Although Tommy Wiseau’s name is synonymous with The Room, having written, directed, produced, and starred in his cult tragicomedy like a latter-day Orson Welles with an ass fetish, filmmaker Sandy Schklair has now come forward demanding that he be the one recognized as directing one of the worst movies of all time. In an upcoming interview with Entertainment Weekly (excerpted at /Film), Schklair reportedly says that he was initially hired as a script supervisor, but his responsibilities quickly expanded as it became clear that Wiseau was too busy acting and, presumably, lighting candles to answer questions regarding his dialogue or directions, so it fell to Schklair to step in and call the shots. According to Schklair, the two even had the following exchange:
Schklair: “Umm…you want me to direct your project?”
Wiseau: “No! I am director!”
Schklair: “Yeah, you’re the director, whatever. But you want me to direct your movie for you?”
Wiseau: “Yes, please.”
Naturally, Wiseau has denied that such a conversation ever took place, saying, “I will never give this guy credit. He did not direct the movie. He was hired as a script supervisor. If he was my assistant, so be it. But direct? I don’t think so.” However, another unnamed actor on the film tells EW, “The script supervisor ended up sort of directing the movie. Tommy was so busy being an actor that this other guy directed the whole thing,” backing up Schklair’s claims that people on the set would come to him begging, “Please Sandy, for the love of God, rewrite this so it makes sense.” But according to Schklair, he actually did the opposite, saying that the awfulness that’s so endeared it to legions of ironic appreciators wasn't accidental: “Yes, we were making the world’s worst movie,” Schklair said. “But we knew it at the time. I embraced The Room.”
Of course, Schklair quit working on the film after only a month or so, and he’s been more or less quiet about his alleged larger role until now—which is conveniently timed with his upcoming gig directing the new TNT show Franklin & Bash, and driven by his own stated goal to “get his name out there.” Evidently, he believes "Director, The Room" would be a worthwhile addition to his portfolio. As to why he waited nearly eight years until a suspiciously opportunistic time availed itself, Schklair says that he was encouraged to finally come forward and talk to the press by Franklin co-star Malcolm McDowell, which is just weird to think about. The idea of Malcolm McDowell holding serious counsel with anyone on The Room is, frankly, bizarre. Anyway, the likelihood of Wiseau ever forfeiting his directing credit is obviously slim, but the story does add an interesting new wrinkle to that inevitable Tommy Wiseau biopic some 20 years from now.