NATPE: Charlie Sheen Wants to Give Chuck Lorre a Hug
Miami Beach – Looking clean, healthy and sober, Charlie Sheen met the media Monday to talk about his new show Anger Management as the first day of the NATPE conference and market ended. At an invitation-only event staged at the pool of the Fontainebleau Hotel for TV executives and the media, Sheen said he was feeling so mellow that if he ran into Chuck Lorre, the executive producer and showrunner with whom he battled so publicly on Two and a Half Men, he wouldn’t express his anger any more.
“If I saw him on the street, I’d give him a hug,” Sheen told The Hollywood Reporter.
Charlie Sheen hug Chuck Lorre?
“Yeah,” explained Sheen, pushing an unlit cigarette into his mouth. “Because for a long time he created something that basically brought me up from the ashes and gave me a f---in’ dream life that only existed in a fantasy. Chuck did that. Chuck did that. That’s why I was so f---in’ offended when he didn’t have my back on the end of it. Because what we accomplished together was epic, you know. He did it his way, I did it my way and somehow it worked. But I would hug him for that and just forget about the rest.”
Sheen is even excited about doing 100 episodes of Anger Management (assuming it is picked up after the first ten run on the FX network). It will be shot two episodes a week, which is twice as fast as the pace was on Two and a Half Men, which is fine with Sheen. And that is good news for his new producer, Bruce Helford, who has a history of working with talented but often demanding stars from Roseanne to George Lopez to Drew Carey, among others.
The atmosphere on the production, at least so far, has been very different than Men, mostly because of Sheen’s relationship with Helford.
“One thing that’s different is when I do a show, I sit down with the star whether its Drew Carey or George Lopez or whoever,” Helford said Friday in a separate interview, his first in-depth since he began working on Anger Management. “I say ‘Here’s the deal. We’re partners. We’re going to hold hands. We’re going to do this together. I’m going to run every story line by you. I want you to know what’s going on. I want you to be part of the process. Charlie has come and hung out in the writer’s room and worked with us. He has been involved from the beginning and he’s had some great ideas for story. It was his idea to be an anger management therapist in the beginning. He didn’t know what the show was going to be but he knew it was a great idea for him to play that. So it’s been great because he’s my partner, and we do everything tighter. I think he’s enjoyed that a lot and for me it’s been a pleasure. He’s a really good guy, extremely generous with the other actors, reading with them, giving them the benefit of his experience. You say Charlie let’s do it again. He says, ‘No problem.’ He jumps in right in. He even read the role of a couple of little girls when we needed the voices in the room.”
Sheen says he's loving it. He likes working more, he says, and looks forward to the faster pace of production.
“When I was on Two And A Half they gave me so much time,” says Sheen. “You leave work on Tuesday at one or two. I was like, ‘I can go do what? Just go home and see you tomorrow.’ I’m like ‘Maybe.’ I’ve got to stay active. I get bored really fast. I get bored with stupid people really fast. I burned out on Two and a Half in like season three. You can print all this. This isn’t the case with Anger. Cathartically, I’ll be able to process a lot of my Two and a Half s--- on my new show. Look at that. I putmyself in group (therapy on the show).”
Sheen says working in the environment that Helford is creating has even made him a better actor and comedian.
“If you’re going to try to mine comedy out of a quagmire of oppression, good luck!” says Sheen. “If you’re going to do it where everybody there is in concert with this playground of imagination, then we're all winning. You know, it’s all about victory. Talk about creative man. It’s all about people that trust each other, love each other and are all there for the same reasons.”
“I can just relax finally,” says Sheen, “and not worry about stuff that just does not apply anywhere close to what I thought we were doing, you know. It’s hard to talk about that shit and not get emotional.”