Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

This next book was written by a TRUE icon of the 80s/90s. As part of the LEGENDARY Brat Pack comes the story of actor Rob Lowe. Coming from parents in OH and IN to college sweethearts in VA in 1961, who later divorced REALLY rocked a young Rob. Although a rocky relationship, Chad was born in 1968 and when they came home - their dad didn't. Rob's trip to stardom began after seeing the play 'Oliver' w/ his mom and new step dad, Bill.

Throwing himself into any play he could to be away from parental fighting. Around that time, Rob's brother Micah was born. After Chad and their mom were released from a university allergy hospital, after being "health" fed by their mom, the boys LOVED going to their dad's. But then came a move to California w/ their mom after a divorce.
Young Rob, Chad & Micah

Soon after the move, Chad and Rob get news that Chad's university doctor was moving in. When it came to school, at first Rob was an outcast. But then one day while at the market, he meets a chunky kid w/ a camera trying to make a movie with his friends. The kids were Chris Penn, his brother Sean, Chris' best friend Charlie Sheen and Charlie's brother Emilio Estevez.

After Rob meets his new found friends, it wasn't such a bad place to move after all. It was after being invited to a backstage party for the LEGENDARY SNL of the 70s that Rob was given advice by John Belushi that he SHOULD'VE listened to.

When Rob is invited to go w/ the family to visit a movie that seems like shit, but a movie's a movie, especially one w/ special effects and turns out to be Star Wars. Armed w/ confidence, Rob began to put his foot into politics, became parliamentarian. He even hangs out w/ 70s pioneering skateboarders - DogTown.

His classmate was Holly Robinson-Peete, who mother introduced Rob to LeVar Burton. His first 2 professional jobs are for Coca-Cola and the other are for a blender. Rob, for his 14TH birthday was given a gift by Chad's 16-yr-old babysitter had lost his virginity by total nervousness. With money tight at home, Rob earned spending money by a part-time job at Malibu Cinema. Even a commercial for Carl's Jr. hamburgers did wonders for his social standing at school.

After a phone call from his agent, that he receives back in Dayton, for a  TV series in LA. Knowing his chances, Rob and his mom head to LA going to ABC Headquarters walking away w/ a full-time job. Only 15-yrs.-old - Rob will never be the same.

The first day on-set for a show on ABC - Rob felt as though he FINALLY belonged/fit in. When 'A New Kind Of Family' premiered on TV, ratings SUCKED against bigwig '60 Minutes'. But, when it came time to shoot the 2ND episode: Cameras roll, Rob comes in and girls just go apeshit. His first fan letter was from a prison inmate. Even a stint appearance on 'The $10,000 Pyramid'. 1979 'A New Kind Of Family' was cancelled after 13 shows. His next job was for a series by Ron Howard (never to be seen on-air). After that Rob was the KING of the "After School Special". Best one being "Schoolboy Father". Back in school in Rob's history class, he bonds w/ the hilarious Robert Downey, Jr.

While auditioning his ass off and NO roles coming in, Rob feels he might be done in Hollywood and thinks about going to UCLA or USC for school, but then in 1982, he gets a call from his agent to "one more shot" on a big movie called 'The Outsiders'. While waiting back for a response on whether he even got a part in the film, he stays at the Sheen's. Hanging out w/ Tommy Dalton and Tommy Howell, staying in a hotel/getting wasted and going to the audition hungover. Competing w/ Tom Cruise , Rob walks away with the role of "Sodapop Curtis". Sharing more behind-the-scenes stories from the set.

Around this time, Rob is dating Melissa Gilbert. Like w/ many films on-camera, Rob DID have trouble conjuring that last bit of emotion for the very last scene in the movie, but was able to proceed and make it happen w/ the help of C. Thomas Howell. Back at home, things were strange. Steve turned the house into an office, while their mom is more recluse than ever. But still spent summers w/ Dad and Chad in Ohio.

Rob's next film was for a movie called 'Class' w/ stars Jacqueline Bisset and Academy-Award winner Cliff Robertson, where he saw the phenomenon of raw talent and star potential, wrapping in 1982. Rob had gone from having no career at all to starring in 3 movies (one for TV) back-to-back. Becoming anxious for another film, Rob had to wait until 'The Outsiders'  was released. Only problem w/ that is the release date kept getting pushed back. When the film DID have an initial release, Rob snuck in to the theater, after not being invited to see that his scenes were ALL cut from the movie.

