Everyone’s familiar with “the incident”, Charlie Sheen opened his mouth when he shouldn’t have and was subsequently taken off of Two and a Half Men.
What many people don’t know are the reasons surrounding why Sheen was ultimately fired. Jon Cryer was Sheen’s co-star and has finally told the public a lot about Sheen’s time on the show.
Two and a Half Men hit the ground running with its instant success. The show rose to number 1 in America and other countries in a matter of weeks.
Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer played a huge role in the show’s success. Sheen was a highly renowned actor around the time of the show and for a while, he was the actor earning the most money on television. Where did it all collapse then?
In 2010, the actor made a ludicrous amount of money: $1.8 million dollars for each episode they shot. This made Sheen the highest-paid actor on television. Fans went crazy for him.
The relationship between Sheen and Cryer is the reason why many fans would sit down and turn on Two and a Half Men. They made them laugh, so it’s not unbelievable that Sheen got four Emmys and a few Golden Globe nominations. But just one year down the road, everything was changing.
If 2010 was the height of the show then 2011 was the fall. Many people couldn’t believe it when the show hung in limbo and its future was uncertain.
The reason behind the collapse was Sheen’s problematic lifestyle. There were a few reasons why the show ended up in hiatus, but the only people that knew about it were the ones on set. Fans felt like the carpet had been ripped out from underneath them.
Jon Cryer was caught in the middle of the predicament. With all the controversy about Sheen, Cryer wasn’t only concerned for his own future on the show, but also for his colleague, Sheen.
Cryer was unsurprisingly close to Sheen. Seeing his friend start declining was difficult for him. After years passed, Cryer told his story through his memoir.
We need to go back to where it started to truly feel what Cryer was going through. Cryer had finally found acclaim in Two and a Half Men, but before then, his acting career wasn’t so easy.
Cryer was in many stage musicals as a young boy. He got his acting talent from his dad and his mother was a writer for plays. He would spend his summers at a theater camp and finally, he got a part in a Broadway show.
Cryer did a number of Broadway shows and eventually got a role in a film, Pretty in Pink. The film had large success but his next films wouldn’t live up to it.
Cryer tried to find parts in films for a few years and finally decided to try his hand in television. Cryer found it even harder to make it as an actor in television
Cryer time and time again found a role he thought would secure his success. But each time he got a role, the show would be cut from the air. After 4 shows got canceled, he found himself being nicknamed a “showkiller” by Newsweek.
Cryer was disheartened as the nickname would ruin any future roles he would have gotten. He almost threw in the towel. His career was feeling tainted, but then he saw hope.
Cryer found himself getting the part as Alan on Two and a Half Men. He couldn’t believe his luck. He walked on set every day with everything he had.
The first season launched in 2004. Cryer played Alan, an apprehensive dad who has to live with his brother Charlie after a failed marriage. The relationship between the two actors was what really fueled the series. That relationship was just as real off the set.
Cryer was so happy to see Sheen every day when he walked on set. They had a lot of things in common, like being married men with children, and working very hard for their careers.
Cryer admits that this bonding only lasted as long as season 1. Since he got closer to Sheen, he also became aware of his problems. When they first met he admits that he looked past them.
Cryer could not believe the success the show was having. After all the failed projects he had been involved in, he was finally being recognized for his acting skills and his hard work. He was extremely grateful and did not let fame get to his head because of his past.
This massive amount of fame, however, was having the opposite effect on Sheen. While he had been a grounded family man during the first season of the show, the Hollywood life was being more and more appealing to him as time went by.
Right around the same time season 2 came out, Sheen’s second wife and mother of his two daughters, Denise Richards, filed for divorce. Their divorce wasn’t a regular one, however.
A lot of scandalous things came out during their legal battle. Richards accused Sheen of abusing substances and cheating on her, which obviously is not good for someone’s reputation. Although Sheen denied it at the time, we all know now that it was all very true.
Cryer could also see all of this happening behind the scenes. According to Cryer, after Sheen’s divorce, he got more and more involved with illegal substances. This was the beginning of his downfall.
Even after his divorce, he was still getting exposed for his indecent behavior. A few women came out publicly and claimed that they had been with Sheen while he was married. Because of his fame and success, however, these rumors did not affect his career.
In 2008, Sheen married actress Brooke Mueller, and this relationship would prove to be even more scandalous than the first one. The two enjoyed a drama-free year until things started to go sour.
