Pharrell Williams was moved to tears after seeing his music's impact on a young cancer-stricken fan.
With the help of U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, the Happy hitmaker recorded a special video message for 10-year-old Damon Billeck last year (14), as he offered encouragement and well-wishes to the young fan while he underwent treatment for osteosarcoma.
Billeck decided to pay tribute to his favorite artist by creating the "Happy Challenge", which called on people to dance for 30 seconds to the hitmaker's song in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month last September (14). In Billeck's response video, he said, "You told me that I would do great things and inspire other people... One day I would love to come up to you and give you a big hug and say thank you."
Billeck, who is now a spokesperson for pediatric cancer, clearly moved Williams as he watched the young fan's latest video, and he held back tears as he spoke to Entertainment Tonight reporter Brook Anderson on the set of The Voice, where he is a judge. He said, "That's heavy. I'm appreciative. I'm so proud of him."
Williams then sent another video message to the fan and said, "Dearest Damon, I'm standing here with Blake (Shelton) and Brooke. Just saw your message. Holding back the tears and emotion. But it's not a sad thing. I'm excited for you, I'm thrilled for you.
"As long as you keep your eyes and your heart and your attention on that, you can persevere and push through and continue to be a shining example to other kids who might be afraid. Because you are very brave... We wish you all the best. Trust me, man, my heart is beating super fast, bro. God speed."
The term "Easter egg" usually refers to an inside joke or a hidden message in a movie or a TV show. Usually they're brief moments popping up on screen, repeated motifs used to foreshadow parts of the story, or just references to other media for the savvy watcher. A viewer may watch something over and over before ever realizing there was an intended message in part of the movie, or that there are any eggs to be discovered. Below are some of our favorites that we bet you didn't catch; if you did, you're a pro. Tell us, which of your favorites did we miss?
The Departed - The Xs
Brace yourselves: X marks the spot in Scorcese's crime masterpiece. Before each character meets their end, an X can be seen in the shot. From Leonardo DiCaprio to Matt Damon to Martin Sheen (falling to his death below), the film has X's in tons of the shots, giving a wink of foreshadowing, and another wink to 1932's Scarface.
The original verison of Scarface inspired The Departed's X motif, where every death is marked onscreen with an X or foreshadowed by one. The image above shows seven shadows about to be massacred with seven X's above them.
Fight Club & Starbucks
20th Century Fox
Fight Club director David Fincher has claimed there is a Starbucks cup in nearly every shot of the movie. In a nod to the film's criticism of consumerism and subliminal advertising, Fincher features the giant coffee franchise in every single scene.
20th Century Fox
Monsters, Inc. Found Nemo
Buena Vista Pictures
Nobody likes Easter eggs and film references more than the team over at Pixar. One of our favorites is in 2001's Monsters, Inc., when Boo hands Sulley a toy of Nemo before he leaves her room. Finding Nemo was made after Monsters, and this served as a sneak peak and became a retrospective wink for fans of Pixar films. She also handed him one of Pixar's signatures, the Luxo ball, which can be seen in a great deal of Pixar films.
Finding Nemo + The Incredibles
Buena Vista Pictures
Finding Nemo itself contains a nod to yet-to-be-released Pixar film, 2004's The Incredibles, if only very briefly. At the dentist's office, a young boy can be seen reading a Mr. Incredible comic book. You can actually find a little nod to the next film in the Pixar lineup in all of their films (but this isn't a Pixar list, so we'll keep it short and not name them all). In the same office, we get a glimpe at Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear, chilln' by a toy chest.
Buena Vista Pictures
Toy Story Loves The Shining?
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Toy Story editor Lee Unkrich's favorite movie is reportedly The Shining, which explains this similarity between the children's classic and the seminal horror film. The carpet in Sid's house is noticeably similar to the Overlook Hotel's, and infamous Room 237 makes appearances throughout the toy trilogy.
That Dang Pizza Planet Truck
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Every Pixar movie since Toy Story features a Pizza Planet truck in it somewhere. WALL-E's EVE scans the engine of one of the trucks for evidence of plant life after she arrives on the planet, while the vehicle makes a cameo in A Bug's Life during a bug zapper warning. The above photo shows the truck in Pixar's most recent release, Monsters University, at the first house party.
