Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've always enjoyed Rob Lowe: St. Elmo's Fire, The West Wing, and Parks and Rec, but I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan. Sure, he's pretty, and he's taken some great roles. Billy Hicks was one of my first crushes: the pretty, dangerous, incorrigible bad boy with a heart of gold silently screaming, "fix me; love me!" Sam Seaborn was the perfect package: smart, witty, and doing important things for important people. And who couldn't love Chris Traeger? He was literally the best person to move to Pawnee. Ever.
However, you don't have to love Rob Lowe to love this book. It's well-written, and he shares lots of interesting stories about growing up in Ohio, breaking into show business, and the wins and losses along the way. My favorite part was about getting his role in The Outsiders and the subsequent adventures in filming. You can see by his stories that Charlie Sheen has always been a little off-center, and Tom Cruise has always been intense and crazy. I also enjoyed his stories of growing up in the excesses of Malibu, how he felt like the outsider growing up, and his journey to stardom when he wasn't mature enough to handle it. He shares some of his struggles with addiction and gives small glimpses into what seems to be a strong marriage and happy family life. His journey could have gone a very different way, and I think he's grateful for what he has.
If you want a glimpse into what drives someone to persevere as an actor, this is a read for you. I've never had that drive, that pull, to push myself outside of an ordinary life, so it was fascinating to read what kept him going. It was surprising, and an interesting perspective. Clearly it's why I'm not a star--I would never tolerate the bullshit he did to maintain his fame. That, coupled with the cool stories about movies, shows, and actors made this an entertaining read.
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