After  'The Outsiders', Rob was hired on the spot w/o audition to film his new movie 'The Hotel New Hampshire' which he co-starred Jodie Foster and Nastassja Kinski. In Paris for another film meeting w/ Roman Polanski, Rob meets Bill Murray from 'Caddyshack'. While waiting PATIENTLY for Roman to FINISH getting this movie together, Rob is hounded by a director to do his movie 'Youngblood'.

But then he passes on the film because he knows NOTHING about hockey. Then a film due to be a smash hit comes and it's 'Footloose'. Rob is willing his way through the dance audition/screen test and right at the end finish, into a sprint high in the air hitting the floor - POP! his right knee implodes in pain.

After still no word from Polanski about the 'Youngblood' film, Rob calls Polanski himself, leaves a message and a return phone call and the movie. Having absolutely NO IDEA how to skate, while training and adding 15LBS. for the role 'Youngblood' gave him the gift of adrenaline sports, physical challenges and daily training.

When it came to 'St. Elmo's Fire', Rob REALLY wanted the role of Billy Hicks and proceeded to go into ALL character for this role and got it. What was to be a fun and enjoyable night by taking a reporter out to show him a good time w/ the  'St. Elmo's' cast turned in 'The Brat Pack'.
After reading the script 'Sexual Perversity In Chicago', Rob loves it and is cast as Danny for 'About Last Night'. It was while at Sundance Film Festival that Rob was offered the chance to meet Princess Stephanie Of Monocco.Soon a relationship develops. Rob initially screen-tests for 'Mask' w/ Cher but loses to Eric Stoltz, due to being too identifiable.While having problems w/ the way Peter Bogdonovich is running the movie 'What's Up Doc?' instead a confrontation w/ Peter Rob drinks to avoid them.

Then came the Oscars where Rob made himself kill by signing w/ Snow White at that evening. Then came the whole videotape scandal. When Rob was asked to promote 'Bad Influence' in Australia he brings one friend, a woman Sheryl Burkoff, someone he met on the set of the film. Stating she just just wants to be friends while Rob does his thing. In a drunken state, after drowning his sorrows and his mother's pleading help after his grandfather's heart attack - he's reached BOTTOM!

Officially hitting clarity, Rob goes into his bedroom, past a sleeping girl and finds his wallet that has a number of a drug/alcohol counselor. He makes a call and a new day begins as of 5-10-1990. Rob takes rehab for all it's worth by taking at face value of his alcoholism. Sheryl jumps through hoops to visit Rob, when she is the ONLY one other than family to visit him. Taking sobriety at it's best advantage, he spends 30 days taking the rehab for ALL IT'S WORTH loving every minute of it - walking out of it a sober man. Going back to work on a movie called 'The Finest Hour'. Drama ensues when Rob could've lost his life on that set. On 6-20-91, Rob and Sheryl are engaged, only to be married on 7-22.

                                Rob's first BIG film after hitting sobriety is one from Paramount - 'Wayne's World'. That Same year Rob found another role: Parent to 9 1/2 lb. Matthew. His film 'Tommy Boy' was idea brought from Lorne Michaels where Chris Farley and Rob play brothers in the film. One of Rob's MOST quoted films. It was after that Johnowen was born. Rob wanted John and Sheryl wanted Owen. After that Rob does some directing behind-the-scenes, some w/ James Cameron. But only little prior to that, Rob does a perfect mimic of Robert Waggoner  in 'Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me' re teaming w/ Mike Myers, who originally asked him/told him he was to be in it. Rob is then being told he is being sent a script after it being shelved for a year for a TV series called 'The West Wing' .

The West Wing cast
Although in negotiations, Aaron Sorkin wanted a "less known" for the lead but NBC wanted a star to help sell the show. On 9-22-99, the ratings were a SMASH hit! As far as it goes w/ Emmy's, they walk away w/ a few. Even a tour through the REAL White House. After an important early negotiations meeting after the success of 'The West Wing' , Rob finds out about deal's being offered to the cast - everyone but him. Without being told, Rob's character was replaced. From there Rob's career is full frontal w/ roles in: 'Brothers & Sisters' and more. As far as personally, Rob enjoys what's most important!

Here's MY opinion:

For someone like Rob to do right, screw up and come back from Hell, I recommend that you should read this book.

For those of you in ANY generation, what is your favorite Rob Lowe film or character role of ALL time?

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