Did Marty McFly land at Mr. Peabody's House?
Mr. Peabody and Sherman are two animated time travelers from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. They also happen to be the names of the family who own the farm that Marty McFly crashes into when he travels through time in Back to the Future.
Kill Bill with some Killer Shoes
If you ever doubted Uma Thurman's badassery in the Kill Bill series, you clearly never peeped the soles of her shoes in her fight scene with the Crazy 88's. As the camera drops below the floor, "Fuck U" can briefly be seen on the bottom of her kicks. They can also very briefly be seen while she's on her motorcycle, but we prefer the poetry of quite literally adding insult to injury as she kicks ass with a shoe that cusses victims out. Where can we get these?!
Charlie's Angels Revisits E.T.
In Charlie's Angels, after Drew Barrymore's character, Dylan Sanders, is shot out of a window by Knox, she stumbles down a hill in the buff. She then knocks on the door of a house where two boys are distracted playing video games (and talking about naked women, of course). Barrymore had already been at this very house before though -- it's the same house as in E.T., and the boys also have a bowl of Reese's Pieces between them. In case you didn't pick up on those two references, there's also an E.T. poster behind the TV in the same shot.
Iron Man is a Captain America Fan
Marvel's universe is interconnected (as quite obviously seen with their characters coming together for the Avengers), but in 2008's Iron Man, a replica of Captain America's shield can be seen behind Tony Stark. It's a possible prototype, foreshadowing the first standalone Captain America film (2011).
Disney's Hidden Mickey Mouses
Buena Vista Pictures
The most elaborate of all of these Easter eggs may be Disney's Hidden Mickeys -- not just from their theme parks, but in almost every Disney film, there is a moment with a hidden Mickey Mouse. Pictured above is Aladdin's Rajah as he transitions from a cub back to his full-sized self, briefly appearing as Mickey. Below The Fox and the Hound shows perhaps a hidden Mickey face with two signature ears, seen in the ripples of the water.
Buena Vista Distribution
As obsessive readers and fans of dismissing quality movies as inferior to their literary counterparts, it's important for us to know which books will head to the big screen ahead of time. How else will we know how Wild Reese will be, or what is going to happen to Peeta? Be reasonable. We've decided to use our research for the good of society and share the adaptations coming soon that we are most excited for.
1. The Spook's Apprentice - Joseph Delaney (Seventh Son)
Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of the seventh son, which gives him the ability to see things that others cannot: ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, and the like. He becomes an apprentice to John Gregory, the Spook (Jeff Bridges). Julianne Moore is set to play Mother Malkin, one of the most sinister witches who uses blood magic, luring young runaway women into care before sucking their blood to maintain her youth, who was then imprisoned by the Spook. Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou also star.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, in case you somehow didn't know, are stepping into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for the adaptation of the incredibly successful erotic novel. Steele, a literature student, interviews Grey as a favor to her roommate, but quickly becomes entranced by this brilliant and handsome man who is unable to resist her. He admits his desire, but on his own terms; this is a man with a need to control everything. This is also probably going to be the movie with a bunch of heavy-breathing sweaty middle-aged women trying to control themselves in the theater. You've been warned.
3. In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick
The last time Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth teamed up, they brought us one of the best films of 2013, Rush. Now, they're at it again (along with Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker) with this story of a whaleship attacked by one angry whale, leaving the crew shipwrecked and stranded for 90 days, thousands of miles from land. The true story inspired a little book by Herman Melville (played in the movie by our favorite, Ben Whishaw) entitled Moby-Dick.
4. The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith (Carol)
W. W. Norton & Company
Patricia Highsmith, author of successful novels-turned-movies like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley (we're choosing to ignore the recent The Two Faces of January here), wrote The Price of Salt, which will be released as 'Carol.' The novel itself, controversial for its lesbian content and unprecedented gay happy ending, is said to have inspired Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson, with Far From Heaven and I'm Not There director Todd Haynes helming.
5. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
Shaye Areheart Books
Gone Girl author brings us yet another chilling thriller. A young girl is the sole survivor of a massacre that leaves both of her sisters and her mother dead in an apparent Satanic cult ritual. She testifies against her brother, but 25 years later, she begins to investigate the actual events. Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, and Christina Hendricks star.
6. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants director Ken Kwapis is set to direct Bryson's memoir, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. The hilarious book describes Bryson's attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman will also star.
7. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
As conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows, a war looms for Divergent's post-apocalyptic Chicago. In this sequel, we're still following Shailene Woodley and Theo James' Tris and Four as they try to understand the reasons for Erudite's insurrection and obtain information the Abnegation are trying to protect. Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller return in their supporting roles, and are joined by some all-star names: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Suki Waterhouse.
8. Serena - Ron Rash
The dynamic duo of mega-nominated movies Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are back at it! Bradley Cooper plays a man trying to maintain his timber empire during the Depression, while Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife who discovers she can't have children. For some reason, we're a little terrified of JLaw in this movie from the trailer.
9. Silence - Shusako Endo
Taplinger Publishing Company
This 1966 novel about a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan where he endures persecution is set to be adapted by Martin Scorsese. It will also have an all star cast of Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, and Adam Driver.
10. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
The producers of The Fault in Our Stars, the author of The Notebook, and the hottest Hollywood son around, this movie already has us in love with it. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson play two lovers and there's a rodeo or something; we don't really know, we were just thinking about how much this movie will make us cry. Time to read the book.
11. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Hunt director Thomas Vinterberg tackles Thomas Hardy's novel. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who has too many men in love with her and of course rejects them all until she falls for one. Three men, played by Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Tom Sturridge (On The Road), all after this woman: who will she end up with? We actually just read the plot description and had everything spoiled and somehow still gasped and cried at those three paragraphs. Why didn't we know about this book before?!
12. Paper Towns - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green's next book to be adapted by the same team who adapted TFIOS (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber). Margo and her adventures are legendary at her high school, and Quentin ("Q") has always loved her for it. Margo climbs through his window and demands he take an all night road trip of revenge, but when she goes missing the next day, Q realizes she's left clues for him and promptly hits the road again in search of her. Cara Delevingne will play Margo and TFIOS' Nat Wolff will play Q.
13. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge - Michael Punke
Carroll & Graf Publishers
Academy Award-nominated Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, 21 Grams, Biutiful) is set to direct Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in this adaptation. Partially based on the life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Leo will play Glass, who is mauled by a bear, then later robbed and left for dead by his companions. He survives and sets out for revenge against those same men.
14. The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
Faber and Faber
A one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, in a mental hospital for about 50 years decides to retrace her history. As the hospital faces demolition and he must choose which of his patients should be transferred and which should rejoin the community, Dr. Grene also tries to discover her history. What they find is very different, though there are some consistencies. Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara will play Roseanne McNulty, Eric Bana will play Grene, with Theo James also starring.
15. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
An oft-adapted novel, Mary Shelley's classic is to be turned into yet another film, this time directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Push). The updated version, titled Victor Frankenstein, will be told from the perspective of the doctor's assistant, Igor. The film will explain how the doctor became the man who created the legendary monster. Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor and James McAvoy will play Victor Frankenstein.
16. The Martian - Andy Weir
Crown Publishing Group
Described as Cast Away meets Apollo 13, the novel follows an astronaut stranded on Mars, fighting to survive (which also sounds mildly like Gravity to us, no?). Ridley Scott is set to direct a pretty stellar (no pun intended) cast here: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This sounds like a great movie already, but we'll have to wait until November to see it.
17. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Walt Disney Pictures is working on this live-action/CGI mash-up of the classic book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef), with a mind-bogglingly incredible cast. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will provide voices, while newcomer Neel Sethi will play Mowgli.
Rocker Damon Albarn and duo Royal Blood have emerged as the favourites for this year's (14) coveted Mercury Prize in Britain. The former Blur frontman's debut solo project, Everybody Robots, and Royal Blood's self-titled release are the joint favourites to land the best British and Irish album of the year title, according to official bookmakers at William Hill.
