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Rob Lowe literally radiates positive energy.
Of course, the 58-year-old had a lot he was looking forward to when he sat down for a recent Zoom interview with E! News ahead of Father's Day.
The Lowe family's holiday traditions have admittedly changed since his kids were, well... kids. "You know, they're men now," the actor said of 28-year-old Matthew, a lawyer who runs an investment firm, and 26-year-old John Owen, a writer and story editor on 9-1-1: Lone Star. "But when they were little, we would do things that we could all three do together. We go to the beach, maybe we go fishing. Now because they're adults and they're out in the world and live their own lives, I'm just thrilled that I get them coming back to the house."
And in any case, there will be presents.
"My wife, Sheryl, is one of the great gift-givers," Lowe said, showing off the gold chain he was wearing courtesy of Sheryl Lowe Designs. "She makes amazing jewelry for men and women, so I know that I'm getting some good swag every Father's Day."
Basking in the promise of quality time with his sons and perhaps a new bit of bling, Lowe shared some poignant family life lessons and the many reasons for his perpetual good mood:
E! News: What is the best piece of advice you got from your own dad?
Rob Lowe: A lot of advice is leading by example, right? My father is 83, he still works, still goes to the office, is still practicing law. I inherited that work ethic and drive. That's my biggest takeaway, for sure.
E!: If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to other dads, what would it be?
RL: There's different advice for different ages because it really is a different job at different times. For me, the hardest part was 15, 16, 17, 18—teenagers, not a big shocker. They've got to figure out their relationship with drugs and alcohol—and just being on top of it, not living in a dream state. Your kids are out there and they're partying. Get real. And every parent is like, "My kids aren't, but their friends are." Have your eyes open, be realistic, and know that that's part of it. Your job is literally to keep them alive and to not do something stupid while they hopefully figure out how to navigate that part of their lives. Don't be afraid to step in.
And my other thing is, personal privacy does not exist in my house until you're paying the bills. I need to know what's going on. Knock on wood, it worked for us.
E!: Tell us about your new show, Unstable, that you're working on with John Owen.
RL: Whenever I would do something on social media that he thought was a typical "Dad, like, oh my god" move, he would troll me. It became a thing. Seth Meyers, Ellen [DeGeneres], Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel—people started picking up on it, and the fans got a real kick out of it. So he and I started thinking about it, Is there something there? Clearly this is resonating. And we came up with an idea for a TV series based on that dynamic between us. I'm super-excited. We've got really funny people in it. Hopefully it'll have the feel of a Parks and Rec, a warm-hearted, hard-comedy show.
E!: Do you know what your son is going to post before he does it?
RL: No! It's in real time—and sometimes it's super mean! But it's always funny, I gotta give it up. He's a little wiseacre, as my grandmother and grandpa used to say.
E!: And how does that translate to TV?
RL: So we figured out, what is the math of it, because we're not going to play our actual selves on the show. So from his point of view, it's a father that he rolls his eyes over, who he feels doesn't have a great grasp of the world. And I play a tech guru, Elon Musk-esque, who everybody just falls all over for every eccentric, cool, odd thing—and he is the one person who can talk truth to power.
E!: So is Rob Lowe going to be working all summer?
RL: No, I had four weeks. I took my wife to Bora Bora, it was beautiful, and now I'm back on the literal and actual treadmill of work. I start our fourth season of Lone Star in September. I figured out a way to do comedy with Unstable, which will come out next year, and Lone Star, which is drama. It's an actor's dream.
E!: What's your favorite part about playing Owen Strand on 9-1-1: Lone Star?
RL: Our first responders—our actual living, breathing heroes—are real people dealing with us on our worst days. When they see danger, they're running into it, so I love being able to bring that to life. And I love walking by a fire station and people go, "Captain Strand!" It's great to play a hero.
E!: What was it like to play opposite your brother Chad in an episode this season?
RL: He is the only Lowe with an Emmy. You can Google it, it's a sad fact but it is the truth. It reminded me of what a great actor my brother is. He's fantastic.
E!: Speaking of great pairings, you've partnered with Atkins. What are your summer snack hacks?
RL: I'm super busy and I'm very active. I literally cannot get sick—if I get sick or go down or am not at my best, there are hundreds of people who suffer. So I've got to be healthy. And for me, that's keeping my carbs really low, watching my sugar intake. But I also want to have fun. I love peanut butter cups and I love milkshakes. So the great thing about working with Atkins is they've designed stuff for me. The new peanut butter cups are like a Get Out of Jail Free card.
E!: In an Atkins promo, you're doing push-ups on a beach. Is that actually part of your routine?
RL: Oh yeah! I love it because my beach workout is wind sprints, push-ups and then jump in the water. Any time I can be outside, I love it. I don't mind being in the gym, but there's nothing like being outside, especially in summer.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
The first three seasons of 9-1-1: Lone Star are streaming on Hulu. Literally! With Rob Lowe and Parks and Recollections are available wherever you get your podcasts.