Jon Cryer has a memoir called So That Happened coming out this April and in a (clearly successful) attempt to gain some publicity for it, he’s released extended excerpts about his Two And A Half Men costar Charlie Sheen to The Hollywood Reporter.
The first few passages deal with Sheen’s early, stable years (when he was a “pretty grounded, sober married guy”) and end up revealing more about Cryer than his co-star. After Cryer’s emotionally devastating divorce he went to Sheen for advice on how to hire a prostitute so he could “get [his] equilibrium back with the opposite sex.” Since the two ended up having “different tastes,” Cryer figured things out on his own. He then tries to sell himself as the ultimate nice guy by describing how he helped the prostitute he hired with her financial planning for “25 minutes of [his] hour.”
There’s also the time Cryer broke up with the girlfriend he was ecstatic about because he found out she used to date Sheen:
Charlie said: “Well, I wanted to bring another girl into bed with us, and she was not happy about that.” And then he looked me straight in the eye and with no trace of irony, said, “So heads-up on that.” I went home that night and broke up with Stephanie.
Cryer seems to think the tale reflects really well on him and really poorly on Stephanie, but it could arguably be read the other way as well.
The early Sheen stories involve him asking Cryer to hide his porn (“pretty tame, some of it is just topless mags”) when his then-wife Denise Richards came to visit. After his divorce, Sheen often showed Cryer pictures he’d taken of women’s vaginas, which led “Nice Guy” Cryer to wonder, “Why just this, and not the rest of the person?” (He also probably wondered why Sheen didn’t offer to help those women with their financial planning like a real gentleman would.)
By far the most interesting passages, however, center on Sheen’s very public breakdown. Cryer shares this text exchange the duo had after Sheen was arrested for spousal battery in 2009:
Dude, my thoughts are with you. If you need to talk, give a call; if you’ve got bigger problems, call me when you get back.
Charlie texted back: Thanks bro. Yikes — f— me, wut a bad day … I’m flying home tonite. I’ll try to call over the weekend. Shower rape was bad but the food was okay. Hair and makeup for mug shot got there too late.
He followed that with: And I had same bail bondsman as Kobe. … No joke … :)
Cryer also details how Sheen’s fall from sobriety affected his ability to work, although not his paycheck—Sheen was apparently earning three times what Cryer made per episode. And though Sheen was clearly losing it on set, he also managed to pull himself together for filming. “When he absolutely had to focus, he did,” Cryer writers. “It was a strange and impressive thing to behold.”
And while he doesn’t let Sheen off the hook for things like trashing a hotel room and locking a prostitute in a closet (again, when it doubt always go with financial planning), Cryer also manages to discuss Sheen’s meltdown with a surprising degree of empathy:
A curious phenomenon was bubbling up in the media as well. Entertainment culture had become so stultifyingly repetitive and predictable that Charlie’s antics felt like a breath of fresh air. To some authors, commentators and bloggers—seemingly intelligent people—he was a rebel, a truth teller willing to poke his masters in the eye. They defended his baleful screeds. (I’m looking at you, Bret Easton Ellis.) Of course, Charlie wasn’t those things. He was simply lashing out at the people who told him the party was over. That he was actually just a human being with a monumental drug dependency mattered less to the pundits than his value as something to write about to alleviate their collective boredom. The fact that he could very well be dead soon was not their concern. In fact, it’d just give them more to write about.
The full excerpt (with plenty more Sheen stories) is available on The Hollywood Reporter.