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'The Room' stars Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero to appear at Gasparilla film fest in Tampa

By Christopher Spata | Times Staff
Published: March 7, 2018 Updated: March 7, 2018 at 10:14 AM
Actors Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau attend the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. [Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images]

Update: How to get tickets for The Room screening at The Attic, and Best F(r)iends at Centro Ybor.

Get your footballs and plastic spoons ready, Tampa.

Why, Lisa, why?

Because Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, stars of the cult classic The Room, are coming to town for the Gasparilla International Film Festival.

The pair, portrayed by James and Dave Franco in the Oscar-nominated film The Disaster Artist, will walk the red carpet and answer questions from the audience following a local premiere of their own new movie, Best Friends, at the AMC theater in Centro Ybor on March 23 at 9 p.m.

Later that night they’ll appear at a screening of The Room, sometimes called the "Citizen Kane of bad movies," at The Attic in Ybor City.

The bizarrely earnest 2003 melodrama, which Wiseau wrote, directed, starred in and funded to the tune of $6 million, found new life as an unintentional comedy at late-night screenings where throwing plastic spoons — a nod to a framed photo of a spoon seen in the background of some scenes — has become one of several audience rituals.

The film earned itself a number of celebrity devotees such as Kristen Bell, David Cross, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd, who helped it snowball into the unexpected hit it is today.

The Room has screened in Tampa Bay before, but never with Wiseau in attendance.

Sestero, who plays Mark in The Room, worked with journalist Tom Bissell to write the 2013 non-fiction book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, which the screenplay for 2017’s Disaster Artist movie was based on.

Best Friends, directed by first-time feature film director Justin MacGregor and billed as the pair’s long-awaited on-screen reunion 15 years after the release of The Room, will get a limited theatrical release on March 30, a week after the Tampa screening.

Best Friends, which is being released in two parts, is the story of a drifter (Sestero) who befriends a peculiar mortician played by Wiseau. Comic actor Paul Scheer also appears in the film.

Tickets for the Tampa screening and Q&A are available at gasparillafilmfestival.com.

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From 2014: Fame builds for 'The Room' as it comes to Tampa

Review: 'The Disaster Artist' takes you inside of 'The Room'