Charlie Sheen is back to winning.
Lorre wanted an A-list cameo for Bookie's pilot, and his mind quickly jumped to Sheen as the best possible option, due to his familiarity with the show's subject matter. "It should be Charlie," Lorre told Variety. "I remember Charlie was very much engaged in sports betting and he would tell me stories about it all the time. You know, when things were good."
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen
The showrunner met with Sheen for the first time in over 10 years to collaborate on the project. "I was nervous, but almost as soon as we started talking, I remembered, we were friends once," the showrunner said. "And that friendship just suddenly seemed to be there again. I don't want to be too mawkish about it, but it was healing. And he was also totally game to make fun of himself. When he came to the table read of that episode, I walked up, and we hugged. It was just great."
"He proceeded to kill it at the table read. His chops were just so finely tuned, as if we had not missed a beat," Lorre continued. "He's playing a version of himself that has shadows of past problems and he was fine with it." However, after Sheen expressed discomfort with his character being in rehab, Lorre amended the script. "He was kind of like, 'can we not do the drug-addled Charlie anymore?'"
Sheen repeatedly insulted Lorre during a highly publicized battle with addiction in 2011, calling the showrunner a "turd" and "a little maggot." The actor was fired from Two and a Half Men that year, and was replaced with Ashton Kutcher.
Sheen expressed regret about the feud in 2021. "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," he told Yahoo Entertainment. "And it was desperately juvenile."
Even after their fallout (and before their make-up), Lorre praised Sheen's work on the show. "It would be inappropriate not to acknowledge our success with Charlie and how grateful I am and we are," Lorre said at a press conference ahead of Two and a Half Men's finale. "I have nothing but good feelings for those eight and half years."
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