Charlie Sheen on 'Two and a Half Men': 'It All Got Icky Because of Me'
"Chuck Lorre gave me this arena to explore and succeed in and have a dream life," the "Anger Management" star tells THR.
More than a year after he was fired from CBS' Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen is taking ownership of his well-publicized fallout with former showrunner Chuck Lorre.
While promoting his upcoming comedy Anger Management at FX's Summer Comedy party Tuesday in Hollywood, the embattled star accepted responsibility for his ouster from the CBS comedy. "[Two and a Half Men for me] ended in such a stupid way, that's mostly on me," he told reporters. "It all got icky because of me. Those guys were fine; they were classy. I was a f---ing idiot. They're doing the best they can, man, and I'm doing the best I can over here."
Sheen was dismissed from the CBS comedy in March 2011 after the actor publicly blasted showrunner Lorre and was replaced shortly afterward with Ashton Kutcher. Sheen subsequently sued Men studio Warner Bros. Television and Lorre for $100 million, seeking punitive damages after the eighth season was cut short. (The parties settled out of court.)
The actor returns in his first post-Men TV role since his termination Thursday as a former professional baseball player-turned-anger management psychologist on FX's Anger Management. The Lionsgate TV-produced comedy opens with back-to-back episodes following a marathon of Sheen's "favorite" 12 episodes of Men.
"When it was good, it was great, man," Sheen told The Hollywood Reporter of his former series. "Chuck Lorre gave me this arena to explore and succeed in and have a dream life. Thank you, Chuck. Seriously, Print that. He's a f---ing genius. Print 'thank you, Chuck.' "
Sheen, who held court from a roped off booth area at Lure in Hollywood, praised his new co-stars and showrunner, Bruce Helford, while noting that he was excited for the show to finally premiere after months of the buildup.
"Here's the good news: There's a ton of hype, but at the end of the day, what do we have? We got what the people f---ing want," he told reporters, noting that Men "is doing the best that they can."
"They lost their anchor," he said. "It's not an insult; it's just -- c'mon, guys, get it together. You can still win."
Despite the praise and optimism for Men's future with Kutcher, Sheen noted he was looking forward to being able to "contribute on all fronts" with Helford at the helm of Anger Management. "[Bruce is] the greatest showrunner alive. Period. The end. [He's] compassionate, smart, noble [and] integral."
FX has ordered 10 episodes of Anger Management and, should the series hit a specific ratings benchmark, will renew the comedy for 90 additional episodes under the cable network's arrangement with distributor Debmar-Mercury.
For his part, Helford told reporters that writers will begin working on the second season July 9 but that a decision on the show's future likely won't come until the end of August. "We want to be prepared because we start shooting again in September," he noted of the series, which films two episodes per week.
As for promoting Anger Management using syndicated repeats of Men, Helford laughed that he hoped "nobody gets tired of watching it."
"I'm sure [Charlie is] very proud of a lot of the work he did on that show, and it's wonderful that they're showing it," Helford told THR. "Everybody should get out their big popcorn barrels and get ready to watch a good night of TV."
Anger Management premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on FX.