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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Rob Lowe talks working with son on Netflix’s ‘Unstable’

Fati Sadou/ABACAPress Rob Lowe, at the LA Premiere of Dog Gone at The Bay Theater in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA, USA on January 11, 2023.

“It was a lot of highs and Lowes,” John Owen Lowe said of working with his famous father, Rob Lowe, on Netflix’s latest comedy “Unstable.”

At the show’s premiere on Thursday night in Hollywood, the father-son duo spoke with Variety about their unique dynamic—and how its portrayal on the show isn’t so different from real life.

John Owen plays Jackson, the son of Ellis Dragon (Rob Lowe) in the workplace comedy. Ellis is a quirky biotech genius who finds out he may lose his job when he spirals following the death of his wife. With the company at risk of imploding, his employees seek out the one source they feel can help him at this time: his son.

The Lowes have worked together before. John Owen served as a writer for multiple seasons of Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which his father stars in. They also starred in “The Grinder,” Netflix’s Christmas movie “Holiday in the Wild” and the indie “Grace Point.”

However, this role is different. According to Netflix’s character description, Jackson is Ellis’ practical son who’s managed to stay away from the family business—until his father needs him. His agitation toward his dad’s eccentric practices comes to the forefront as the two are forced to look past their differences to save the company.

But, the sarcastic jokes thrown back and forth between the two on- and off-screen isn’t an act, according to John Owen.

“It’s not a bit, I swear to god it’s not a bit, and it’s really important to me that you know that,” John Owen said. “I see it at home and I think to myself, ‘OK, this has crossed a threshold. People think this is a bit.’ I’ve been doing this since social media wasn’t a thing.”

According to the rest of the cast, both sides went back and forth with pranks throughout the season. But according to Rob, it’s all in good jest. “I love a good joke, even if it’s at my expense,” he said. “When I was roasted on Comedy Central, it was a highlight and it was mean. I love a good give and take and he has a very good facility for it.”

“It’s how I show love and it’s how I keep him humble,” John Owen teased.

Overall, John Owen says being on the show has been a “therapeutic” experience for the two of them. “We get to hug and say ‘I love you’ in this show and we don’t get to do that a lot in real life,” he said. “We have a great relationship, my dad and I, but we’re like best friends. So getting to play a father and son is like adding in that missing puzzle piece. He’s a great dad.”

Rob adds, “As a dad, it was a very proud moment because I got to marvel at his facility for writing, which he’s had since he was in grade school, and his ability to jump into the comedy world against heavyweights like Fred Armisen and hold his own. As an actor, and particularly as a co-producer, creator with him, being able to have somebody who thinks like me, has the same wants and needs as I do, it’s like having a second brain on the set. That’s super helpful to have in a partner.”

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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