“I sort of feel, without being too fine about it, everything has led to this, in terms of what I know today and my ability to play a guy like The Grinder. It’s a perfect time for me to play a guy who’s done a lot of episodes of television.”
The Grinder stars Lowe as actor Dean Sanderson, star of the popular legal series. When his long-running hit comes to an end, he decides to move back to his small hometown thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm whose partners include his brother, an actual lawyer, played by Fred Savage.
“It’s the most perfect application of [Lowe’s] sense of humor and accumulated experience he applies in such a funny way here. There is a whole generation of comedy fans for whom Rob is primarily an incredibly funny guy…We think this is the ultimate part for Rob to play,” EP/director Jake Kasdan chimed in.
Lowe said that, in playing an actor who plays a lawyer and thinks he’s perfectly qualified for a legal profession, he is stealing liberally from his observations of actors over his career. “Martin Sheen used to play ‘Hail to the Chief’ on the way to [The West Wing] set…I think there was a moment when he seriously considered running on the Green ticket,” Lowe said.
“I’ve been waiting for years to be able to pull off a knit hat in the summer,” Lowe joked of actors in Hollywood. “And that [wallet] chain leads to nowhere — I love that stuff!”
One journalist called the comedy’s premise “dark” in that it that suggests the public is “so snowed” by TV drama series people “don’t care about legal expertise” and the message is viewers are dumb.
Savage swatted that one away, insisting the series is a “tip of the hat to the Golden Age of Television” in which lawyer shows are so well written and researched. “It’s an homage to TV.” That was the panel’s story, and they stuck to it.
Another reporter pointed out the name of the show could lead viewers to think it’s about a sandwich, or a social media app. Actress Mary Elizabeth Ellis joked they’d thought about starting an app in which people could find Rob Lowe, in an effort to have sex with him. Actress Natalie Morales added she’s been told she is a “potential love interest” on the show, to which Savage interrupted in the nick of time, joking “They’ve told all of us we’re a potential love interest with Rob.”
On that subject, a journalist asked Savage and Lowe if they’d compared notes on being a child actor and the ensuing years in which “Rob had a few bumpy years” while Savage did not.
“I’m flattered you think there are things in common with Rob…I’ll hold on to that for longer than I care to admit,” he joked.
Savage, Lowe noted, “has got a life outside of acting, which I think is what was key for me, when I discovered that my life got great. Fred’s got family an directing, so year, it can be done. here he is: Mount Rushmore.”
“But I agree, it’s almost indistinguishable, Rob and me. I agree with you,” Savage told the reporter.
Another reporter wondered if Lowe and John Stamos, who stars in Fox’s new Grandfathered, ever get together “and joke about your handsomeness.”
“Rob! Tell the truth! We’ve dated for years!” Stamos yelled from the ballroom where the press was seated.
“This is what the level of journalism has become.? It’s shameful anyone can get credentialed!” Lowe shuddered.