode 23: "The Room: Director's Edition"". Earwolf. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 

External links[edit]