Rob Lowe portrayed White House communications director Sam Seaborn for four seasons of The West Wing before his abrupt departure from the show in 2003. Two decades later, the longtime actor admitted that he felt “undervalued” during his days in the political drama. 

“Whenever I talk to actors who complain about, you know, their relationships on their shows, it happens,” he explained during an appearance on Stitcher Studios’ “Podcrushed.” “It happens in any workplace. You could be in an environment where people sandbag you, want to see you fail, don’t appreciate you, whatever it is — and whenever I share my stories, people are like, ‘I will never share my own stories again.’”

Rob, 59, did not hold back when explaining his true feelings about the Aaron Sorkin-produced TV series. 

“So, I did not have a good experience,” he continued. “Tried to make it work and tried to make it work and tried to make it work, and then what happened was, my kids were getting to a certain age where I could see them having first girlfriends or friends and being in a relationship that was abusive and taking it. She’s the popular girl, everybody likes her, she’s beautiful, it must be great. All the things that people would say about making The West Wing to me.”

Rob was written out of the series, with his character ultimately deciding to run for Congress in Orange County, California.

“I walked away from the most popular girl at school, but I also knew that it was a super-unhealthy relationship and it was the best thing I ever did,” he confessed.

Rob Lowe wears shirt and tie on the set of 'The West Wing'
Warner Bros Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Rob has come a long way since his days on The West Wing. Earlier this year, he celebrated the release of his Netflix comedy, Unstable, in which he stars with his youngest son, John Owen Lowe. The show follows the relationship between a father and son who work together at a tech company. 

Performing together on screen and working as executive producers of Unstable has been rewarding for the father-son duo — and of course, they approached the project with heaps of humor!

“The show is partly about the humor and the misery of a child who wants to get out of his father’s shadow and can’t escape it,” John said prior to the show’s release, to which Rob responded, “Yes, and John Owen’s solution for that was, ‘Hey, let’s do a show with Dad.’”