Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
If you've just gotten comfortable with the tiger blood-drinking, goddess-flaunting, "winning" Charlie Sheen, get ready to readjust your image of him -- again. In a couple of interviews this week, with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show and Matt Lauer on Today, Sheen, 46, presented himself as a clear-headed, sober, much calmer guy who's in on all the jokes that have been made at his expense.
While admitting to Leno that he was "absolutely" out of control in the days after he was fired from Two and a Half Men, the hard-partying actor also pointed out that his many outrageous comments were meant to be funny. "I said some things that were a little out there," Sheen told Leno Thursday night. "I might have overshot the mark a little bit. But these were just metaphors. I didn't really believe I had tiger blood or Adonis DNA. These were just jokes."
Nor is he angry about getting sacked. "No, no. I would have fired my ass, too," Sheen told Leno. "Well, maybe not like they did." Watch an excerpt from the Tonight Show interview below!
Dressed in a dark suit, sipping coffee, Sheen appeared thin, and a shell of his former, Hollywood playboy self. But his calm demeanor and his good will towards Men carried over into his interview with Lauer, too. He even revealed that he plans to watch the new version of the show, starring his replacement, Ashton Kutcher.
"Of course I will," he said.
"With a pang?" asked Lauer.
"Yes, but I'm also really curious about what happened to (my character)," he replied. "Because I don't look at it just as what they're doing forward. I look at it as what I left behind for them to continue and how they're gonna figure all that out. My hat's off to 'em if they can pull it off."
When Lauer asked whether Sheen would consider doing a future guest spot on Men, he visibly brightened, and even jumped a little in his chair. "I'm completely on board for (a guest appearance)," he said. Then he cut Lauer's next question off, so he could elaborate. "For closure, I could be in the final episode," he says. "Unless I'm really dead. There was no body at the funeral. There was no urn."
In reply, Lauer jokingly confirmed that Sheen's referring to his character's death, not his own. "You had me nervous there for a second," he said. "I was thinking, 'I thought we got past that, and you're OK.'"
In some ways, this was a cheap shot. Clearly, Lauer knew what Sheen was referring to, since it's been widely publicized that his character, Charlie Harper, will be killed off in the season premiere. But after all the off-kilter appearances that Sheen made this spring, you can hardly blame Lauer for the dig.
And he did ask a question for Sheen's diehard fans, the ones who've stuck with him. What would Sheen like them to know?
It's a good point. Sheen's been a marquee name since the '80s -- remember all the way back to Red Dawn, Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Platoon? -- so in some ways, it's a shame that people mostly associate him with drugs and weird ramblings about warlocks.
And Sheen has some projects lined up, including Roman Coppola's upcoming film A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III and the new in-development TV series Anger Management. About the latter, he told Lauer that it's only loosely based on the Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson movie of the same name. "I'll play the group counselor," he said. "And I think wherever that group takes place, it's gonna be very interesting."
With Sheen attached to it, there's no doubt that it will be.