Rob Lowe has spoken about his time on The West Wing, and it turns out he really didn’t love the work. As he points out, being on one of the best TV series ever wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and his perspective as a parent was what helped him understand that.
“‘She’s the popular girl, everybody likes her, she’s beautiful, it must be great’ – all the things that people would say about making The West Wing to me,” Lowe tells the Podcrushed podcast. “‘It’s so popular, it’s so amazing, it must be amazing’. But I know what it’s like, and if I couldn’t walk away from it, then how could I empower my kids to walk away from it?”
He told hosts Sophie Ansari, Penn Badgley, and Nava Kavelin that some off what he’s experienced “would make your hair stand up”, and states he’s chosen to keep a lot of secrets from the drama series because they “would make the people involved look so bad”. He then adds stepping away from the thriller series was a choice he’s never regretted.
“I walked away from the most popular girl at school,” Lowe says. “But I also knew that it was a super unhealthy relationship, and it was the best thing I ever did.”
Created by Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing was a political drama that ran from 1999 to 2006. It covers the administration of fictitious US president Josiah Bartlet. Lowe played Sam Seaborn, one of the communications team who frequently wrote Josiah’s speeches. He departed after the fourth season, and was nominated for an Emmy for his performance.
Since leaving The West Wing, Lowe was part of Parks and Recreation, one of the best comedy series ever, and recently started leading 9-1-1: Lone Star, among a slew of other roles. It’s a shame he didn’t get to leave The West Wing amicably, but it sounds like he made the right decision for him, and that’s all that matters.
If you’re in Britain, you can catch The West Wing on Freevee, while US readers can find it on Max (formerly HBO Max). Have a look at our lists of the best Paramount Plus shows and best Netflix series if you want more small screen entertainment.