However, rival firm Ladbrokes have given FKA Twigs' LP1 and poet Kate Tempest's Everybody Down the edge on its odds list.
The newly-announced shortlist also features Bombay Bicycle Club (So Long, See You Tomorrow), Anna Calvi (One Breath), GoGo Penguin (v2.0), East India Youth (Total Strife Forever), Jungle (Jungle), Polar Bear (In Each and Every One), Young Fathers (Dead) and Nick Mulvey (First Mind).
The 12 acts will compete for a $34,000 (£20,000) prize, which will be announced in London on 29 October (14).
Albarn's nomination is his first since he withdrew his band Gorillaz's self-titled debut from contention in 2001, when he compared the honour to "carrying an albatross around your neck for all eternity".
Singer/songwriter James Blake took home the 2013 Mercury Prize for his album Overgrown.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
George Clooney has been named Hollywood's most-gracefully ageing male for refusing to dye his greying hair.
The Ocean's Eleven star, 53, topped a list of Tinseltown's leading 'MAGs' - Men Ageing Gracefully - in a survey by a leading U.K. hair transplant centre. His close pal Brad Pitt, 50, came second in the list of male stars who have stayed sexy with age, and Johnny Depp, 51, was placed third.
The top five was rounded out by James Bond hunk Daniel Craig, 46, and Australian star Hugh Jackman, 45.
The survey of 1,000 movie fans was conducted on behalf of the Crown Clinic in Manchester, England and featured dozens of male stars over 40 who have embraced ageing.
Crown Clinic surgeon Asim Shahmalak says, "Clooney is a worthy winner. He has been a global sex symbol for 20 years and he has just as many female fans now as when he first emerged on (TV series) ER. He has happily embraced middle age and looks just as sexy as a brooding silver fox as he did as a hunky young doctor in his breakthrough role. "What is striking about the survey is that every single 'MAG' has a full head of hair. It's a sad fact but nothing ages a man like losing his hair. (This) survey shows that baldness can age a man by as much as 10 years."
The rest of the top ten featured Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, Will Smith, Sean Penn, and Colin Firth.
Miramax via Everett Collection
Between the two of us, my friend Jay and I had probably watched Good Will Hunting more than 50 times through. Like many, we had attached with sincerity to the story of a practically prepubescent Matt Damon, a genius of the Boston slums. As such, the familiar embrace of this particular movie seemed like a good choice when he showed up at my apartment — unanounced, as per usual — with the news that he and his girlfriend had just broken up.
As we sat in my living room on what I remember to be a bizarrely humid afternoon for upstate New York's autumn, trying our best to invest in the rise and fall of the prodigious Will Hunting, we both experienced something new. We weren't watching the very same movie that we had time and time over; we weren't adhered with irreverent empathy to the misunderstood bad boy that we both so vapidly wanted to be (and oh, that hair). Instead, our attentions turned with unprecedented domination to his screen partner: not the cackling Ben Affleck, but Robin Williams. As Sean Maguire, Williams always seemed more like a background player, a vehicle for Will's transport through his troubles. That is until this unusually muggy Sunday when Sean's charms and strengths seemed to rear themselves in a new way altogether.
We noticed, sharing our discovery tacitly, that in even the heaviest scenes, Williams was able to command a sharp, hearty laugh. Mere syllables uttered by the master of performance, portraying a man who embodied the idea of disgruntlement, sent Jay and I into delirious cackling fits. Williams was doing more with this role — the would-be square straight man part to the effortlessly cool Damon's young, debonair rebel — than we had ever understood. He was playing anger, judgment, and frustration in a very special way. A way that conveyed colossal pain and tremendous humor all at once.
After so many views of Good Will Hunting, we had discovered anew just how funny it was. And from this was born our mission: we decided to dub over it. A project pioneered in the interest of emancipating Jay from concentration on his heartbreak, we leapt into intense study of the film — of Damon's swagger, of Ben Affleck's buffoonery, and most of all, of one Robin Williams' freshly realized exhilirating display of dry humor.
