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Rob Lowe Recalls Tom Cruise Going ‘Ballistic’ When They Had to Share a Room as Teens: ‘It Was Gnarly’

Rob Lowe Says Tom Cruise Went Ballistic When They Shared a Hotel Room
Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise Frank Micelotta/Fox/Picturegroup/Shutterstock; Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Boys will be boys? Rob Lowe once shared a hotel room with Tom Cruise — and the Top Gun actor was not happy about it.

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Lowe, 56, looked back at his career and time working with Cruise, 57, on The Outsiders during the Tuesday, April 28, episode of “Armchair Expert” podcast with Dax Shepard, and recalled the actor’s intense reaction to being stuck with him during part of the ’80s movie’s audition process.

“All of the L.A. people [who] survived the L.A. auditions [were] then hand-picked to go to New York to face the New York version [of the audition],” the St. Elmo’s Fire actor told Shepard, 45, of the 1983 film’s months-long audition. “So it was me and Tom Cruise and Emilio [Estevez] and C. Thomas Howell.”

Tom Cruise Rob Lowe The Outsiders
Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe in The Outsiders Moviestore/Shutterstock

The young actors were staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York, but when they went to check in, the Mission: Impossible star found out that the two “were sharing a room and [he] just goes ballistic.”

“To me, what’s great about the story is, there’s certain people who have always been who they are,” Lowe explained. “And that element of them has powered them to where they are today and the rest is history.”

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The father of two admitted that seeing an 18-year-old Cruise, who up to that time had only had a small part in Endless Love and “like a seventh lead” in Taps, “have that kind of wherewithal” made him think, “’Wow, this guy is the real deal.’”

It was a sign to the 911 Lone Star actor that Cruise was going to be successful.

“I mean it made me laugh, it was gnarly,” he recalled. “But at the end, you can’t argue with the results, he’s had his eye on the ball since day one.”

On the Tulsa, Oklahoma, set of the film, the actors also had to learn to do backflips, which Lowe remembered Cruise being “relentlessly competitive” about while learning.

Lowe, for his part, got his start with a role on A New Kind of Family and Class, before joining the “Brat Pack” (which consisted of Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Estevez, and others) with films like St. Elmo’s Fire and Oxford Blues. He was, however, already friends with Charlie Sheen and Estevez, 57, and was taken under their dad Martin Sheen’s wing while living in Malibu.

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“He was the neighborhood cool dad,” he said of Martin, 79. “He was very famous, but he was never around” because he was doing Apocalypse Now.

Lowe received getting advice from the Grace and Frankie star when he originally booked The Outsiders. Martin told him that “if Francis [Ford Coppola] asks you to do something you don’t want to do, don’t do it.”

The Outsiders also starred Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio and Diane Lane.

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