Rob Lowe is aware that he looks freakishly young for a 53-year-old father of two. He has read the headlines accusing him of being a vampire, and he has seen the social media rants about how he can still look like he did in 1983.
But if Lowe is indeed one of the undead, or just frequently vacations to the fountain of youth, he hasn’t allowed it to temper his work ethic: His calendar is more packed than ever. “There is this drive that I have that I think is the real reason I feel and look as vibrant as ever,” he says. “I don’t let it go away. This is more of what I consider an ‘inside job,’ combined with a fairly athletic existence.”
Now Lowe’s looking to impart this lust for life to his two sons, Matthew and John, who serve as cohosts on his new A&E series The Lowe Files. The show follows the three as they adventure to parts unknown, chasing down supernatural phenomena. The experience served as not only an excuse for Lowe to spend quality time with his boys, but also as a way to share those fundamental life philosophies that helped him become a modern day Lestat de Lioncourt.
How do you manage to stay so energetic?
The first thing I believe is you need to stay curious. You need to keep all the qualities that you had as a child alive, and if you have kids of your own, they make great teachers. There are four ideals that I stick to regularly: curiosity, enthusiasm, new interests, and physicality.
Those elements are all at play in The Lowe Files.
Doing things and feeling things that I never had before was part of the fun of doing this show. I’m really fortunate that I’ve gotten to experience a lot, but there’s still more to see in this world. One reason I liked this show concept, beyond just the fact that I got to work with my kids, was because it was unscripted and I had never done anything like that before. Once again I was worried and insecure, which took me back to how I felt when I was first starting out.
So it is about finding new challenges?
It’s common for guys when they reach this age to get very comfortable with what they do and who they are, and they never have to face those kinds of challenges again if they don’t want to. I got offered to write another book, but I had experienced that challenge already, so I decided to instead write a one-man show. That’s what I’m working on now, and it’s for the same purpose, to become a beginner again.
Like recently when you paddle-boarded with great white sharks. I’m guessing that was a first.
I live in Santa Barbara and there are a lot of juvenile great whites. I allowed my son Matthew to convince me to go out there and see them. I am glad he did. It was a one-in-a-lifetime experience. I don’t think I would ever do it again, but I’m glad that I did it then.
What did you hope that your sons could learn from doing the show?
For one I always look to impart on my kids a sense of enthusiasm for life, and the idea that sometimes you have to actually seek out answers for your questions. Through that process you truly create memories, instead of just looking for the cool social media post, and find yourself on actual adventures. Nobody is going to create memories for you. I believe that those memories are all that truly matter, because at the end of the day, when everything else goes away, you will always have those places to go back to in your mind.
Did you learn anything about them during those trips?
I had things about my boys confirmed, that I had expected for awhile. My boys are great fun; they are great company and people to be around. They are tough and game for anything. They aren’t, for lack of a better word, pussies. We were out there in the wilderness and the conditions weren’t always ideal. The food wasn’t great, the weather was shitty, and it was physically challenging. But we also had a blast.