Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
(Henry Holt & Co, 2011, 308 pages)
It’s true that Rob Lowe’s poster from St. Elmo’s Fire as sax-playing Billy hung on my dorm room wall. It’s true that I was obsessed with the film About Last Night in which Rob Lowe wore a Cubs hat and a goldenrod t-shirt that read “No Lights in Wrigley Field.” When I was looking for an audiobook award winner to listen to in my car, it wasn’t a hard decision to choose Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, a 2012 Audie nominee for Narration by the Author.
This audiobook reveals that Rob Lowe is a master of voices. In sharing interesting stories of encounters with actors and of films in which he’s appeared, his impressions of stars such as Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Francis Ford Coppola, Bill Paxton, Mike Myers, and Chris Farley, were spot-on. Lowe talks at length about the making of the film, The Outsiders, in which a number of young actors starred, including Cruise, Swayze, Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, and Lowe’s childhood friend, Emilio Estevez. He tells the story of the photo shoot that produced The Outsiders movie poster (you’ll find out why he is looking to his right and laughing). Other interesting revelations in the book include:
- after landing the male lead in About Last Night, Lowe’s first choice for leading lady was not Demi Moore, but recent Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo
- how the derogatory term “The Brat Pack” was coined in New York Magazine after a night out with a journalist who was supposed to be writing an article to promote the work of Emilio Estevez
- losing the audition for the male lead role in The Breakfast Club to Judd Nelson
Lowe has been active in politics since he was teenager and shares stories of friendships with activists Jane Fonda, Michael J. Fox, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and President Clinton (another great impression). He also talks at length about his experience on the political drama The West Wing, the role-of-a-lifetime for him.
In addition to his career, Lowe discusses his family life, growing up a theater nerd in Ohio and later moving to Malibu, California with his mom and stepfather; and his romantic relationships, including Princess Stephanie of Monaco and wife Sheryl Berkoff, a makeup artist he got to know during the filming of Bad Influence. He and Sheryl have two sons.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to get into my car every day. And now Youngblood and The Outsiders are on reserve for me at the public library.
(You can also read Julia’s review of this title.)