Rob Lowe recalls talking with Monica Lewinsky about 'The West Wing'

USMagazine, Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 4:30pm (PDT)
  • Only in the '90s! Rob Lowe isn't just the narrator of National Geographic's "The '90s: The Last Great Decade?" special -- he's also one of its interviewees. Entertainment Weekly shared a clip from the upcoming miniseries on Tuesday, July 1, in which the "Parks and Recreation" actor recounts a truly original 1990s moment: meeting Monica Lewinsky on a plane as he was getting ready to star in Aaron Sorkin's White House drama "The West Wing."

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    "The West Wing," about a fictional U.S. President (Martin Sheen) and his senior staff, premiered on NBC in September 1999, almost exactly a year after Kenneth Starr detailed Lewinsky's affair with then-President Bill Clinton in the Starr Report.

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    "I think two or three days before we filmed the 'West Wing' pilot, I was reading the script and studying my lines on a plane," Lowe, now 50, recalls in the clip. "And I got the feeling of someone watching you -- you know how that can be? -- and I looked up across the aisle, and it was Monica Lewinsky."

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    "I had this moment, I thought, 'You know what? I gotta say this to her,'" he continues. "And I said, 'Listen, I just want you to know something. I'm about to do a show called 'The West Wing.' It's about the presidency. I think people are going to pay a lot of attention to it. And I just want you to know we're not doing anything about ... you know, so you don't need to worry.'"

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    Lewinsky, now 40, recalls the encounter, too. She says he was with his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, on a plane to Canada at the time. "I remember walking away thinking, 'Oh, he's a good guy,'" she says in the Nat Geo doc, her first televised interview since 2003. "'And I was right to have had a huge crush on him when I was a teenager.'"

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