Nearly 10 years after being fired from “Two and a Half Men”, Charlie Sheen has some regrets.
The actor was let go from the popular sitcom on March 7, 2011, amid a string of controversies, including drug abuse, a domestic violence conviction, and more.
During that time, Sheen also became a media laughingstock with his catchphrase “winning” and references to “tiger blood,” which are periodically resurrected in memes to this day.
In a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the 55-year-old admitted he isn’t happy about people still making joking references to that difficult time in his life.
“People have [said to] me, ‘Hey, man, that was so cool, that was so fun to watch. That was so cool to be a part of and support and all that energy and, you know, we stuck it to the man,'” Sheen said. “My thought behind that is, Oh, yeah, great. I’m so glad that I traded early retirement for a f**king hashtag.”
But the actor also looks back with regret on his own behaviour during that period, particularly when it comes to the sitcom from which he was fired.
“There’s a moment when [former CBS CEO] Les Moonves and his top lawyer, Bruce, were at my house and they said, ‘OK, the Warner jet is fueled up on the runway. Wheels up in an hour and going to rehab, right?’ My first thought was sort of like really … there’s some comedy value to what my first thought was,” Sheen recalled. “In that moment, when I said, ‘Oh, damn, I finally get the Warner jet.’ That’s all I heard. But if I could go back in time to that moment, I would’ve gotten on the jet. And it was that giant left turn in that moment that led to, you know, a very unfortunate sequence of public and insane events.
“There was 55 different ways for me to handle that situation, and I chose number 56. And so, you know, I think the growth for me post-meltdown or melt forward or melt somewhere — however you want to label it — it has to start with absolute ownership of my role in all of it. And it was desperately juvenile.”
Talking about why he behaved so recklessly at the time, Sheen said, “I think it was drugs or the residual effects of drugs … and it was also an ocean of stress and a volcano of disdain. It was all self-generated, you know. All I had to do was take a step back and say, ‘OK, let’s make a list. Let’s list, like, everything that’s cool in my life that’s going on right now. Let’s make a list of what’s not cool.’ You know what I’m saying? And the ‘cool’ list was really full. The ‘not cool’ list was, like, two things that could’ve been easily dismissed.”
He added, “I was getting loaded and my brain wasn’t working right.”
Still, Sheen wishes that some people at the time, particularly those in the media, had displayed more concern with his well-being.
“I was really a guy that needed someone to reach out to and say, ‘Hey, man, obviously there’s a ton of other s**t going on. How can we help?'” Sheen explained. “And instead they showed up in droves with banners and songs, all types of fanfare and celebration of, you know, what I think was a very public display of a mental health moment.”
He went on, “I had four children and went through two divorces in and around trying to navigate the landscape of being on the most popular show in the known universe, so it was a lot. And sometimes you pick a target, you need a scapegoat, you need someone to put it all on. You know? It can’t be me, it’s gotta be him or them or those folks. And that’s just not the road best traveled.”
Finally, when it comes to people still making memes out of the things he said a decade ago, Sheen said, “It’s all right if it still means something to them and, you know, I was the delivery device for them, then that’s fine. I just, I have absolute faith that the things I’m going to do professionally in Act 3 are going to put a muzzle on all that stuff and people can celebrate me again for what I actually do for a living.”