Rob Lowe interview: ‘Unstable’
“It’s the perfect amount of heavy lifting as an actor and easy gliding into certain elements of myself,” reveals Rob Lowe about his role in “Unstable.” For our recent webchat he continues, “For most actors the roles that work the best meet that mathematical equation. Just enough of them where it couldn’t really be played by anybody else, but a large amount of acting required.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Lowe created the new Netflix comedy “Unstable” with his son John Owen Lowe and Victor Fresco. He explains, “Our influences in creating the show were those classic straight comedies that only wanted to entertain you, to make you laugh in a smart and unexpected way; not in the business of being edgy; not in the business of being dramedies.”
For the program, Lowe plays Ellis, the eccentric CEO and founder of a biotechnology company. When he becomes unhinged, his son Jackson comes to work at the facility. Lowe admits, “For me to get a chance to play a part like this, is kind of a dream. I would watch shows that would have characters like this and go, ‘one day I would like to find my iteration of that.’
He explains, “Playing a larger than life, eccentric, spectrum adjacent, tech billionaire is not me. That’s the challenge as an actor to ground that performance. The fun of playing a character is finding that. The part I get to glide into is that I’m looking at my actual son.”
In the 1980s, Lowe first became a prominent actor starring in hit films such as “The Outsiders” and “St Elmo’s Fire.” He was nominated for an Emmy in 2001 for his role of Sam Seaborn in “The West Wing.” He has since starred in the fan favorite comedy “Parks and Recreation.” The actor was at first reluctant for his son to enter the industry. He reveals, “Even at the highest levels it’s a hard business. It’s rewarding but it’s not an easy life. When he told me he wanted to not be a stem cell biologist after having just graduated from Stanford, that he wanted to be an actor, was not a happy day in the Lowe household. But it’s his dream. He’d listened to me and exhausted every other option in life. To see him be good at what he does, as a father, is my favorite thing about ‘Unstable.’”
On what this show means, Rob reflects, “It’s continuing a tradition that is kind of fallen out of favor. Hard, no fooling, laugh-out-loud, comedy. There’s nothing like laughing. Smart comedies don’t underestimate the audience, don’t go for the easy joke and are not what’s expected. Yet they go down easy. They are light on their feet and you have a smile on your face the whole time. Talk about inclusive, that’s as inclusive as it gets.”