Rob Lowe Remembers Going to School with Robert Downey Jr., Reflects on His Brat Pack Days: 'All the Feels' (Exclusive)

The actor took a trip down memory lane recently, ahead of the premiere of the BRATS documentary

<p>Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty;</p> Rob Lowe in 1983

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty;

Rob Lowe in 1983's 'The Outsiders' and in 2024
  • Rob Lowe is looking back at his Brat Pack days, sharing with PEOPLE his gratitude for the phenomenon's staying power

  • Amid his trip down memory lane, the actor teamed up with Ancestry — along with sons John Owen, 29, and Matthew, 30 — to see how genetics lead to certain shared traits

  • Lowe tells PEOPLE that the 'nostalgia' of recent events has brought back many sweet memories

Rob Lowe is looking back at his teenage years, with his two adult sons in tow.

The 9-1-1: Lone Star actor, 60, recently took a serious trip down memory lane, revisiting Santa Monica High School and the Santa Monica pier — iconic place from his youth. Joined by his sons — John Owen, 29, and Matthew, 30 — his family teamed up with Ancestry to discover all the different genetic similarities they share.

"We were actually in the same building where Robert Downey Jr. and I had eighth-grade history together," Lowe tells PEOPLE. "So I was trying to figure out what seat each of us were sitting in."

"Then we went to the auditorium. Beautiful," he continues. "I was overwhelmed with how amazing this auditorium still is. It was probably built in 1930, so it's that kind of construction that we did in those days that was significant and amazing."

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<p>Silver Screen Collection/Getty</p> The cast of 'St. Elmo's Fire' in 1985

Silver Screen Collection/Getty

The cast of 'St. Elmo's Fire' in 1985

Related: 10 Iconic Photos of the Brat Pack in Their Heyday

There's also a special feature behind the curtains in the beautifully constructed space. "Backstage, apparently, everybody wrote their names — the names of all the actors that had performed there," he explains.

"Now, in high school, I wouldn't lower myself to be a part of a high school production because I was a professional, don't you know?" the actor laughs. "So, I didn't have that experience, but when I went back, the first name I saw written on the back wall was Emilio Estevez."

Lowe says that going back "was unbelievable."

"In particular, because my boys were there, but also because the nostalgia of it," he shares. "I haven't set foot there in 40-plus years. I've not, I haven't been there since I left to shoot the [1983] movie The Outsiders."

<p></p> Rob Lowe with his sons Matthew and John Owen

Rob Lowe with his sons Matthew and John Owen

The father of two isn't the only one who has been looking back. Lowe appears in the Hulu documentary BRATS, directed by his St. Elmo's Fire costar Andrew McCarthy. The film looks back at the height of the Brat Pack — a group of young actors that ruled Hollywood in the 1980s — as well as the aftermath for the group and its adjacent cohorts.

To Lowe, it's "really, really cool" to see fans' dedication to that time in their lives, many years and projects later.

"To be a part of something that has the staying power is something. The fact that people are still interested, remember, love the Brat Pack is really, really cool. What was fun about that and what I think is fun about the documentary and fun about talking to Andrew, is how differently we all perceived being a part of that phenomenon. Some people really struggled with it," he says.

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Rob Lowe and and actor Emilio Estevez in 1985

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Rob Lowe and and actor Emilio Estevez in 1985

Related: Brat Pack Babies, Husbands and Wives: Meet the Families of the A-list '80s Favorites

These days, the actor says he keeps in touch with a few people from the time. "I see Demi [Moore] around. She's the one I see most at events or out in the world. She and I talk."

"Andrew did a movie with my son a couple of years ago. He actually played his father, so he connected with Andrew and that was fun," he continues. "And it was fun in the documentary to hear from Emilio and Andie MacDowell. They even got Tim Hutton in there. It's definitely worth the price of admission."

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Melissa Gilbert, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore in 1985

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Melissa Gilbert, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore in 1985

Lowe says he's looking forward to seeing audience reactions to the documentary, since he admits, "I'm the worst person to ask. There are five people in the world who are in the Brat Pack, so we're like the last people to ask about what we thought about it."

He continues, "My takeaway is just how sweet it all is. To look at those relationships and the movies that we got to make together … it would be like if they did a documentary about your sorority or fraternity, right?"

"There's all the feels that you would get from it. That is what I get from this Brat Pack documentary."

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Lowe also had some feels when learning about the similarities between himself and his sons following their DNA tests.

"One of the features learned we share is about being ambitious and competitive. When I was in those hallways, I knew what I wanted to do and was actively working on being an actor," he says.

"Most people in high school haven't even really thought about what they want to do yet. My younger son has always kind of known what he wanted to do. My older son hasn't necessarily known what he wanted to do, but has always been such a hard worker. Those things were borne out in the Ancestry DNA test."

Head to to see the full episode and explore for yourself what DNA traits you share with your family members.

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Read the original article on People.