When Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men, many commentators were quick to latch onto his increasingly bizarre antics.
In his upcoming memoir So That Happened (April 7, New American Library), Sheen’s Men star Jon Cryer writes about the disappointing way the media tried to elevate a guy who, he says, just needed help.
“A curious phenomenon was bubbling up in the media,” writes Cryer, in a passage excerpted by The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” the actor continues. “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.”
Cryer also recalls how fans lashed out at him and series creator Chuck Lorre after Sheen was dropped from the show.
“[They said] I’d betrayed Charlie, that I was a ‘homely f–’ and that they’d never watch a show with me as the lead,” Cryer writes. “As ridiculous and horrifying as those sentiments were, it was impossible for me not to feel their effect.”
With levity, Cryer then recalls a curious period when both he and Sheen were single and how his costar encouraged him to hire prostitutes.
“Charlie suggested a few online purveyors he occasionally used, as this was when prostitution was gaining a foothold on the Internet,” Cryer writes. “He and I had different tastes, so I didn’t go with his exact recommendations, but my forays into prostitution were about as awkward as you might imagine.”
The awkwardness only got worse for Cryer. He thought he had eventually found himself an “engaging, beautiful” woman to date – that is, until Sheen revealed that he had once dated her, too.