Charlie Sheen: the ultimate method actor?

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This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 1st March 2011.

With the Oscars and Razzies over for another year, Hollywood can once again turn its focus back to doing what it does best. That’s right, trying to deal with Charlie Sheen’s antics.

This past week, it was announced that US Network CBS and Warner Bros. Television will discontinue the production of hit sitcom, Two and a Half Men, following the many reports of Sheen’s (mis)adventures with alcohol, drugs and porn stars as well as numerous public remarks made by the star about the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre.

Whilst the word “cancelled” has been bandied about in the media, it appears that the production of the current season, its eighth, has been shut down, not the show itself. So as far as we know, there might be more. Of course, several hatchets will need to be buried before season nine can even be contemplated.

I’m not sure if anyone would even notice if the show ended anyway. Channel Nine should be renamed the “Two and a Half Men Network (now with less Ben Elton)”. There must be an endless supply of tapes hidden away in the vaults considering that there seems to be brand new episodes premiering every other night, alternating with The Big Bang Theory, another show from the spring that never seems to run dry.

The show has been running for so long that the “half” in the title is actually now referring to seventeen year old actor Angus T. Jones. Perhaps they should just rename the show to Three Men and be over with it. Or if Sheen doesn’t return, drop it to Two Men.

Another solution to save the show and keep the title would be to kill off Sheen’s character, Charlie Harper, and bring in a new younger kid. If you go with a really young actor, you could even rename the show Two Men and a Baby. Add a female midget and you could even go with Two Men and a Little Lady. Keep the girl, add a pizza place and… I’m sure you get it.

Maybe Sheen’s role could be recast. In Roseanne, the original Becky, Lecy Goranson, was replaced by Sarah Chalke from Scrubs for two seasons, who was herself replaced by Goranson again for one season, only to replaced for the final season by Chalke again. I’m sure nobody noticed.

Of course, in order to prevent any further complications, a stable and reliable actor should replace Sheen. My suggestions would be someone like Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jr. or Carrie Fisher.

I think what people fail to realise is that the character of Charlie Harper in Two and a Half Men is a hedonistic womaniser and alcoholic. Surely this is just a case of the ultimate method actor? Charlie Sheen might be difficult to work with, but he sure does his research. Is this any different to Dustin Hoffman staying up all night in order to look exhausted for a scene in Marathon Man?

So what if Charlie Sheen likes to live his character. At least he’s not playing a vampire. Perhaps the character of Charlie Harper was based on Sheen in the first place. If so, the show’s producers can hardly complain.

Regardless, Charlie Sheen certainly makes the boring world of Hollywood more interesting. As long as he doesn’t go the way of Anna Nicole Smith, River Phoenix or Chris Farley, perhaps we should just accept this as a case of art imitating life imitating art.

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Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 12:55  Leave a Comment  
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