• Roman Polanski, who wanted to cast Lowe in "Pirates", lived up to his reputation during a dinner out in Paris.Polanski, who fled the United States in 1977 to avoid sentencing for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, sat Lowe at a table with 15 models, telling him at the end of dinner, "You better make up your mind or you will end up jerking off." • Taking a break from the rainstorm that broke out during Diana Ross's legendary Central Park concert in 1983, Lowe huddled with Andy Warhol and socialite Cornelia Guest at a cafe.
Do you remember her as a steaming seductress, or as a tough girl with a buzz cut?
He’s such a lovely kid, he’s even younger than I was. I was That Guy.’ We are in Lowe’s office at Miramax in Santa Monica, California. 'In this Wild West gold rush even industry insiders can’t keep track of what’s what or who’s who,’ Lowe writes in his new memoirs, Stories I Only Tell My Friends.
Lowe is part of the investor group that recently bought the film company from Disney; some unpacked boxes still sit in the corridor, where the talk is of a planned Cannes trip; on Lowe’s shelf are pictures of his wife, Sheryl, and their two boys. It’s unusually well written: smart and self-aware, with a great account of the Darwinian death match that was the audition process for The Outsiders in 1983: Lowe’s breakout role, opposite a young Tom Cruise, already on the phone to his agent ('Paula, they are making us share…’); Patrick Swayze howling like a wolf in tight T-shirt and jeans ('he makes Cruise look lobotomised’); and, best of all, Matt Dillon, sauntering through with a boombox on his shoulder, a Marlboro drooping from his lip, and a girl lodged in his armpit, beaming like she had won the lottery after being plucked from the crowd. I need some money, I’m going to go to this bank, I’m going to say, hey I’d like some money, they’re going to give it to me and I’m going to walk out.” 'It was as if that was the lesson. I couldn’t get a girl to look at me in the f***ing lunchroom in the Santa Monica [High School]. And I had never seen anybody exercise it in that way.
Sitting together in an open box, with a group of people, they soon found themselves surrounded by a mob of teenage girls. Others were like this…’ 'It was all I could bear to watch,’ he says, retaking his seat.
'They were coming up to the box and literally staring at him,’ Lowe recalls. 'It actually made me really emotional, seeing him struggle with it. And sometimes there’s three in a generation, or four, but somebody’s got to be That Guy. It was just me.’ Hence the tightness, and even existence, of the Brat Pack, the loose confederacy of young actors with big hair and hip-hugging sweaters who sprang into being in the mid-1980s to man the ramparts of the studios’ first, faltering attempts to capture the youth audience.
It's easy to imagine the young kid from Ohio landing in Malibu and pinching himself as his life is transformed -- at one point during his phase, young female fans used to sneak into his bedroom, waking up his parents -- though he has a big enough ego that he can't help putting himself at the center of major news events, from the death of John F. When they were both shooting movies in New York in 1986 (Sheen was in "Wall Street", Lowe was in "Masquerade"), they partied together -- "Charlie and I compete to see who can play harder, then show up to work and still kick ass.