Jay, whose timber was more conducive to the leading man position, played Will. I happily nabbed Affleck's Chuckie. We traded off the Stellan Skarsgaard and Cole Hauser roles, and left all of Casey Affleck's original dialogue in the finished product... for good measure. And I, the significantly faster speaker, was lucky enough to play the coveted role: Robin Williams.
To everyone else our project seemed like a bout of idiocy. Occasionally, we submitted to this designation. But we weren't in this to waste our junior year, or even (as so many seemed to think) to mock or parody a movie that we had seen one too many times. No, we were in it because we saw something in Williams and his role that spoke to us at that time. In the dark hours that met with Sean Maguire, he — or maybe Williams — made us laugh. Hardly at the expense of empathy or sincerity; in fact, Williams/Maguire's ability to incite a chuckle in the very interest of some of the most emotionally substantial scenes in Gus Van Sant's film is what stirred and provoked us so. That's exactly what Jay needed at this time — to find laughter when flat drama was more readily available.
And it's what I came to need, several months later — our project having fallen by the wayside, what with plenty of other understandable distractions getting in the way — when my own blossoming romance came to a crashing halt. "We've got to finish that movie," I decided then, thinking back on the carnal laughter incited by our scholarly expedition of Williams' every meticulous nuance.
We did. We stayed up 'til 3 throughout the week, watching, laughing, revising, remodeling... we'd turn away chances to go out with our friends — you know, like normal people — to stay in Jay's room and work on this masterpiece. We fell hard and fast in love with our take on Good Will Hunting. On Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's clunky but charming script, Gus Van Sant's occasionally schmaltzy direction. And Robin Williams' profoundly empathetic and hilarious performance.
By the time we were finished, our respective heartaches had won new perspective. Call it an effective distraction, or maybe it was just therapeutic. But I don't think quite anything would have worked so well to inspire the greatest creative exploit that the two of us would ever bring to life, nor would just anything help to foster us through lost love with such efficiency. There was just something about that messy, cathartic, ultimately special little movie, and the bearded man who stole the show.
It had to be Good Will Hunting. It had to be Robin Williams.
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A teenager has died at England's Latitude festival. The unnamed 17-year-old was airlifted to a local hospital on Saturday afternoon (19Jul14), and died early on Sunday (20Jul14).
A spokesman for the Suffolk music event says, "The young male suffered from an isolated medical condition. The police are not treating this as suspicious."
The event was headlined by Lily Allen, Damon Albarn and The Black Keys, who closed the show on Sunday.
The highlight came on Saturday night, when Graham Coxon joined his Blur bandmate Albarn onstage during a rainstorm.
It's safe to say that Marvel's sale to Disney hasn't changed the comic book company's game plan with regards to its superhero movies. Tony Stark, thankfully, isn't taking surprise trips to Disneyland in the Iron Man sequels. In fact, those not clued into the industry might not have even noticed that the House of Mouse on the House of Ideas had even merged at all. Now enter Disney's Big Hero 6, which seems to be the first real glimpse of cinematic collaboration between the two media giants. Take one of Marvel's lesser-known D-list superhero teams, sprinkle some CG Disney magic on top, and here we have a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
The story follows Hiro Hamada, a young robotics genius who must team up with his gaggle of nerdy friends to save the Franken-titled city of San Fransokyo. By Hiro's side is Baymax, a peaceful nurse robot juiced up with armor and other crime fighting upgrades. The trailer is cute and charming in that Disney way, but there's also glimpses of the standard high-flying Marvel superheroics.
There are plenty of great physical gags stemming from the fact that Baymax is really just a giant white blubbery balloon... thing. Since Marvel's Avengers universe seems to be getting darker and less kid-friendly by the minute (The Winter Soldier literally threw that one guy in front of a freakin' truck in the last Captain America), Big Hero 6 might be a nice stopgap for young kids looking to release some adrenaline, but not looking for daily nightmares of Sebastian Stan.
