There are some mysteries in life that will likely never be solved – that’s a thing we all know. For example, what happens to our souls after death. Is there any reason why human beings exist on this planet? And, perhaps most intriguingly, how much is Tommy Wiseau’s net worth?
Whether you spotted Tommy at the infamous L.A. billboard or James Franco’s Oscar nomination The Disaster Artist, once you have seen this face, you will be trapped in endless curiosity. Everything about this guy is so bizarre, from his strange accent to his appearance. Is he a space alien or a cyborg? I mean, he couldn’t possibly come from planet earth, could he? The more you go down the rabbit hole, the more befuddled you become. Read on, and let us clear the fog for you!
Are You Wise Enough To Know Who Tommy Is?
By the time you read this, if you haven’t heard of Tommy Wiseau, it’s time to pull yourself together. Honestly. This evening, cancel all the dates you have and rent “The Room” so you can finally understand why your buddies have been yelling things like “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” and “Oh, hi Mark!” for so long.
In a nutshell, Wiseau is a modern-day Ed Wood. His crowning (and perhaps only) achievement is “The Room”, a film he produced, wrote, directed, and starred in. This masterpiece is…well, something you can’t describe in words.
In short, “The Room” is a love story like no others. Why is it “like no other”, you ask? Well, imagine an alien from Mars was attempting to mimic humans’ cultural norms. That’s how off-kilter the movie is. Due to its ridiculousness, “The Room” managed to create a buzz among (bad) movie lovers, which is enough to mark Wiseau a B-movie icon.
Still, the mystery surrounding his background is what truly drives the interest of the public. It seems that no one but himself knows where he came from, what his real name was, or how he got enough money to create such a disaster in the form of a movie.
Basically, this guy is like Bigfoot in the celebrity world, and while he is unquestionably real, most of the details we know about him are suspect. That said, in recent years, some crucial information has leaked.
About Tommy Wiseau’s Origin…
One thing we know for sure: Tommy Wiseau is obsessed with America. Compared to Uncle Sam, he is even more of a patriot. Whenever someone asked about his hometown, Wiseau would proudly mention New Orleans… using his heavy Eastern European accent.
There is nothing unusual with an ex-pat feeling a stronger bond with their new home than the one of birth, but since it is Tommy Wiseau, that piques our curiosity! Perhaps he had revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that he was “originally from Europe”, and he sometimes claimed to be born in France, there are some crucial parts missing from the puzzle.
But well, since this is the 21st century, we got some hints from our Redditors, who said Tommy’s real name might be Piotr Wieczorkiewicz and that he came from Poland. That makes sense, considering his accent, but still remains controversial.
Possibly the most reliable source for Tommy’s trivia is his self-proclaimed best buddy. Greg Sestero – who played Mark in “The Room”, stated that Wiseau was raised in the Eastern Bloc and harbored an American dream at a very young age. After moving to France, he changed his name to Pierre, where he struggled to make a living before earning enough money to move to the US. He most likely headed straight to New Orleans afterward.
Not Only His Hometown, But Tommy Wiseau’s Age Is Also Puzzling
So, how would you respond when someone asks about your age? Most people would give a number, but not Tommy Wiseau. Instead, he says “However old you are”, regardless of who is asking.
If you ask Greg Sestero (again), he would say it is nonsense. According to him, Tommy was probably born in the 1950s. For sure, Tommy prefers to let people think he is younger than he actually is, as seen when he douses himself in copious amounts of black hair dye and rigorous fitness routines.
Tommy Wiseau’s Net Worth And How He Got The Money To Make “The Room”
The mystery surrounding his origin and age, though, isn’t quite as bizarre as Tommy Wiseau’s net worth. He self-sponsored the whole $6 million productions of “The Room”, with most of the money going to unnecessary things. For example, two cameras, one 35mm film and one digital HD, were used to shoot the movie, as reported by Vox. Despite all that, the movie was hardly aesthetically pleasing… but let’s discuss that another day.