In 2009, the police was called to their home over a domestic dispute and Sheen was arrested. This was the first time that the public really got to realize what was going on with Sheen. For Cryer and the rest of the crew, however, this had been going on for years.
Cryer did not open up about this for a long time because even after all that happened, he considered Sheen a close friend. He noticed that Sheen was abusing substances but he thought that as long as he showed up to set and had it under control, things would be fine.
To protect his job and Sheen’s job, he did not say a word. Meanwhile, Sheen’s issues intensified and in 2011, he had a very public meltdown that made headlines everywhere and caused the show to go on hiatus.
In 2010, Sheen went to rehab and things seemed to be getting better. In fact, he got a two-year deal that gave him $1.8 million per episode. However, this lasted only a few months. Near the end of the year, Sheen was arrested once more.
This time, it was for property damage after he trashed a hotel room and caused $7,000 worth of damage. This was certainly not good publicity for the show, but Sheen’s friends and colleagues wanted to give him another chance.
In 2011, the relationship between Sheen and the show became unsustainable. Sheen famously did an interview in which he bad mouthed producer Chuck Lorre and he was subsequently fired from the show.
He then went on a media rampage in which he rambled about having “tiger blood” and that he was “winning”, a phrase that went viral on the internet. This may have been funny for those looking at it from the outside, but it was an awful situation for everyone involved.
What happened with Sheen not only affected him, but it threatened the future of everyone involved in the show. Without the main star of the show, could the series move forward? Nobody knew whether they would be able to keep their job or not.
For Cryer, this was very hard. He not only had to see his friend’s life go down in a spiral, but he was facing unemployment once more. Could his career ever recover after such a big hit?
Cryer opened up about what he was feeling during that time and said in an interview: “There’s the fact that all of our jobs are tied into this guy, and we’re all his friends.”
Although he was concerned about his own career, his biggest concern was Sheen’s welfare: ” “I was just scared every day that I was going to read about Charlie being dead. Anybody who’s gotten close to him knows that there’s a really good guy in there.”
Many people didn’t think that the show would survive without Sheen, especially Sheen himself, but the show proved him wrong. He was replaced with Ashton Kutcher and season 9 did very well.
Sheen’s character was killed off and Kutcher replaced him as Walden, a millionaire who moves in with Alan after he saves his life. This dynamic was well-received and the show spanned another four seasons.
The new, revamped Two and a Half Men did have its problems, however. While season 9 had no issues, season 10 did. This season was the last one featuring Angus T. Jones, who played Jake, Alan’s son.
Jake was the third piece of the puzzle of the show, so it was a hard hit for the series. With Sheen gone, another loss could be devastating. Not only that, but Jones’ exit was far from amicable.
Jones, who was 19 at the time, basically grew up on the show. As he became an adult, his very conservative religious beliefs came in conflict with the show and its premise.
One day, he decided he could not stand it anymore and he quit. But he didn’t just walk away in a friendly manner – he took to Youtube and posted a video warning people about the “filth” of the show.
Jones begged those watching the video not to watch Two and a Half Men because it was “filth”. He said he was ashamed of being part of it and that he would focus on his spirituality from now on.
Not long after he posted that video he issued an apology because let’s face it, what he did does not qualify as “leaving in good terms”. A couple of years after this whole debacle, he mended his relationship with the show.
Jones came back for the last season of the show and apologized for the statements he made previously. There were no hard feelings and everyone welcomed him with open arms.
The last episode of the show aired on February 19, 2015, and it was a very emotional moment for everyone. Although the show made peace with Jones, the writers took jabs at Sheen the whole time, even up to the last scene.
Even though Jones’ characters’ return to the show was celebrated, Sheen’s character was not. A body double was used in the last episode to resemble Sheen walking up to the house and almost opening the door.
As he’s about to enter, a piano cartoonishly falls on him and crushes him. Then, producer Chuck Lorre appears on screen and says to the camera: “Winning!” as a reference to Sheen’s popular phrase he said when he was fired from the show.
Even after everything that happened, Cryer has no hard feelings towards Sheen and hopes that he is doing well. The best thing to come out of the show for him was the first blissful years of friendship he enjoyed with Sheen. About that time, he said: “It was incredibly smooth, we had a lovely time, it was working really well.”
“It was very, very strange and there were aspects of it that I absolutely hated, but you know, I’m thankful for the years that were great.” Cryer is now working on other projects. His most recent role was as Lex Luthor in Supergirl. Hopefully, we will see him starring in another sitcom soon.