Rob Lowe hit the red carpet on Thursday alongside his son and co-star, John Owen Lowe, for the premiere of their new netflix series Unstable, which sees the father-son duo portray that same relationship on the screen.
The Lowes opened up to People about John’s battle through alcohol dependency and how his parents, Rob and Sheryl, both helped him get through to recovery.
“To be completely honest and serious about it, I’m eternally grateful to have supportive parents who were there for me in a moment when I needed help,” John started. “And I know a lot of people don’t have that. And that makes me sad and also very grateful that I did, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.”
Rob, who is a recovering addict himself, gave his perspective on getting his son to achieve sobriety, who, at 28 years old, really struggled with alcohol abuse throughout his teenage years and into his early 20s.
“I’ve learned so much in my 33 years of recovery,” Rob confessed. “But the number one thing I know is, until someone is ready, until they’re ready — not until you’re ready, until they’re ready — it’s not going to happen. So all you can do is try to keep the bumpers up so they don’t make any really bad, tragic mistakes for themselves or anybody else, be there, support them, and when they’re ready, you can show them the path.”
“And when he was ready, that’s what I did,” he added.
Rob and John also talked with Men’s Health earlier this month where they discussed John’s road to recovery in greater detail.
“Many times I could have died,” John admitted. “I really liked to push the limits of my body and numb out as much as I could. It makes me sad to think about. There’s a certain level of self-doubt, or uncomfortability with one’s self. The more insecure I grew, the more aggressively I used — to medicate.”
“I’ve been very lucky,” he added.
Although Rob and Sheryl were ultimately able to help their son in his addiction, John admits that, at first, they were “abrasive” in a worried parental manner, but it wasn’t the kind of help he needed in the end.
“When I was at my lowest points,” John explained, “my parents were throwing their lifeline of recovery at me in a way that I was like, ‘Ahhh, get away!’ It’s abrasive. It’s like I was drowning and they were slamming me on the head with the life raft. Because my feelings were that I didn’t matter, and a lot of that stemmed from having the dad that I had.”
He says that what he needed was to be heard and validated, which his parents eventually expressed when they told him, “We love you and we’re scared.”
Rob is just as excited for his son’s sobriety as he is to be working alongside him in their new Netflix series, Unstable. Talking with ET on the red carpet, he says the experience has been “surreal”.
“I mean, this is a dream come true, to be able to work with my son,” Rob said. “To have him create something with Victor [Fresco] and I like this. And the way it’s being received? That’s the thing! It was fun to do, we love it, but you never know [how it’s going to go over], and the reaction has been more than I ever could have hoped.”
Rob admires his son’s “honesty” which he explains is the “number one [most important] thing actors need to have.”
“Emotional honesty in front of the camera. You can’t fake it,” he declared. “He’s got good comic timing and hopefully he’s picking up some other good things from me. We’ll see.”
As for John, he’s five years sober and is thankful for the support system he had to get him through his addiction.
“On the most personal level possible, when I was struggling with addiction, [Rob] was always there for me,” John told People last year. “I credit that with being one, if not the main, reason that I’m sober and living a healthy lifestyle.”