The question here is, where did Tommy Wiseau get his money? The director himself stated that his income was from selling imported Korean leather jackets, but please, does it make any sense at all?
How Tommy Wiseau got rich before The Room
One of the most appropriate theories floating around, as Vulture described, is that Tommy was caught in an accident with a renowned Hollywood producer, who compensated by giving him all of his Room funds as part of a settlement. Wiseau was hospitalized for several weeks and almost lost his life, but the car crash was a turning point that led him to pursue his lifelong desire of being an actor and director. Although plausible, there is no evidence to support it.
About Tommy Wiseau’s net worth, trusted sources have listed his current fortune at $4 million, which is a far cry from Greg Sestero’s net worth of $500 thousand. It is true that The Room’s premiere was a commercial disaster, earned a mere $1,900 in box office revenue. However, being entitled “the greatest bad movie”, the movie eventually rose to cult fame and has since pulled in roughly $4.9 million worldwide.
While this is not enough to cover Wiseau’s initial investment, The Room’s cult popularity has placed the director in the spotlight, allowing him to make a name in Hollywood. Now, Wiseau’s income comes from interviews, guest appearances, and investments in real estate.
The Making Of “The Room”
Nowadays, whenever mentioning “The Room”, Tommy Wiseau would say it is a black comedy. Seriously, though? By all means, the protagonist’s death scene, which portrayed him in a Christ posture, couldn’t be taken seriously. Almost every character in the movie went out of their ways to empathize how much of a great man Tommy’s character is. That’s a huge sign of ego and solipsism.
And you can see this ego and solipsism even more clearly behind the scene when Tommy decided to spend thousands of dollars on a separate bathroom for himself on the set, while the rest of their cast didn’t even have an air conditioner. That’s an unexpected way to spend six million dollars, if you ask me. A crew member even passed out from heat exhaustion after Tommy refused to let anyone carry water bottles.
Just by that, you can imagine a lot of drama in the making of The Room. All of them are documented in “The Disaster Artist” – a movie based on Tommy’s true story, directed by the famous James Franco.
What Does Tommy Wiseau Think Of ‘The Disaster Artist’?
When news about “The Disaster Artist” leaked out, many could imagine Tommy’s outrageous reaction. Seeing a fictionalized version of yourself on TV for the amusement of million audiences can be a traumatic experience for us, but don’t expect Tommy Wiseau to react like ordinary people.
The Disaster Artist Official Trailer
In fact, Tommy absolutely loved the film. As mentioned to Bustle, the infamous director didn’t expect much until “The Disaster Artist” was premiered at the 2016 SXSW. After watching, he declared that he approved it “99.99 percent”. That’s a lot, compared to the 40 percent approval he gave Greg Sestero’s book. Ironically, the book served as the main inspiration for the movie, but Tommy Wiseau doesn’t seem to care.
In case you are wondering what was the tiny detail Tommy disliked, he was very specific about that. As reported by Cinema Blend, some of the lighting in The Disaster Artist’s early scene irritated him. What about the rest? Peachy keen!
Wiseau Has His Eyes Set On Broadway
True cult classics don’t come around very often. Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive or Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead are all examples of movies that rose to fame thanks to passion, bootstrapping, and fearlessness. While The Room would never receive the acclaim Tommy hoped for at the Academy Awards, it did become a cultural phenomenon in its own right. That’s not easy, and Tommy should be proud of himself for this accomplishment.
In the last few years, the so-called filmmaker has devoted his time to touring the world, interacting with his huge fanbase, and expanding Tommy Wiseau’s net worth. He mentioned working with the assistance of musician Ben Folds to turn The Room into a Broadway musical. It’s going to take a long time, but to think that “You’re Tearing Me Apart would become an overnight sensation on Broadway, that’s worth the way. Keep your fingers crossed!
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