Rob Lowe Says Tom Cruise Went 'Ballistic' Over Sharing a Room With Him While Auditioning for 'The Outsiders'
By Antoinette Bueno
Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images
Rob Lowe is opening up about working with a young Tom Cruise.
Lowe and Cruise starred in Francis Ford Coppola's beloved 1983 film, The Outsiders, alongside other major '80s stars like the late Patick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez and C. Thomas Howell. On Monday, Lowe was a guest on Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard, and recalled his early experience with Cruise.
"All of the L.A. people survived the L.A. auditions, and then the handpicked people had to go to New York to face the New York version; so it was me and Tom Cruise and Emilio and C. Thomas Howell," Lowe recalls.
Lowe said the group was staying at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, and noted that Cruise was definitely not enthused when he learned that they were going to be roommates.
"First time I ever stayed at The Plaza Hotel. We check in and Tom finds out that we're sharing a room, and just goes ballistic," Lowe says.
Still, Lowe had no hard feelings toward Cruise.
"To me, what's great about the story is, there's certain people who have always been who they are, and that element of them has powered them to where they are today and the rest is history," he explains. "And the notion that an 18-year-old actor with a walk-on part in Endless Love, and like, a seventh lead in Taps, could have that kind of, like, wherewithal? I remember going, 'Wow, this guy is the real deal.'"
"I mean, it made me laugh, it was gnarly," he continues. "But at the end, you can't argue with the results, he's had his eye on the ball since day one."
Lowe also recounted Cruise's focus that carried on into filming. The actor said that Coppola asked the Outsiders cast to learn how to do backflips at a gymnasium in Tulsa, but Cruise was the only one who was able to do it.
"It's hard as f**k to learn, and Tom was relentlessly competitive," Lowe says. "He ended up being the only one who could do a backflip. It is in the movie The Outsiders for no reason. He runs out of the house and does a backflip for no reason, just to do it."
Interestingly enough, Lowe isn't 57-year-old Cruise's only colleague that has talked about sharing a room with him. In November 2018, director Doug Liman revealed what it was like sharing a house with Cruise and a writer while filming 2017's American Made in order to help cut down on the costs of the movie.
"We were roommates from hell," Liman, who also directed Cruise in 2014's Edge of Tomorrow, admitted during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "To be honest, I'm a little messy. Tom Cruise is kind of a neat freak, some might say OCD, when it comes to the dishes, and believes they should be scrubbed before they go in the dishwasher, which I don't."
"We had trouble hiring a maid, so we actually had a chore chart in the house," he continued. "When it was my turn to do the dishes, I would hide them in the pantry bar sink -- but Tom doesn't miss a thing."
Meanwhile, Cruise's Top Gun co-star, Val Kilmer, also recently commented on Cruise's incredible focus in his new book, I'm Your Huckleberry. In an excerpt published by The Daily Beast, Kilmer recalled how Cruise didn't party with him and some of their co-stars while filming.
"We were the party boys," Kilmer said about himself and his group while filming the 1986 classic. "Every night we'd hit the San Diego nightlife."
"Tom refrained from our revelry, with good reason," he continued. "From day one, he was laser-focused on a singular goal: to become the greatest action hero in the history of film. He was up nights learning lines; he spent every waking hour perfecting his stunts. His dedication was admirable. Of course, even more admirable is the fact that he achieved his goal."
Clearly, Cruise's work ethic hasn't slowed down. In January, ET interviewed Glen Powell, who's starring in the highly anticipated Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, and he talked about Cruise putting a regiment together for him and his co-stars to learn how to fly aircraft.
"Tom Cruise, obviously, as you probably know, takes things very seriously," Powell shared. "In terms of the flying in this movie, it's all practical flying. We're actually [in] F-18s this entire time, so if we didn't do the Tom Cruise School of Flying, we would've been passing out and puking the entire time."
"We had to do reports that I thought were not going to Tom Cruise," he continued. "I thought it was like, 'Hey, you're gonna send me a report.' But [I thought] it was to production. And then I found out Tom is reading every report. I didn't take it seriously [and] Tom was like, 'So I read that thing. Is that really true?' ... So, Tom reads it all."