The FishbowlLA Interview with Charlie Sheen: ‘If I saw Chuck [Lorre] on the street I would give him a hug. For the first seven years, not the eighth.’
He’s still got it.
The long odyssey surrounding his abrupt departure from Two and a Half Men is long over, but Charlie Sheen still knows how to throw a party, and he still has strong feelings about the incident, even if he doesn’t exactly know what happened.
“I don’t know what it was, I am still baffled by it. Can that ever happen again, the way it did?” Sheen told us, after being asked whether another celebrity could find themselves in a similar situation. “Who could you make Being John Malkovich about, if not John Malkovich?”
The ArKadia nightclub at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach has been taken over by Sheen, Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury, the producer and distributor of his new show, Anger Management. There are mermaids swimming in the outdoor pool, and women dressed as tables (yes, seriously) on which drinks have been placed. There are a handful of celebrities in attendance, including Katie Couric, Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake and Steve Harvey.
We are sitting in Sheen’s VIP cabana, it is nearly midnight. He would have an excellent view of the mermaids and the pool, except there is a throng of people on the other side of the velvet rope, wanting to say hi.
“It looks like chaos, but everyone is happy to see me, nothing but kind words to offer,” he says.
That doesn’t mean he is pleased with the way he has treated in the press. When asked about making the press rounds to promote his new show, he replied with a rebuke of the harsh words that have been thrown at him over the last year.
“I don’t really care, because I don’t take any of it personally, it is just words, coming from people that don’t know anything about me. So how much stock can you put in it, you know, a strangers random opinion?” Sheen said. “It is like getting mad at a three-year old for hurting your feelings. I never read anything anymore, because all that happens is you get upset.”
When it was clarified that the question was about the press rounds for his new show and not the past, Sheen laughed and replied “This? Oh fuck, sorry. Look where I go, fucking beaten dog syndrome.”
Sheen had “WINNING” tattooed on his wrist “right in the middle” of the Two and a Half Men brouhaha. It was hard to miss.
“My watch is getting fixed, so I’m not wearing it, but it normally covers it,” he said, adding that he got it to remember that he “survived that whole odyssey and lived in the middle of… of whatever that thing was.”
While he was eager to talk about his new show, it was clear that Sheen still had strong feelings about his departure from the CBS sitcom. When asked if he had any regrets about his departure, he said yes:
“I would’ve been a little less vocal about personal shit against the guys, Chuck [Lorre], executives all of that stuff,” Sheen said. “I was a little out of line. I was so mad, but they were so wrong, they were so fucking wrong. That is why I pressed so hard, because I knew I couldn’t lose.”
“I couldn’t even get a phone call, I put $400 million in the guy’s pocket, and he cant even fucking call to say ‘hey man, you’ve got to go.’ But I’m not bitter, I am just an observer to it now,” Sheen added. “If I saw Chuck on the street I would give him a hug. For the first seven years, not the eighth.”
Sheen was asked about the current state of Two and a Half Men. While it is still a juggernaut comedy, it seems as though its best days may be behind it ratings-wise.
“Wanna know why?” he said. “It lost its point of view, man. He has spent so much time trying to insult me through the characters, that he forgot to write good jokes, which is a compliment to me!”
That said, Sheen has nothing but kind things to say about his replacement on the show, Ashton Kutcher.
“The reason I got to give Ashton [Kutcher] props, is because I did what he did, I replaced Mike Fox [Michael J. Fox in Spin City],” Sheen said. “You are going in with all those ghosts, and everyone’s idea of what it is going to be before the guy even has a chance to open his fucking mouth. He is a good dude, he is a very talented guy.”
Now of course, Sheen is free of that, and can work on developing his own program. He said he is in the process of casting for the show. His first task is to cast the actresses playing his wife, his daughter and his therapist.
“I got em all in my head. I know who I want, I just cant say it yet because it isn’t fair to the other actresses involved,” he said, adding they they will be “putting together a little trident of genius.”
“I am excited to be in a work environment that is a playground for the imagination, and not a quagmire of oppression. It is a more adult show, a smarter show, and we have the best showrunner in the business [Bruce Helford],” he added.
Sheen also regaled us with one of his favorite recent anecdotes, a story that he said brought him some joy.
“I was in a store the other day, this is true story. This woman says to me, ‘Oh, Mr. Sheen, I gotta tell you my mom died in April,’ and I said ‘oh, I’m sorry,’ and she said ‘no, it’s not about that, she was 97. She was such a fan of [Two and a Half Men] and she looked at me and said, ‘oh, I hope that Sheen boy gets another job.’ And died, she died! I was her last words, and I went oh man, I said to her daughter, ‘I’m sorry, I know you guys had a whole life together, and she should have spoken you as her last words,’ and she was like ‘ah, that’s just mom.’”