Monday, May 04, 2015

Rob Lowe: Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Actor Rob Lowe looks back on his life in show biz in his autobiography "Stories I Only Tell My Friends".

He grew up in Dayton, Ohio and his parents moved to Malibu, California when he was a teenager. At his Malibu high school, many of the kids were surfers who looked down on actors. But, he managed to find a group of actors in his school and neighborhood. Some of his early friends/collaborators were Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Sean Penn, Holly Robinson, Janet Jackson, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

In the early 1980s Lowe tried out for roles in Ordinary People and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He did not get those roles and he considered going to college to study film. Then he got his big break with the Francis Ford Coppola film The Outsiders (1983). Much of the book is about Lowe's experiences on the set working with the master Coppola. He asked his neighbor Martin Sheen about working with the eccentric director on Apocalypse Now. The Outsiders was a big break for many young actors including C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez. Lowe played "Sodapop" Curtis and was disappointed that many of his best scenes were cut out of the final film. The teen stars were underage, but drank on the set of The Outsiders. Lowe developed a drinking problem and ended up in rehab later in life.

The next sections of the book looked at his other films such as Class (1983), Hotel New Hampshire (1984), About Last Night (1986), and the "brat pack" film St. Elmo's Fire (1985).

In the 1990s, Lowe showed that he could be funny in many comedy films such as Wayne's World, Tommy Boy and Austin Powers.

In 1999, he agreed to a pay cut compared to the money had been making by making his move into TV. The NBC smash hit The West Wing was a perfect role for him since he always had an interest in politics. He worked with a stellar cast including Allison Janny, Martin Sheen and John Spencer. Written by Aaron Sorkin, Lowe played Sam Seaborn. He left after 4 seasons due to a contract dispute.

Since leaving The West Wing, Lowe has appeared in TV shows Brothers and Sisters, Parks and Recreation, and Californication.

*Some information from
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