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.
Several shows are premiering new seasons this week, while J.J. Abrams returns to TV with Almost Human. Here's what else you need to be watching.
The GoldbergsWhatever happened to Jeff Garlin, the former sidekick to Larry David's slightly more misanthropic version of himself on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm? He's starring on The Goldbergs, the most sitcom-y new sitcom to debut on network TV this year. Despite coming off a slow start, the show is gradually finding its voice, which is why ABC renewed it for a full season. It's not quite as laugh-out-loud funny as Curb, but thanks to Garlin and Patton Oswalt, who narrates the show, it's still good for a few chuckles. A new episode of The Goldbergs airs Tuesday at 9PM ET on ABC.
Finding BigfootFor three seasons (and counting!), a rag-tag group of cryptic zoologists have been on the hunt for that ever-elusive creature known as Sasquatch. Spoiler alert: they still haven't found him! Will the mysterious ape-like being ever be located when the fourth season of Finding Bigfoot premieres on Sunday night? I'm guessing not. Finding Bigfoot airs Sunday nights at 7PM ET on Animal Planet.
ScandalFresh off her hilarious hosting job on Saturday Night Live, Kerry Washington returns to her hit political series with a brand new episode. No comedy here, unfortunately, unless you consider the show's intricate plotlines involving various lies and backstabbing among Washington's political elite as topical humor. But then we already have Fox News for that, now don't we? A new episode of Scandal airs at 10PM ET this Thursday on ABC.
Almost HumanA futuristic detective must save the modern world from its many corrupting forces. Sound like a done-before concept for a TV show? Factor in that his partner is an android and you have Almost Human, the new sci-fi series from J.J. Abrams. Hey, I'll watch that! Almost Human debuts this Sunday at 8PM ET on FOX.
Unique SweetsEver wonder what pie would taste like as a butterscotch cocktail? The good folks over at Unique Sweets have, which is why they've focused an entire episode on developing the tasty new drink, as well as some oddball ice cream flavors. Let's face it, there's just no way you can have a show about dessert mash-ups and not have people watch it. Unique Sweets kicks off its season four this Sunday at 7PM ET on the Cooking Channel.
There's nothing more satisfying than seeing someone whom you presume to be perfect fall flat on his or her face. That may not be the nicest thing to say, but admit it: We all embrace a devilish smile every once in a while at someone else's misfortune. What do you think the Internet was created for? Well, this week, America's "Sweetheart" Reese Witherspoon did just that when she was arrested Sunday morning for getting haughty with a cop.
Then, Zach Braff decided to kick-start some fundraising. As of now, he is only about $250,000 shy of his $2 million Kickstarter goal — but this doesn't excuse the fact that he is a total copycat of the Veronica Mars campaign.
See what the Twitter comedians have to say about this week's pop cultural events.
10 Funniest Pop Culture Tweets of the Week:
1. Joan Rivers: "Kris Jenner showed off her iPhone case, which says "Queen of F*cking Everything!" Kim has the same one, just without the word 'Everything.'"
Kris Jenner showed off her iPhone case, which says "Queen of F*cking Everything!" Kim has the same one, just without the word "Everything."
— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) April 24, 2013
2. Max Silvestri: "Ugh, Zach Braff. The new Veronica Mars movie should be about the case of the mysterious Look At What We Started."
Ugh, Zach Braff. The new Veronica Mars movie should be about the case of the mysterious Look At What We Started.
— Max Silvestri (@maxsilvestri) April 24, 2013
3. Michael Ian Black: "About to watch "Game of Thrones." Hoping The Khaleesi f**ks Jamie Lannister's arm stump."
About to watch "Game of Thrones." Hoping The Khaleesi fucks Jamie Lannister's arm stump.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) April 22, 2013
4. Lauren Ashley Bishop: "how DARE reese witherspoon do something important while i'm taking a nap"
how DARE reese witherspoon do something important while i'm taking a nap
— lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren) April 22, 2013
5. Tim Siedell: "Before yelling "do you know who I am?" at a cop, you should be certain you're famous enough for that cop to know who you are."
Before yelling "do you know who I am?" at a cop, you should be certain you're famous enough for that cop to know who you are.
— Tim Siedell (@badbanana) April 22, 2013
6. Sammy Rhodes: "If the AP had just kept its passwords in a folder called “Nicolas Cage movies after 2004” this whole thing could have been avoided."
If the AP had just kept its passwords in a folder called “Nicolas Cage movies after 2004” this whole thing could have been avoided.
— sammy rhodes (@prodigalsam) April 23, 2013
7. Julia Segal: "Has anyone told Zach Braff he can just make us a mixtape?"
Has anyone told Zach Braff he can just make us a mixtape?
— Julia Segal (@juliasegal) April 24, 2013
8. Patton Oswalt: "The Delta Gamma sorority just accepted the resignation of Rebecca Martinson. Don't laugh -- because now, she is...SORORITY RONIN."
The Delta Gamma sorority just accepted the resignation of Rebecca Martinson.Don't laugh -- because now, she is...SORORITY RONIN.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25, 2013
9. Stephen Colbert: "I taught @billclinton to tweet! This is almost as exciting as the time I taught Cheney 'Dance Dance Revolution.'"
I taught @billclinton to tweet! This is almost as exciting as the time I taught Cheney "Dance Dance Revolution."
