Entertainment Weekly interviewed Rob Lowe this week about his “crazy transformation” as plastic surgeon Dr. Startz in HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, and spent an inordinate amount of time talking about his “disturbing yet fascinating” makeover that, in my opinion, looks like Rob Lowe in a wig.
Though EW thinks Dr. Startz is some kind of drag queen zombie alien, Lowe has a different perception entirely. He thinks Dr. Startz looks like “a transgendered Bee Gee,” to be precise.
Oh, what we wouldn’t give to go back in time and have a transgendered Bee Gee!
On his physical transformation and how his family reacted:
“I wanted him to be at once repellant and engaging, if that’s possible. He reminded me of a certain genus and species of guy that you would see at Laker games during the Magic Johnson era. He looks almost like a transgendered Bee Gee. You know what I mean? He’s the fourth member of the Bee Gees: the transgendered Bee Gee, the lesser known one. But I wanted his voice to be really macho, like maybe he was a transplant New Yorker who just bought in way too hard in the LA scene. That’s my backstory for him.”
On how long it takes to look like a transgendered Bee Gee in a drag queen zombie alien costume:
“Let’s say an hour and 45 minutes a day.”
On what it feels like to look like a transgendered Bee Gee in a drag queen zombie alien costume:
“It was actually really painful, because being pulled that long and that hard for a 12-hour day — it gave me migraines. We shot during the summer. It was unbelievably hot. The wig, being pulled, it was definitely not the most comfortable experience physically for sure.”
And most importantly, how Rob Lowe gave Dr. Startz depth, instead of the tragic gay man EW wants him to be:
“What I love about the movie is that it’s so outrageous, so over-the-top, and yet it’s completely based in reality. And you feel an emotional connection that often you don’t feel for characters that are as over-the-top as some of these are. In my work as Startz I really wanted to make sure that this wasn’t a Saturday Night Live sketch character. This is a really fully rounded man. Otherwise it just wouldn’t work. It would just seem odd.”
Check out the rest of the interview at Entertainment Weekly.