Rob Lowe isn’t a lawyer, he just plays one on TV. Or rather, in The Grinder airing Tuesday nights on FOX, he plays an actor who played a lawyer on TV and now feels qualified to work in his brother’s law firm. This isn’t the first comedy for The West Wing alum, 51, who showed his funny side on NBC’s Parks and Recreation and Showtime’s Californication.
The Grinder is a story about two brothers. Does it remind you of your relationship with real-life brother Chad?
I’m my brother’s biggest fan and he’s mine. To be able to have sibling rivalry, you also want to be able to have the love underneath it. I have that with my own brother, and I bring it to the show.
You seem so comfortable with your on-screen dad, played by William Devane. Is that because your real-life dad is a lawyer?
When it comes to my father in this show, the thing that amazes me is that [Devane] might as well be my dad. They look alike. They’re both wildly handsome, exactly the same age, really outdoorsy and they both think I can do no wrong. It’s great.
You are eligible for AARP membership now. What’s it like to be 51?
My 40th birthday was harder than 50. I felt a good sense of satisfaction. I thought, “It’s a half century.” I feel better in every way than I’ve ever felt in my life. Fifty is the new 20.
You’ve been acting since you were a teen. What’s the secret to your longevity?
Operating at the farthest edges of our range is why we get into this business. There was a moment that I was playing JFK [Killing Kennedy], Eddie Nero [Californication] and Chris Traeger [Parks and Recreation] all in the same month, and that’s the dream. Hopefully, people don’t get tired of seeing you and run away.