Back when their stars didn't shine quite as brightly, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon produced Project Greenlight. The HBO series gave first-time writers and directors a chance to helm a feature film. The gonzo idea took a fresh-faced writer or director chosen from a pool of submissions, and taught them every step in making Hollywood feature. The show went on for three seasons before petering out, but not before creating three films, one of which starred a young Shia Labeouf. Sadly, none of them were ever remotely profitable, and the series was cancelled.
Now, seven years later, Project Greenlight is back, with Affleck and Damon returning to produce. In a new video released by HBO, a beefy, Batman-sized Affleck and regular-sized Damon introduce the newest incarnation of the series, which invites novice directors to submit a three-minute short film. The winner will direct a full-length script and lead other aspects of production.
The timing of Project Greenlight's return seems quite apropos. In the ensuing years since the last Project Greenlight closed up shop, we as fans have developed an interesting relationship with the media we consume. Nowadays, there's more collaboration between fans and creators than ever before. In the age of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, people seem more keen to give small-time, unproven creators new opportunities to show their mettle and create something new. Thus, we think the idea of letting the public vote on their favorite directors, and having the winner create a feature film is an idea that would flourish moreso now than it did in 2001. In fact, other Hollywood productions seem to be following similar patterns of audience participation - the recently announced Jem and the Holograms film similarly invited people to submit their own ideas and creations for the film. Perhaps the first three seasons of Project Greenlight were just ahead of their time.
Rob Lowe is nothing if not candid. In promoting his new book, Love Life (the follow-up to 2011's Stories I Only Tell My Friends), Lowe has been espousing his opinions on subjects as diverse as the relative merits of Justin Bieber and big government, as well as re-enacting his awkward kissing scenes with Jewel while shooting the short-lived TV show The Lyon's Den.
One other revelation that came out of the book — which largely features stories about his wife and sons — is that Lowe feels as though he's been typecast because of his good looks.
"I've been told, as I'm sure others have been countless times, that the way I look precludes me from playing a cop or a doctor or a regular guy," the actor told Fox News. “'A PTA father would never look like that!' Meanwhile I am a PTA father but I've never been precluded from playing an arrogant, rich prick. So what does that tell you?"
There is no denying that the former teen heartthrob and Brat Pack member was, is and probably always will be an extremely attractive man. His looks helped him overcome everything from a sex tape scandal (before that was fashionable) — something Lowe will parody with an appearance in this summer's Jason Segal-Cameron Diaz comedy Sex Tape — to one of the most reviled moments in Oscars' history when he sang a cringe-inducing duet with Snow White.
The reality is that all actors are typecast in some ways based on their looks. Film and television is a visual medium and there's no escaping the fact that a person's appearance plays a role in that. He might not be in the running for some of the roles that Paul Giamatti or Patton Oswalt might play, but they're not going to be in the running for a whole lot more roles that an actor with Lowe's physical gifts would be.
Still, Oswalt's Young Adult costar Charlize Theron has proven that being gorgeous doesn’t have to stop an actor from getting substantial roles. Her physical transformation for Monster was convincing enough that audiences were willing to put aside the fact that she was still more attractive than the real Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer on whose life it was based. The same was true for Halle Berry in Monster's Ball. Men considered just as beautiful as Lowe like George Clooney and Matt Damon have also downplayed their inherent good looks for roles (Syriana and The Informant! come to mind).
In fact, it's easier for most actors to do that — slide into a better looking version of a "normal" person — than it is for actors like Giamatti or the late Philip Seymour Hoffman to be seen as leading men, no matter how talented they are as performers.
While it's true that Lowe earned his way in Hollywood by virtue of his matinee idol good looks, that doesn't mean that it has to continue to define him… just as it hasn't always defined Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio. If he wants it to change, then he needs to continue taking roles like the creepy plastic surgeon in Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra.
Lowe has been around long enough that he knows the game and how to work around any stigma that might be attached to his being handsome. It's incumbent on him to fight for a role if he really wants to play it… even if it is just a PTA dad. That's the nature of Hollywood for all actors, not just the pretty ones. It's really hard to find a way that Lowe's looks have been a true hindrance to him, and when he's playing someone's ridiculously attractive grandfather in 15 years, we won't feel bad for him then either.