Rob Lowe Opens Up: 'Stories I Only Tell My Friends'


Competing with Tom Cruise for the role of Sodapop Curtis, Lowe recalls his nerves during the first reading in front of the director. Lowe remembers his first impression of Cruise and his undeniable work ethic: "He's open, friendly, funny and has an almost robotic, bloodless focus and an intensity that I've never encountered before." Afraid that Cruise would "try to find a way to bash my brains in and take my role from me," Lowe was determined not to get beat out of the life-changing part. Cruise later flubbed his audition for the role of Sodapop, stopping in the middle of the scene and telling Coppola "This just isn't working for me."

7. After the audition, Lowe experienced what he calls "Peggy Lee syndrome."

After the grueling audition process of "The Outsiders" casting, Lowe finally secured the part of Sodapop Curtis. Although the role is monumental for his career, he also admits to feeling let down, saying, "I am on the cusp of something and I feel a mixture of emotions: I'm proud, scared, cocky, insecure, anxious, and confident, all at once. And, truth be told, after the long, adrenaline-filled audition process, I'm also feeling a little let down. (I will later learn this is a hallmark of alcoholism; we call it the Peggy Lee Syndrome. You reach a goal you've been striving for, only to feel "Is that all there is?")"

8. Diane Lane was the "prettiest girl on the planet."

Already a teenage star at 16, Lowe recognizes Diane Lane upon her arrival on set of "The Outsiders" and thought "she may be the prettiest girl on the planet." It was no surprise that the other adolescent boys on set felt the same way. "The minute Diane enters the room, a competition for her attention commences," Lowe recalls.

9. Matt Dillon is a ladies' man and "hero."

Lowe recounts one incident with a groupie that instantly makes Matt Dillon a legend in his eyes: "He crosses to the elevators and passes the gaggle of fans. Then something remarkable happens. He stops dead in his tracks and whispers to a pretty brunette. She listens for a beat, then turns to the four girls she's standing with and whispers something to them. Matt fiddles with the volume on the boom box. The girls caucus for a total of four seconds, till the brunette leaves her friends behind and joins Matt for a walk to the elevators. He puts his free arm around her ... Matt yawns, and the elevator doors close. The entire transaction takes less than 45 seconds. So that's how it is, I think, and take note. Matt f----n' Dillon. My hero."

10. Francis Ford Coppola made the cast of "The Outsiders" do Tai Chi on set.

In a bizarre turn of events, Lowe recalls one of his first days shooting the film when Coppola had the cast gather round, saying, "I want us to meet like this on the spot where we will work, and to be together. I feel like we should do this every day. And now I'd like us all to begin our day with a halfhour of Tai Chi."

Click Here to Go to The May issue of Vanity Fair will be on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Thursday and across the nation April 5.

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