Tommy Wiseau is a European-American actor. Some say he is from Poland, others from France. And of course, the US. But nobody actually knows. And Tommy uses that mystery to his advantage. Popular for his producing, directing, and acting, he gained international fame with the 2003 movie The Room. How much is Tommy Wiseau’s cash flow?
The fun fact is that critics describe his The Room movie as one of the worst ever made. But that helped the movie gain cult status. In 2004, Tommy co-directed the documentary Homeless in America. Many details about his personal life, including age, source of income, background, and more remain unverified. That makes him a great subject of intense fan speculation and fan fiction. As of August 2020, Tommy Wiseau’s fortune is more than $500,000.
|Birthday:||March 7, 1995|
|Net Worth:||$4 million|
|Occupation:||American Internet Personality, Streamer on Twitch|
Career Ups and Downs
Wiseau is secretive about his early life. In many interviews, he claims he lived in France a long time ago. But he also says he grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. In an interview in 2010, he hinted his birth date is between 1968 and 1969. In a 2016 documentary, Rick Harper says he researched the background of Tommy and found out he is from Poland. In 2017, Wiseau finally confirmed he is from Europe, and he grew up there. But he also said he is a proud American. And all of that doesn’t matter much in the big picture. Some fans say his background is irrelevant.
What we know is that he grew up in Louisiana. And he then moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a street vendor. He sold toys to tourists. That earned him the nickname The Birdman for his bird toys. These were quite popular in Europe at the time. The nickname prompted Tommy to change his name legally to Thomas Pierre Wiseau. He took the French word for bird, oiseau, and replaced O with W of his birth name.
He obtained a degree in psychology from Laney Community College in Oakland. He also worked as a restaurant busboy, hospital worker, and even ran a business in San Francisco. His business, Street Fashions USA sold irregular blue jeans at discounted prices. These regular jobs helped him earn some money so he could finance his own movie career.
Tommy says that movies like Citizen Kane and The Guns of Navarone influenced his career. He specifically cites actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando as his inspiration. Some of the lines in his movie The Room are a direct influence and reference to James Dean’s movies. For example, the infamous cry “You are tearing me apart Lisa” is from Rebel Without a Cause.
Wiseau says that he tried making in Hollywood since the late 1980s. He even took Vincent Chase’s acting class in 1994. Tommy says he attended film classes at Los Angeles Community College. During the 1990s, he directed a student movie, Robbery Doesn’t Pay. He shot it with a super 8 camera in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. The movie is just a dude walking around looking at cars.
His big break is the infamous The Room movie. Released in 2003, many critics describe it as the worst movie ever released. The movie had a $6 million budget. But the financing is a mystery and intrigue. Wiseau claims he paid for the movie himself.
The movie, based on an unpublished 540-page novel by Wiseau is a disaster. But that made it good. The Room is now a cult classic with many late-night showings in theaters around the world. It is so bad, that it is now good to watch it.
Many audience members arrive dressed up to look like their favorite characters from the movie. They can often interact with the dialogue on-screen and throw plastic cutlery in the theater to reference the events on the screen.
During 2010, the movie went on a Love is Blind international tour. Tommy showed the movie in Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, India, and many more locations. He posed for photographs with fans and did signings.
In 2017, James Franco portrays Tommy in the movie The Disaster Artist. He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for the performance. And Tommy approved the casting and movie.
In 2004, Tommy produced his short documentary, Homeless in America. And then in 2010, he appeared in the 15-minute parody horror movie The House That Drips Blood on Alex. In 2015, he started a Reddit “ask me anything thread”.
In 2015, Tommy made it to the movie Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance. He portrayed the villain in the sequel to the cult classic, Samurai Cop.
In February 2019, just before a screen for The Room, Wiseau revealed a teaser trailer for his next project. It is his second directorial effort, Big Shark. He wanted to release the movie in September 2019 but didn’t finish on time.
A lot of his personality and fame comes from the Internet. And Tommy knows to use it to his advantage. In 2011, he starred in a YouTube web series, Tommy Explains it All. In it, he talked about topics from kissing, favorite movies, and much more. He also had his Tommy Wi-Show on Machinima.com. In the segments, he played various video games from Mortal Kombat to Driver: San Francisco.
Where does Tommy Wiseau get his money from? That is a million-dollar question. Nobody knows. Tommy is so secretive and mysterious about his life and earnings, fans started speculating about everything. He paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for an infamous billboard advertising his movie The Room. The billboard stayed in LA for many years.
Some critics say he funded the $6 million movie through his leather-jacket and real estate business. And while the movie got an extremely critical response, it made a lot of money. As of 2020, The Room earned more than $30 million at the box office.
So, how come Tommy Wiseau’s fortune is only $500,000? Well, that is a mystery. But we do know he had to pay damages to two Canadian documentary makers in 2020. He paid more than $700,000 in damages.