I was fortunate to be in the audience at the Royal Festival Hall in London when Rob Lowe brought this book to life on the stage. It was such a great show that I immediately bought the book to read about the stories that he didn’t want to tell us in a mixed live audience!
Stories I Only Tell My Friends is an honest, no holds barred journey through his life. A life spent almost entirely in the limelight having become a teen idol at the tender age of fifteen. When his mother moved the family with her second husband to the movie mecca of Los Angeles Rob found himself playing with his neighbours kids – Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.
It’s not often that you get an actor telling the whole warts and all story of what it is really like to be an actor, to be a celebrity. The pressures of always having your game face on, of working sixteen hour shifts through driving rain and freezing cold and having to schmoose influential people when you’d really rather just be home. Despite this honesty Lowe never comes across as bitter or regretful. The experiences were all just a part of what shaped him as a man.
Detailed descriptions of his time spent filming his movie breakthrough The Outsiders have made me want to revisit his movie back catalogue. What life was like being part of such a seminal movie along with a group of young actors who would dominate the movie world for the next few decades.
I’ve always been a huge West Wing fan so it was perhaps the section about his time on this show that resonated most with me. His immediate visceral reaction to Aaron Sorkin’s script that had him go straight to his agent to get him considered for the role of Sam Seaborne. Taking a 50% pay cut because they didn’t really want a star on the show wasn’t enough to put him off. Nor was having to audition at a time when scripts were just offered to him. He was a proven actor, in both comedy and drama, and no-one was asking him to audition.
If you’ve got any interest in Hollywood and the movie industry, or Rob Lowe, you will love this book. As an added bonus if you get the audio book it is read by Rob Lowe himself. I can’t think of a better way to spend nine hours listening!
UK Publication Date: May 26 2011. 321 pages.