John Owen Lowe (‘Unstable’) on starring with father Rob Lowe: ‘Let that tornado spin and I can operate around it’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“It’s a unique look at this relatable relationship,” reveals John Owen Lowe about “Unstable” in our recent webchat. He continues, “A parent is always going to irritate their child and give them a hard time. It just so happens that I grew up with a parent who was in the public eye, so no-one ever agreed with me when I tried to tell people he was wildly irritating. There was something very funny about the dichotomy of that. We wanted to make a show about it, so people could laugh, relate and also go, ‘this situation is a little bit funky, isn’t it?’” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

Lowe created “Unstable” with his father Rob Lowe and Victor Fresco. The show is a new Netflix comedy set at a biotechnology company. Lowe plays Jackson, who comes to work at the facility when the CEO and his father Ellis, played by Rob, becomes unhinged. Jackson has to contend with his eccentric father who often takes the spotlight.

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SEEour video chat with Rob Lowe (‘Unstable’)

Lowe admits working with his father “had its pros and cons. There are moments we had to work through. It highlighted some things in Rob and I’s relationship that we hadn’t gotten to vocalize. Doing it on screen was cathartic for both of us. Rob playing a slightly heightened version of himself was triggering for me at times. Having to act across that, was reliving certain parts of my childhood. But overall, it was mostly cathartic.”

But would his dad think about Ellis was a slightly heightened version himself? Lowe jokes, “We would disagree on that, I’d say it’s about 10% heightened. He would say 30 or 40%.”

On how their performance styles complement each other, Lowe explains, “Rob is the type of actor that sucks up air and energy. In a good way! A trap some people could fall into is to try to meet him there. What I found works best with Rob in my personal life, and on screen, is to let him do his thing. Let that tornado spin and I can operate around it. It creates this organic ecosystem for us to thrive. Jackson is more of a straight man; the eyes of the audience. I took it upon myself to not outplay what Rob was doing, but to genuinely react to the absurdity.”

Lowe also is in the writers room and wrote the fourth episode of the series, ‘Pilgrims and Sex Parties ‘. He reflects, “Writing is a very personal thing. You have to trust the people around you to give your most vulnerable pitch. Acting is the same in a different way. You are about to be physically vulnerable. Attempt to portray that emotion and hope you evoke the response that is written. Both things require a certain level of trust and not taking yourself too seriously. Which I’ve learnt to do over time.”

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