Rob Lowe: More than a pretty face

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You can’t tell by looking at his nearly flawless mug, but Rob Lowe has crammed a lot of living in his 47 years.  In his surprisingly candid, smart new memoir, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends,” Lowe recounts what it took to be in the public eye for more than 30 years. From the Brat Pack, to the sex tape, rehab, the epic film flops, and newfound fame with The West Wing and Parks and Recreation, Lowe proves that he’s more than a pretty face — he’s a survivor (and a pretty deft writer as well).       

Isn’t 47 too young to be writing a memoir?

I looked at [this process of writing] as a reader. I’m an avid reader of autobiographies. I love them. And I especially love them when they’re still in the middle of the action because it feels vital and relevant. But the real reason I’m writing it now is because my children are both around the same age I was when I became famous. When I see them, I see myself and it brings up a lot.

Is there anything you wanted to clear up?

No! There’s that whole cottage industry of score settling or the big reveal. I’m not into those things. I hate those books. I hate them. [Laughs]. I sound like an old man!

Your teenage years in California sounds almost made up — especially how you just fell into running around with Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Chris and Sean Penn before any of you were famous.

The mid 70s and mid 80s was an extraordinary time in Malibu – I almost have survivor’s guilt about it. When I run into Sean Penn now, after we do our pleasantries, it invariably turns to, “Dude, did you remember that guy? Am I crazy or did this happen?" We sort of share notes. You can’t believe what went on.

If you were incredibly ugly instead of incredibly handsome, do you think you’d still be an actor?

[Laughs]. Absolutely.  The only reason I wanted to be an actor was that I responded to the process of acting. It’s that whole clichéd thing of the relationship between the actor and the audience. It doesn’t have anything to do with how I look. When I started acting, I didn’t even know how I looked!


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