After nearly a year of playing hard-to-get with the press, Rob Lowe's hot on the promo trail for "Bad Influence," his first film since last year's sex video scandal.
Recall that Lowe allegedly taped himself in compromising positions with a 16-year-old girl and a young woman in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention. In the wake of lurid headlines, Lowe performed community service to avoid prosecution on charges that he sexually exploited a minor.
"Bad Influence" is due Friday at 1,100 theaters from Triumph Releasing. The thriller provides Lowe his first all-out bad guy role--an enigmatic stranger who gets nice guy James Spader into trouble--with a sex video figuring coincidentally in the storyline.
Except for a brief "Today" show interview last summer, Lowe has avoided exposure--until now.
You may already be seeing stories generated by a recent junket attended by about 125 members of the press. "There were no interview restrictions," says Lowe's publicist, Lisa Kasteler. "He admitted and talked about his mistakes. They're over."
Adds producer Steve Tisch--who participated in the junket along with director Curtis Hanson: "All we asked was that the press see the movie before questioning Rob."
On Friday, Lowe faces the "Today Show's" Gene Shalit, then Arsenio Hall. "The Tonight Show," which doesn't ordinarily like to follow Arsenio, has also put in a call about Lowe, according to Kasteler.
He'll host the March 17 "Saturday Night Live." ("Obviously, he's rife for some joking and roasting," says Tisch. "I just hope they don't go overboard.")
Cover stories in the just-out (March) issue of Interview and the upcoming March 12 issue of People.
A "Bad Influence" production piece in the April issue of Premiere.
A photograph of Lowe in the April issue of Vanity Fair by Helmut Newton, who shot the "Bad Influence" poster art.
Don't look for Lowe on Fox Broadcasting's "A Current Affair"--which ran the sex tapes ad nauseum. "Maury Povich personally called to see if Rob would do the show," says Kastelar. "He actually seemed surprised when I told him no way ."
As for Lowe's next project: "He's looking over a few things--and waiting for the industry to see 'Bad Influence,' " Kasteler says, calling it "a total departure for him."