Rob Lowe. He's a hard guy to pin down. He's been in good movies; he's been in bad movies. And yet, through all the ups and downs of his 30-plus-year career, one thing has remained consistent: The dude is really, really handsome.
He knows it, you know it, we all know it. And that indisputable fact makes his recent efforts to ugly-fy himself for a couple of DirecTV commercials all the more amusing.
The ads each feature two different Rob Lowes. One is a DirecTV customer. That version of Lowe is handsome, dapper, suave... a smooth customer all the way around, Jack.
The other version of Lowe is a cable customer — and, as a result, resembles either a gross couch-bound gargoyle with a disintegrating comb-over, or a sleazy pervert who uses binoculars to watch people swim at the rec center. You get the point.
But these two ads are just the latest example of Lowe poking fun of his Hollywood handsome reputation. In a recently released trailer for the upcoming film The Interview (starring James Franco and Seth Rogen), Lowe plays a version of himself who admits to wearing a wig. At one point in the trailer, Lowe removes the hairpiece and smiles awkwardly for Franco. It's cringe-comedy, and Lowe plays his part well.
Lowe's push to be seen as an actor (not a handsome actor) was also on display in last year's HBO film Behind the Candelabra. A barely recognizable Lowe played Liberace's plastic surgeon. His eyebrows are permanently arched; his forehead is a place where wrinkles go to die. He looks, frankly, scary.
Earlier this year, Lowe spoke to The New York Times about what he sees as a "bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can’t be in pain or they can’t have rough lives or be deep or interesting."
Lowe wants to prove that that isn't the case. "In comedy," he told the Guardian in 2009, "you have to be willing to not take yourself seriously, you know? I take comedy really seriously and so to take comedy seriously, you must not, you cannot, ever take yourself seriously."
A fake comb-over can help with that.