Rob Lowe on a Young Charlie Sheen: 'We Competed to See Who Could Play Harder'

The former Brat Packer -- and current "Parks and Recreation" star -- recalls hanging out with his then-buddy in the 1980s and also reveals his first impression of Tom Cruise.

Rob Lowe says he and Charlie Sheen used to compete on a regular basis -- but not for roles.

"We competed to see who could play harder, then show up for work and still kick ass," Lowe told Vanity Fair of filming Masquerade in the Hamptons in 1987 while his then-buddy was filming Wall Street. "The verdict: Charlie by a nose."

Lowe recently finished his autobiography and shared excerpts with Vanity Fair.

He wrote that Sheen -- who is suing Warner Bros. and Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre after being fired from his role earlier this month -- in his early years was "one-of-a-kind … a Polo preppy clotheshorse in a world of O.P. shorts and surf T-shirts" and "a wonderful mix of nerd … and rebel."

"At my house, we are still saving money by not buying desserts," Lowe says, comparing his life to that of Sheen, who lived nearby. "At Charlie's house, it's never-ending Haagen-Dazs, brand-new BMWs, a lagoon pool with underwater tunnels, and a lit, professional-grade basketball half-court."

Lowe also writes about his Outsiders co-stars.

-- His first impression of Tom Cruise: "He's open, friendly, funny, and has an almost robotic, bloodless focus and an intensity that I've never encountered before."

-- Patrick Swayze "makes Tom Cruise look lobotomized" and was "as cool as you want, wearing tight jeans and a tattered, sleeveless Harley-Davidson T-shirt revealing his massive, ripped arms. (This is his uniform, he never changes it, and if I looked like him, neither would I.)."

-- Matt Dillon is described as a young ladies' man who picked up a fan in a hotel lobby.

-- Diane Lane: "At only 16, she already seems like a legend. ... I watch as she breezes by with her chaperone. With all the teen testosterone on this movie, she'll need one!"