And yeah, fair, he probably did
For almost 15 years, Tommy Wiseau has very proudly taken the credit (and blame) for not only directing but producing, starring in, and writing The Room, the “worst movie ever made”. Over those years the film has become a cult classic, but recently it’s accumulated more cultural relevance than ever with the release of The Disaster Artist, a film about it’s horrendous making-of and the bizarre but touching friendship behind it. So really, it’s no surprise that someone would come forward now and try to keep just a little of that recognition for themselves.
Which is exactly what Sandy Schklair, who has stayed mostly silent about his involvement with The Room for 15 years, is doing. Schklair, who is credited as a script supervisor on The Devil’s Rejects and director for Scott-Free, is now claiming that he directed The Room. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Schklair claims that while he was originally hired as a script supervisor, he ended up directing he film as Wiseau “had no idea what the directing process was, no idea how you shoot”.
He has now written about about his experiences in a book entitled Yes I Directed the Room, which will be released on January 12. He said: “you know what, I don't care if it’s a shitty movie. I directed crap and got it noticed all around the world. I directed this entire movie”. Though he was modest enough to add: “except for the love scenes and the second unit stuff in San Francisco”. He went as far as to claim that “anything in The Disaster Artist that actually shows Tommy directing, this never happened, ever”. Wiseau has denied Schklair’s claims.
Were it any other film, any other director, Schklair’s claims would seem unbelievable. If someone came forward and said that they, actually, had taken over from Orson Welles for the filming of Citizen Kane, it’d seem far less likely. But considering the absolute legendary incompetence of Wiseau, and how Greg Sestero details in his book that Schklair’s involvement was the “only reason we'd gotten anything remotely watchable on film”, it seems entirely believable. If it’s true, it doesn’t really take away from Wiseau’s legend; if anything, it only adds to the ever-changing mythology of The Room. It isn’t the directing that made it what it was either. It was Wiseau’s ego, hubris, and absolute refusal to conform to conventions of filmmaking or change his vision for anyone. And it worked.