Love Life by Rob Lowe
(Simon & Schuster, 2014, 272 pages)
I listened to the new audiobook, Love Life, by actor Rob Lowe. Love Life follows Lowe’s first autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, published in 2011. In his new book, Lowe recounts stories of relationships with his grandfather, manager, fellow actors, and, most importantly, his wife and two sons. He tells a hilarious story of dressing up in a Bigfoot costume on a family camping trip to give his sons a real-life “Bigfoot sighting,” only to be attacked by his oldest son. Later he describes with great emotion the same son leaving for college for the first time.
He talks about interactions with celebrities including Madonna, Warren Beatty, Hugh Hefner, and President Bill Clinton (with a great impression of the former president). He often doesn’t disclose the identity of the celebrity about whom he is talking, but if you’ve followed his life and films very much, you may infer who it is.
He also describes work on current television shows and films, including Killing Kennedy and Behind the Candelabra, for which he received nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe, respectively. He worked tirelessly before filming Killing Kennedy to learn the president’s voice, walk, and mannerisms. He invented the idea for the skin-pulling, cat-like look of Liberace’s outrageous plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz in Behind the Candelabra. Lowe also talks about the “business” of show business, explaining the difference between an agent and a manager (i.e., an agent always gets 10 percent; a manager gets whatever you can give him—usually much more), and revealing behind-the-scenes movie-making and acting tricks.
Although the organization of the stories seemed random, I enjoyed not knowing what was coming next. Lowe’s wit, intelligence, and vulnerability was refreshing, and I enjoyed listening to him read his own stories.