Poor Rob Lowe. He can’t help that he’s really, really ridiculously good looking! The former Parks and Recreation star, 50, opened up in The New York Times Magazine about the discrimination he’s faced for his looks since his 80s heyday in the Brat Pack, claiming that the stigma was debilitating to his career.
“There’s this unbelievable 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,” the West Wing alum lamented. “They can’t be any of the things that you long to play as an actor. I’m getting to play those parts now and loving it. When I was a teen idol, I was so goddamn pretty I wouldn’t have taken myself seriously.”
Though he’s honest about his physical blessings, Lowe insisted that he’s not obsessed with himself.
“I’ve had years of psychiatry, and I ask about every six months — it’s sort of like getting your oil checked — I ask, ‘I’m not an actual narcissist, am I?’” he said. “The learned men of psychiatry assure me that I meet none of the medical criteria. The fact that we can even ponder the question immediately disqualifies me from being one.”
In ’80s classics like The Outsiders and St. Elmo’s Fire, Lowe was a dreamboat, but playing the nerdy Chris Traeger on Parks and Rec came more naturally to him than fans might assume.
“My deep dark secret is that I was a nerd in school,” he revealed. “I liked the theater. I liked to study. I wasn’t very good at sports. It took being famous to make me cool, which, by the way, I never forgot.”
He certainly didn’t stay “nerdy” forever. In 1988 Lowe was involved in a massive sex tape scandal, which resulted in one of the first commercially released celebrity sex tapes ever. So it makes sense that he’s starring in the summer comedy Sex Tape with Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz.
“Considering I pioneered the field, it’s high time I actually made some money in it,” he quipped. “Now that it’s a thing that suburban couples do when they’re bored, I decided it’s time to get back in the pool.”
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