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) April 25, 2013
10. Sam Grittner: "Don't unlock the doors to the Bush Center until George W. pronounces nuclear correctly."
Don't unlock the doors to the Bush Center until George W. pronounces nuclear correctly.
— Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) April 25, 2013
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
French composer Jacques Loussier filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a Manhattan court Thursday claiming Eminem and his record label Interscope Records stole one of his tunes, the Associated Press reports. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses the Grammy-winning rapper and his label of lifting parts of Loussier's jazz fusion work "Pulsion" for Eminem's "Kill You" which appears on his best-selling album The Marshall Mathers LP. Loussier, 67, gained fame by fusing classical music and jazz with his Play Bach Trio. According to the suit, Loussier has released more than a dozen albums, selling six million copies worldwide.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey declined an offer from President Bush to join an official U.S. delegation to tour Afghanistan's schools because of her busy schedule. According to the AP, the White House has since postponed the trip, which was to celebrate young girls' return to school after the fall of the Taliban regime. It is not clear whether the delegation will replace with another celebrity. The trip was to feature Bush advisor Karen Hughes and possibly National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Richard Gere has canceled a planned appearance before the German parliament's human rights committee, the AP reports. Gere, a committed Buddhist, did not give an explanation for the cancellation. He was invited to a meeting of the panel in Berlin on April 17 because he is considered "knowledgeable about the political situation " in Tibet, the head of the parliament committee told German magazine Der Spiegel last month.
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is going to have laser surgery to remove two tattoos on her back, UK's the Mail on Sunday reports. The singer will reportedly visit Cher's doctor in California to discuss the procedure. "I've changed," she told the paper. "It's time to get rid of them and move on." The tattoos include an eight-pronged star between her shoulder blades and a black jaguar on her lower back.
Kylie Minogue has reportedly turned down a $1.7 million offer to pose nude for Playboy magazine. The singer told The News of the World: "I don't think I'll take it up. I'd never pose topless because it's not me." Minogue however is contemplating an offer from the Sultan of Brunei to sing at a private birthday party for his son, the paper reports.
In-flight publication SkyMall will distribute the first of 10 celebrity versions of the catalogue starting in April, the AP reports. The debut catalog, which will be distributed in the seatbacks of 24 airlines, will feature George Segal and Wendie Malick who star in the NBC comedy Just Shoot Me. The company said the stars were chosen because Segal, whose character Jack Gallo is a magazine publisher, is depicted as a SkyMall fan.
Clarkston District Court Judge Gerald McNally refused to disqualify himself in the crotch-rubbing case against shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Prosecutor Kenneth Frazee had asked McNally disqualify himself from the case because the judge had indicated he would likely charge Manson $4,000 without hearing all the facts. McNally says that his knowledge of some of the facts does not warrant his removal, the AP reports.
Iggy Pop, Perry Farrell and Ben Harper have reportedly been dumped by EMI's Virgin Records. According to the New York Post, the record company is experiencing a shake-up amid the arrival of new label head Matt Serletic and new EMI chief Alain Levy. The paper also claims Virgin insiders said Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger (as a solo artist) just missed the ax. EMI recently paid Mariah Carey $50 million to back out of her $100 million contract, and the label also announced 1,800 layoffs.
AMC Entertainment Inc. has completed the purchase of GC Companies, the parent company of General Cinemas. According to an AMC press release, the acquisition, which was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on March 18, includes 66 theaters with 621 screens in the United States. AMC is one of the survivors of a wave of cinema bankruptcies in recent years that include United Artist Theater Co., Edwards Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas and General Cinemas.
On the [Crime] Scene
Following reports that a plea bargain deal had been struck in PR princess Lizzie Grubman's road rage trial, one of the victims is speaking out. "I want the truth to come out, " the victim told the New York Post on the condition of anonymity. "I do want to see her stand trial. It's not fair to just see her walk away." Grubman, you may recall, was charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident after she plowed down 16 people outside a Southampton's club last July. Grubman, a close friend of actress Tara Reid, represents a long list of clients, including Jay-Z.
Author Ray Bradbury, who wrote the classic science fiction novel The Martian Chronicles, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday. The ceremony, which will be attended by Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and actor Charlton Heston, will kick off the month-long reading campaign called "One Book, One City L.A." with residents being urged to read Bradbury's Farenheit 451. The book is about a futuristic firefighter who must burn books for a living.
Ed Turner, the man who helped establish CNN as a major respected news source, died at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., Saturday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 66. One of the first professionals brought into the company in 1980, he was nicknamed "No Relation" Turner because he coincidentally shared the last name of founder Ted Turner, the AP reports.
Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Took died Sunday morning at a nursing home in London after suffering from cancer. He was 73. Took, who helped create the classic radio comedy Round the Horne, was responsible for bringing the Monty Python team to the BBC. He was also a successful TV and radio presenter, hosting Points of View and The News Quiz.
The man found dead in actor Art Malik's swimming pool Friday was his daughter's boyfriend, Daniel Williams, Reuters reports. Williams had attended the woman's 21st birthday and was later found unconscious in the pool. Malik, who starred in Passage to India and Jewel in the Crown, said: "Dan was a very special person and we very much considered him part of our family. He had been Jessica's boyfriend for seven months and they were very happy together." Williams' death is not being treated as suspicious.