Nearly four decades ago, Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise were part of an incredibly talented ensemble cast of young Hollywood stars in the iconic drama The Outsiders, which also featured Patrick Swayze (Darrel Curtis), C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy Curtis), Ralph Macchio (Johnny Cade), Matt Dillon (Dallas Winston), and Emilio Estevez (Two-Bit Matthews). Even though they were teenagers and at the beginning of their careers, Lowe says that Cruise was acting like a movie star.
During a recent appearance on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard podcast, Lowe shared a behind-the-scenes story about what it was like to audition for the Francis Ford Coppola-directed 1983 film that was based on the classic S. E. Hinton novel.
Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, and Emilio Estevez in 1982. pic.twitter.com/ymH3JE8DjW
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Lowe (Soda Pop Curtis) says that he had no problems working with Cruise (Steve Randle) on the set, but during the audition the Top Gun star went “ballistic” when he found out he had to share a hotel room with Lowe.
“All of the L.A. people survived the L.A. auditions, and then the hand-picked people had to go to New York to face the New York version,” Lowe explained. “So it was me and Tom Cruise and Emilio and C. Thomas Howell. [It was the] first time I ever stayed at The Plaza Hotel, and we check-in and Tom finds out that we’re sharing a room and just goes ballistic.”
Lowe said that the great part of the story for him is that there are certain people who have always been who they are, and that element has powered them to where they are today. Cruise is definitely one of those people. At that time, Cruise was just “an 18-year-old actor with a walk-on part in Endless Love and like a 7th lead in Taps,” and the notion that he had that kind of “wherewithal” is what Lowe remembers the most.
Rob Lowe wearing a Rob Lowe t-shirt, 1983. 😎 pic.twitter.com/TOY3LFfagW
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“I remember going, ‘Wow, this guy is the real deal,'” Lowe said. “I mean it made me laugh, it was gnarly. But in the end of it, you can’t argue with the results. He’s had his eye on the ball since day one.”
Shepard backed up Lowe’s point by adding that no one just knocks on your door and asks if you want to be in 12 Mission Impossible movies.
Currently, Rob Lowe is set to return to TV this week for a special episode of Parks and Recreation. The special will feature the original cast and will tackle the current COVID-19 pandemic from a local government perspective.
The special episode of Parks and Recreation airs Thursday, April 30 on NBC.