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Rob Lowe’s son John makes rare comment about his childhood

The father son duo Rob and John have no boundaries


Rob Lowe and his son John Lowe at the premiere of Unstable
Faye James
Senior Editor
June 8, 2023
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Father-son duos are often renowned for their playful banter and camaraderie. For Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe, this charming rapport has been honed over many years, evident in their delightful back-and-forth exchanges, both in real life and on Instagram. 

In a recent Instagram post, where the pair are seen pictured with a table tennis racket and ball, John playfully ribbed his father this time sharing a rare insight to his youth, stating: "I love this photo, it reminds me of how you dropped the ball throughout my childhood."

John, the younger Lowe, usually emerges victorious in these witty exchanges, which he endearingly calls a “love language of sorts in our family.” His father, Rob, with his eternally youthful visage and robust physique, presents an abundance of fodder for light-hearted jests. 

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Reflecting on the abundant affection his father has garnered over the years as a heartthrob, John quips to the Los Angeles Times, “I help him stay grounded by giving him a realistic assessment of his abilities as a human being, father, friend.”

MORE:  Rob Lowe, 59, makes rare appearance with younger brother Chad - and wow 

Amicably conceding to his son's observations, Rob responds, “I am going to find that very hard to argue with.” Their fun-filled interactions took a public turn a few years ago when John began jovially teasing his father on Instagram, much to the amusement of Rob's followers. 

The teasing reached such popularity that Rob found himself fielding questions about their lively exchanges from fans and talk show hosts alike.

John Owen Lowe and Rob Lowe attend the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Unstable" © Emma McIntyre
John Owen Lowe and Rob Lowe attend the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's "Unstable"

When John proposed the concept of a show encapsulating their familial dynamic, Rob acknowledged the potential appeal, and thus, Unstable was born. Developed in collaboration with showrunner Victor Fresco (Santa Clarita Diet), the show, which premiered in March to positive reviews, features Rob playing Ellis Dragon, a charismatic biotech inventor, and John, his introverted scientist-musician son, Jackson.

John's trajectory in the entertainment industry also mirrors the premise of the show to some extent. Despite studying science at Stanford and exploring a myriad of interests outside the family business of acting, he found his "artistic drive stayed consistent throughout my youth.” Encouraged by Rob to be a "content creator," John penned an episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star, which stars his father. He had previously appeared with his father and brother, Matthew, in the A&E reality show The Lowe Files.

Speaking about his experiences of working with his father, John stated: "I think a lot of people can relate. … There’s a lot of familial, complicated interpersonal dynamics in the mix." The tech world setting of "Unstable" allows them to depict their unique dynamic, poking fun at tech giants like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Rob Lowe and John Owen Lowe in Unstable
Rob Lowe and John Owen Lowe in Unstable

John’s commitment to realistic depiction extends to the scientific backdrop of the show, drawn from his experience working in a Northern California stem cell biology research lab. His background in studying neuro-links to cancer and regenerative health provided him a solid foundation to make the science in the show believable. 

“As a father, I thought my dreams had come true — I was going to have a son who might solve cancer,” Rob muses. “Instead, I got another member of the Screen Actors Guild.”

Unstable on Netflix - official trailer

“And the Writers Guild,” John retorts, affirming that despite the playful jests and mock rivalries, the Lowes are a father-son duo that share an enduring bond and mutual respect, enriching both their personal lives and professional pursuits.

Rob has two sons with his wife of over thirty years, Sheryl Berkoff, who he married in 1991. His youngest is his now co-star, John, and his eldest son, Edward Matthew, is a lawyer.

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