- Ralph Macchio, Eight Is Enough, TV,1980-1981. At 17, Lowe called Macchio“a tiny kid” (he was20) when they met up again at Francis Coppola’s New York auditions for The Outsider, 1982.The series gigcame own “to the two of us for a new starring role they were adding to the show. We both went to the network reading in a boardroom packed with stone-faced executives in business suits. He came out on top.”
- Darren Dalton, The Outsiders, 1982.
After one reading as Sodapop Curtis (with Thomas C Howell and John Laughlin as his greaser brothers), Francis Coppola asked Lowe to try Randy the Soc (or soshe, for Social). “It’s a small part with one big speech, but I can see that physically I would be right for it I pray that I’m still in the running for Sodapop.” - apart from Ponyboy, Sodapop was the most coveted role in the movie. “The part is huge, romantic and, with the big breakdown scene at the end of the movie, unforgettable." And then, more readings in New York for Soda and Randy -“I’m praying I don’t get this part.No one wants to be a Soc in a movie about greasers.” He started rehearsing Sodapop in Tulsa just before his 18th birthday.
- Kevin Bacon, Footloose, 1984. Perfect!Then he injured his knee during his thirdaudition and could hardly walk or prance.
- Eric Stoltz, Mask, 1984. Hated auditioning for people who refused totake him seriously as an actor, only asked condescending questions and made him pose like a girl.
- Tom Cruise, Top Gun, 1985. In serious contention for the US Navy pilot ace called Maverick. So were: Jim Carrey, Robert Downey Jr, Tom Hanks, Eric Stoltz
- Cris Campion, Pirates, 1986. He missed nothing. Director Roman Polanski’s pirates were far from Caribbean.
- Brian Setzer, La Bamba,1986. Lowe was trying to set up his own movieabout Eddie Cochran so it made sense for director Luis Valdez to offer him a Cohrancameo in this Ritchie Valens biopic. “I had to say I wanted to save it for my own [never made] movie.Brian Sezter of The Stray Catsdid it - and said he’d do anything I wanted in my Cochran film. He’s his hero. I askedhim to recreate all the guitar licks and be my guitar double.” Could Rob sing? Well, hedid muscials as a kid - The Music Man, Oliver. “And anybody can sing rock ’n’ roll.I’m a wonderful mimic, so I’ll be OK.” But...
- Bill Pullman, Spaceballs, 1986. Out to do (belatedly) for space fiction what Blazing Saddles did for Westerns, Mel Brooks asked Lowe to takethe Luke Sywalkerish lead. “I told him I wanted it to be funnier.”You said that to Mel Brooks? “Just my part, my part…The script was hysterical but I’m the straight man. Like Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles - but he got to goof. I asked Mel for some goofs and he told me to go home and write them.”They parted, Mel did it his his way - borsch-belt George Lucas. “May the Schwartz be with you.”
- Charlie Sheen, Navy Seals, 1990. Those who are in are out - and vice-versa - rapidly. Lowe’s most famous film hit tabloid headlines the following year and showed him having sex with two girls, one underage. A copy of it was found by police in Pee Wee Herman’s porno stash.
- Adam Storke, The Stand, TV, 1994. The ABC suits chased Lowe to be Larry Underwood in Stephen King's US take of Lord of the Rings. Lowe prefered to be Nick Andros.
- Jeff Daniels, Dumb and Dumber, 1994. Considered when Nicolas Cage quit and Jim Carrey was looking around for “a really good actor.”(Just not better looking!).
- Patrick Swayze, To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, 1995. As expected in his test in drag, Lowe was too pretty. “He could be,” said scenaristDouglas Carter Beane,“the new Preference by L’Oreal girl”!
- Billy Zane, Titanic, 1996.
- Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
- Michael Reilly Burke, Ted Bundy, 2002. Rob and Peter Saarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland all refused to portray the handsome, intelligent necrophiliac who serial slaughtered 19 (some reports suggest as many as 35) young women across the US in the 70s.
- Patrick Dempsey, Gray’s Anatomy, TV, 2006-2008. After the dubious distinction of having left a hot series, The West Wing,for not one but two new series that tanked (The Lyon's Den, 2003, Dr. Vegas, 2004), he passed on the one that worked. “I felt like shooting myself after the show became a hit. I coulda been Dr McDreamy! It’s an occupational hazard.It happens to everybody. The great thing is that Patrick is so great in that part... If I'd have done that I wouldn’t be doing this great part and having this fun on Brothers and Sisters [TV, 2006-2007]. It all works out.” Not for long; he quit being Calista Flockhart's politico lover in 2010: "nothing to do on the show, anymore."
- François Arnaud, The Borgias, TV, 2010. The Italian Caligula director Tinto Brass told me he offered Cesare Borgia to Lowe ... long beforeIrish director Neil Jordan got his filmoff the ground- as a TVseries.
- Ashton Kutcher, Two And A Half Men, TV, 2011-2013. Highest paid comedy TV star Charlie Sheen was sacked after eight years due tohis meltdownfeud with the show’s co-creator Chuck Lorre - massivenews on TV, Twitter, Facebook, every media known to man, including Sheen’s own national tour. Unless he could find a someone to be excited about, Lorre wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue - he already had two other hit shows, Mike & Molly and The Big Bang Theory.Suggestions includedLowe,Hugh Grant, Woody Jeremy Piven, John Stamos. Enter: Kutcher, star of That '70s Show. He already had a Warner deal via his Katalyst company - and so,the studio’s billion dollar syndication income was secured. Because that’s all this casting call was all about.Money.