Chad Lowe has had a rocky road in the TV business.
This week, the 53-year-old actor appears on the “At Home with The Creative Coalition” podcast, and looks back on the early days of his career.
In particular, Lowe talks about the experience of being sued by NBC at just 15 years old when he walked off the sitcom “Spencer”.
“I’m a 14-turning-15-year-old kid, who thinks he’s an adult, in an adult world making money as the face of a show that is moderately billed as a success. It was way, way too much, too quick for me,” he admits. “I can say that now in hindsight at 52, I can say that’s what was happening. At the time, I was not aware of it.”
He continues, “I ended up getting sued by NBC… You know, I’ve never really talked about this, actually. It’s a part of my life that I’ve never really talked about for a number of reasons. One, I haven’t been able to make peace with it. For a long time, it’s really been hard on me — knowing that I willingly walked off of my own sitcom, my own television show.”
Getting back into acting after that experience was difficult and scary for Lowe.
“I literally remember thinking — the threats were, ‘You’ll never work again. You will never be an actor again,’” he recalls. “And I remember thinking, Okay. If this is what it means, if my choice is never act again or continue on this sitcom, well then I’ll never act again… I did a play about eight months later, I was in high school and I got a play, a play called ‘Blue Denim’… It reminded me of my love of acting and the kind of acting that I wanted to be doing. So that kind of lit the spark again. I think I had a manager, my manager stayed with me, I had the same manager. And he said, ‘Look, we can try to start submitting you again for other opportunities and other jobs that come up.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go for it.’”
Lowe also looks back with regret on his decision to skip the 1993 Emmys, during which he won in the Best Supporting Actor category for his groundbreaking role as an HIV-positive character on “Life Goes On”.
“There’s another regret… Because I’m a serious actor, because I don’t act for awards. So that’s what I’m thinking,” he says. “Now remember, Martin Sheen being my mentor removed his name from consideration when he starred in ‘Apocalypse Now’… If I was ever nominated again, God willing, I’d be the first person in line.”