Rob Lowe talks about leaving ‘The West Wing’ and the Brat Pack

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Rob Lowe talks about leaving 'The West Wing' and the Brat Pack

Rob Lowe is featured on the cover of the October issue of “GQ” and inside, he talks about the Brat Pack and leaving his role as Sam Seaborn in “The West Wing.”

With regard to the Brat Pack, he said, “In 1985, right before St. Elmo’s Fire opened, New York magazine labeled Emilio, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, Judd Nelson, and me ‘Hollywood’s Brat Pack.’ It was hard. We were totally minimized—like we were indistinguishable pretty people. But the irony was, it ended up being a piece that was too hip for the room. The snark was completely lost on the rest of the country. Everybody just thought it was fucking great. You know, I’ve had Peyton and Eli Manning come up to me and play scenes from St. Elmo’s Fire. I’ve had Gwyneth Paltrow play scenes from St. Elmo’s Fire. So after years of that, I’m down with the Brat Pack.”

On the topic of leaving “The West Wing”, he said, “When I left The West Wing I remember Martin Sheen taking me aside and saying, ‘Boy, I sure hope you know where you’re headed with this. I mean, man, you’d better have Steven Spielberg offering to put you in a movie.’ I was like, ‘Well, no, I don’t.’ But look, I love a negotiation where they make it really easy for you. I love it when it’s like a ‘take it or leave it’ that’s insulting. In the end, I could have lived with the fact that everyone on the show had gotten a raise but me—if I felt that we really knew what the story lines were going to be. One writer on the show told me he was in a meeting in which they told him to write whatever he wanted. He goes, ‘I want to write a story about Sam Seaborn going back to Ohio to deal with his father who has Alzheimer’s.’ The response: ‘You can write for anybody but him.’ I’m not even sure that it was Aaron Sorkin who said it. Aaron may know nothing about it.”

All in all, he said working on the show was pretty grueling. He added, “…And I loved The West Wing. But man, it was grueling. We shot near the Friends stage, and we would roll in at, like, six in the morning, and the ‘friends’ would come in, in their Ferraris and Lamborghinis, like, at 11:30 a.m., and by midnight they would have shot their show. They’d be gone and we’d be there until six in the morning. The sun would rise. That would never happen in TV today. Never. They’d never pay for the overtime. It was a moment in time, both in terms of the economics of the business and how successful the show was. Aaron had the kind of latitude to do it. It will never be done again.”

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 1:13pm
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