Tommy Wiseau recently sat down with the A.V. Club for an interview about his new show The Neighbors, which Matt and I will undoubtably set aside many a precious moment in our lives to watch. [Matthew says: Although he only has the pilot so far, with no plans to film additional epodes actually on the horizon. Strangely.] For those of you who don’t remember, Wiseau starred in/wrote/directed The Room, which is widely accepted as one of the most hilariously bad movies of all time. Matt also writes some pretty amazing recaps of each scene in the room, which I highly recommend checking out. [Matthew says: And which, someday, I will even continue writing!]
The interview is fairly long, so we thought we’d be helpful and bring you some of our favourite quotes that came out of Wiseau’s endlessly entertaining brain.
1. When asked about a gay character in the show, Wiseau’s response gets a little off-track:
TW: Yeah, there’s Don. Actually he’s bisexual. And you see, that’s the society way of right now. Let’s say we talk about 10 years ago, people would not accept it very openly. Because you talk about Chinese, you know, rednecks, and all this crap.
2. Tommy gets diversity.
TW: I want to present that different relationship, like you have a black, you have a Chinese, you have a pregnant, you have this, you have that, et cetera.
3. Tommy gets commentary on race and gender.
AVC: Were you thinking about racial diversity when you were casting?
TW: Yeah, absolutely. We were very discriminatory about who can actually present a certain way, America, a person who maybe didn’t have so much acting experience, but you can feel the commitment. You can feel the sincerity. And that’s what I like with actors, you know? You may have actors who make 20 million dollars, but it doesn’t mean that they can deliver what I want them to, you know what I’m saying?
AVC: What part of America is represented by the women who are in bikinis the whole time?
TW: Okay, I will tell you that. Very simple. What about Venice Beach, Los Angeles? We have some neighbors who actually go to certain extremes. I used to live in New Orleans, actually, I know a dozen people like that. Certain people like that who are very open, they’re yelling, and they’re talking, you know?
4. Tommy Wiseau, Actor.
AVC: What made you decide to play two characters?
5. Just read this one.
AVC: Why is now a good time for you to bring The Neighbors out?
TW: Why is the sky is blue?
6. Tommy muses on the human condition, which is nigh unrecognizable from any other human’s.
AVC: Are there parts of The Neighbors that are autobiographical?
TW: It’s come from the life. I mean, you ever have a neighbor like Cici? A crazy neighbor?
AVC: Not really.
TW: I did. I live in a place and have crazy neighbors. Sometimes I do research, too, I just observe people, how they react. So we have a lot of stuff where the people will relate to it. So, you mentioned bikini girl you know? Again, girls like to express themselves.
7. On the infamous flower shop scene:
TW: So I actually knew the owner indirectly. What [Greg] put was that we just go there and say, “Hey, I’ll give you 20 dollars to do this scene.” Are you insane? Nobody will allow this kind of stuff, including myself. Even doggy was paid. We paid a hundred bucks to doggy, for your information. Because she said, “No, you cannot use my doggy unless you pay.” Plus she was Chinese and you know how they are! [Laughs.] This is from The Neighbors now, just teasing.
8. Tommy gets deep:
TW: You talk about Cici [a character from The Neighbors] looking for chicken, “What is chicken? What is symbol?” And I say, you know, it’s a lot of stuff.
Anything we missed? What were your favorites? Because it’s pretty impossible to read a Tommy Wiseau… thing… and not have to talk about the best, weird parts.