Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe star in a brand new Netflix comedy series, titled ‘Unstable’, which is premiering March 30. The series is co-created by the Lowes and Victor Fresco. The trio will exec produce the series, which is produced by the streamer’s own studio.
Unstable stars Rob Lowe as Ellis Dragon, a universally admired, eccentric and narcissist-adjacent biotech entrepreneur working to make the world a better place. Alas, in the wake of his wife’s death, he’s in a bit of a freefall.
His son Jackson Dragon (played by John Owen Lowe), meanwhile, is none of those things. So the question becomes: “Can Jackson save Ellis and his company and salvage their estranged relationship while also doing what may actually be impossible: escaping the shadow of his larger-than-life father?”
The Unstable cast also includes Sian Clifford (His Dark Materials) as Anna Bennet, the CFO who has been (barely) kept Dragon on the rails during Ellis’ spiral; Aaron Branch as Malcolm, a childhood friend of Jackson’s who used to be Ellis’ assistant but has recently been promoted to project manager; Rachel Marsh as Luna Castillo, a shy/”weird” biotech engineer who works in one of the labs with her friend and research partner, Ruby, who is played by Emma Ferreira and is outgoing, accessible, and fun — IOW, the opposite of Luna.
About the Lowes
Parks and Recreation star Rob Lowe is currently starring in and producing season three of 9-1-1 spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star.
John Owen Lowe is a writer, producer and actor, who starred in Fox legal comedy The Grinder alongside his father as well as in Netflix film Holiday In The Wild, also alongside his father and Kristin Davis. He has also served as a story editor on 9-1-1: Lone Star and recently finished production on indie feature Grace Point from writer/director Rory Karpf.
Rob Lowe jokes that it’s ‘painful’ to work with his son John Owen
“It’s about a father-son dynamic that’s very relatable, but under a really specific lens,” John Owen explains. “Which is a father who loves being the center of attention and his son who feels the exact opposite.” The camera then comedically zooms in on Rob, who looks as if he’s been not-so-subtly called out.
It’s a role, John Owen says, that his dad has been subconsciously preparing for his entire life. “I spent a good deal of my youth keeping him humble, it was a significantly large task,” he quips. “I feel like your ego, unchecked, would be really, honestly, dangerous. I want the people to know what he’s like at home.”
Rob Lowe Talks Working With Son John Owen Lowe
“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.”
Fresco was creator, showrunner and exec producer of Netflix’s zom-com Santa Clarita Diet, which starred Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant and is currently developing a comedy series about former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth for HBO Max. He has written on shows including My Name Is Earl and Mad About You and also created Better Off Ted and Andy Richter Controls the Universe.
“We are very excited to be working with Victor, Rob and John Owen,” said Netflix Head of Comedy Tracey Pakosta. “The three of them – and their wildly funny, smart sensibilities – are a perfect fit for our growing slate of scripted comedies.”
Filming Unstable was a joy for John Owen, although, he admits, “My dad would seamlessly flow in and out of character into his normal self, and sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference. I love him, but the man is unstable!”
Are you excited to see Rob Lowe and his son John Owen starring on a Netflix comedy series?
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Source: Deadline / TV Line / PEOPLE
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