Rob Lowe may have finally outdone himself. The 51-year-old actor has been a part of the Hollywood scene since he hit the big screen in 1983’s teen gang drama The Outsiders. Now, with literally dozens of TV and movie credits on his résumé, the California-born (still) pretty boy is going at bat for the first time as a priest in NBC’s You, Me and the Apocalypse, which TV Guide described as “Shaun of the Dead with a dash of Christian theology.” We spoke to Lowe on a recent conference call about the show, about how a bunch of very different people react when told a comet is hitting the Earth. It airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays.
With 30 days left, what would be on your bucket list?
I spent a good amount of time thinking about that. While there may be a couple of things that you’d consider — I’ve never been to the rain forests or whatever — but when really faced with it, I would want to do exactly what I’m doing. Which would be: Work hard, be with my family and live the life I’m living. I’m blessed. It’s all good; I don’t feel like there’s a lot of stuff out there that I would feel like I missed out on if it was all coming to an end.
How did this project come about for you?
It was sent to me. And the minute I read the first Father Jude scene, I knew I was in. There aren’t many scripts that grab you like this because [writer] Iain Hollands did such a great job in terms of the tone of it being very, very dramatic and very, very irreverent and witty all at the same time. And the character [is] certainly nothing like anything I’d ever played before.
How did you prepare for the role?
Well, it was a great excuse to do something that I’ve been putting off forever which was really, really, really spend some time reading the Bible cover to cover. I’ve read bits and pieces of it over the course of my life, but I never really sat down and taken it all in, in a sort of scholarly way. In terms of playing a priest, it was like there are certain archetypes that an actor should play before they, you know, move on. Cop, check. Cowboy, check. President, check. Priest, check. So I’m working my way down the list.
Your name triggers a lot of memories in showbiz. But you’re also a father. You’ve also done charity work. How would you want to be remembered?
I would like to be thought as a father first. My two sons are amazing young men. I’m very proud of them. One of them, John, is on my other TV show [Fox’s] The Grinder as a reoccurring actor as he’s getting a 4.0 at Stanford. My other, Matthew, is graduating Duke and going to law school. They’re great human beings, and that’s way more important than anything I’ve ever done in my career. Different people have different connections to me. Some are recent. Some go back 30 years. It would be an incredible legacy to be one of those people that have been in a relationship with an audience their entire lifetime.