Rob Lowe Says He ‘Did Not Have a Good Experience’ on ‘The West Wing’ (Video)

The actor gives a bit more insight into why he left the hit NBC drama during appearance on the Podcrushed podcast

Rob Lowe has talked a lot over the years about his surprising exit in 2003 from the hit NBC political drama “The West Wing,” which ran from 1999-2006. But in a recent interview with Stitcher Studio’s Podcrushed Podcast, Lowe gave a bit more insight into his exit, describing how he felt, and feels, about his experiencing on the show.

“I did not have a good experience,” he told hosts Pen Badgley, Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari. You can watch the clip at the top of the page now.

Lowe left “The West Wing” after 4 seasons spent portraying Deputy White House Communications Director Sam Seaborn. They show was initially built around the character and Lowe was at first its highest-paid actor. But, as he’s explained several times since, he became frustrated as Seaborn began to be sidelined as the story began to focus more on storylines influenced by current events, particularly the war on terror.

But as he told Podcrushed in the interview, which was released on Wednesday, he also felt like he was treated badly behind the scenes.

“I felt very undervalued. Whenever I talk to actors who complain about, you know, their relationships on their shows, it happens. It happens in any workplace,” Lowe said. “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.’”

“They would make your hair stand up and there’s some of them I wrote. I shared some of them in my book, but I purposely didn’t share half of the other ones, because it would make the people involved look so bad that I didn’t want to do it to them,” Lowe continued. “So, I did not have a good experience.”

Lowe added that he “tried to make it work, and tried to make it work and tried to make it work,” but was finally inspired by his kids to quit.

“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. ‘It’s so popular, it’s so amazing, it must be amazing.’ But I know what it’s like and if I couldn’t walk away from it, then how could I empower my kids to walk away from it?” Loew concluded.