Rob Lowe: 'This part gave me an excuse to read the Bible cover to cover'
The end is nigh in new comedy, You, Me And The Apocalypse. One of the stars of the series, Rob Lowe, tells Keeley Bolger what he would do if the world was going to end.
Crews don't come more motley than that of Sky's new comedy, You, Me And The Apocalypse.
There's a Brat Pack actor, a Birds Of A Feather stalwart, a Will & Grace star and a contemporary children's TV favourite.
In other words, there's Rob Lowe, Pauline Quirke, Megan Mullally and Horrible Histories and The Wrong Mans actor Mathew Baynton.
And the show, set in a world that's about to end, sees a group of characters - as unlikely as the people playing them - thrust together as the apocalypse strikes.
"It's truly epic," explains Lowe, who plays potty-mouthed priest Father Jude. "It's multi-continent, multi-nationality - you have Vatican priests, English bankers, the President and a white supremacist.
"You are absolutely taken into a world where there are 34 days until it's over. What do you do with your life? Do you go to work? Why? Do you go and get your money from the bank? Literally, everything is on the table for human behaviour."
Quite. But what else can we expect from the series?
THE SET UP
Dubbed a "bold, end-of-the-world drama told with subversive, biting wit" by 51-year-old Lowe, the comedy sees mild-mannered Slough bank manager Jamie (played by Essex-born Baynton) have his life turned upside down, when he's arrested on suspicion of cyber terrorism.
He soon realises he has an identical twin, who his mum Paula (Quirke) has never told him about.
Meanwhile at the Vatican, Father Jude interviews candidates for a role in his devil's advocate office, and in New Mexico, unassuming librarian Rhonda enters a maximum security prison for a crime she didn't commit, and reluctantly falls under the wing of unhinged white supremacist Leanne (Mullally).
Oh - and there's a comet on an unavoidable collision course with Earth, which will hit in just 34 days, leaving everybody to make their way to a bunker.
Working on the series gave Lowe a chance to jazz up his repertoire.
"There are benchmarks in actor's careers. Play a cop? Tick. Cowboy? Tick. Priest? I hadn't done that," explains the Virginia-born star. "This part also gave me a good excuse that I had needed for a long time, to sit down and read the Bible cover to cover," he adds. "It was quite fun sitting out on the beach over Christmas reading the Bible."
Like many of us, Lowe has thought about who he would spend his final days with.
"I would be with my wife and sons (he has two boys with wife Sheryl Berkoff) and we would do the things we do whenever we have time together," says the actor. "We'll surf, go out on our boat and fish, watch TV, laugh. I'll smoke a cigar by the outdoor fireplace with them and the dogs nearby."
While most of the cast had the standard one character to be getting on with, Baynton had his work cut out playing two people in the comedy.
"I play identical twins, Jamie and Ariel, but they have not had identical lives," he explains. "Jamie is an intelligent and capable man who has experienced a big loss, and to cope with it."
- You, Me And The Apocalypse begins on Sky1 next Wednesday