Jon Cryer’s memoir describes the worst Charlie Sheen years on ‘Two and a Half Men’

Charlie Sheen, left, and Jon Cryer were costars on the successful sitcom "Two and a Half Men" for years before Sheen's self-destructive behavior forced his departure from the show.


By EMILY YAHR | The Washington Post | Published: March 24, 2015

During the painful Charlie Sheen years of “Two and a Half Men,” his co-star Jon Cryer rarely said a word in public -- save for a few interviews and one late-night TV skit mocking Sheen. It served Cryer well, as he quietly went along and collected his millions, starring in four more seasons with replacement Ashton Kutcher after Sheen’s meltdown.

Cryer was doing the smart thing: He saved it all for his memoir. On March 18, The Hollywood Reporter published a long excerpt of “So That Happened,” coming out in April, which covers his long career in Hollywood, including his time on Broadway and starring in “Pretty in Pink.” And Cryer gets really brutal describing what exactly it was like to watch Sheen completely implode during the eighth season of “Two and a Half Men,” when the show had to shut down production.

Chuck Lorre already got his revenge on Sheen by penning a series finale last month that almost exclusively mocked Sheen (who verbally tortured Lorre during his breakdown) and ended with a piano falling on a Sheen lookalike. So now it’s Cryer’s turn to talk. Among some of the highlights:

* After Cryer went through a divorce, Sheen took it upon himself to become his co-star’s personal prostitute guru. “Charlie suggested a few online purveyors he used, as this was when prostitution was gaining a foothold on the Internet,” Cryer wrote, though he added “My forays into prostitution were about as awkward as you might imagine.”

* Cryer didn’t know how to react publicly when Sheen got arrested on Christmas Day 2009 on domestic assault charges against his third wife, Brooke Mueller. He wrote, “Situations like this are rough on your sense of friendship and loyalty, because the allegations are serious, yet you know Charlie and Brooke are a drug-troubled pair, and Charlie’s your longtime friend who was proud of his sobriety ...” and went on explaining his mental back-and-forth after Sheen’s manager asked him for a statement of support.

* Apparently, the infamous night of Sheen’s trashed hotel room and naked “semipro” in the closet incident happened to be the same night Sheen took his kids to see “Mary Poppins” on Broadway. Cryer regrets that he turned down the invitation to see the musical with Sheen and his family. He imagines an alternate universe: “Afterward, when (Sheen) says, ‘Thought I’d head back to the room with a prostitute, get really f---ing high, decimate the place, then toss her in the closet,’ I say, ‘No, I don’t think you should do that.’ Then he says, ‘You’re right. Let’s get ice cream.’ Then everything is better.”

* After chronicling Sheen’s self-destruction on the “Two and a Half Men” set, Cryer was more stunned by some protesting that Sheen shouldn’t get fired. He wrote: “An astounding number of people stood up for Charlie, as though people should be able to show up to work rarely, if at all, verbally abuse their co-workers publicly with anti-Semitic slurs, get arrested on a regular basis — as well as abuse drugs to the point where they can barely function — and not have their high-paying jobs threatened.”

The full excerpt is well worth reading. Though Cryer never outwardly says anything terrible about his co-star (he seems to be genuinely worried about him), you can tell he’s a little bitter — especially about Sheen’s massive salary when he was on his downward spiral, which was much higher than Cryer’s.

“I immediately began contemplating a series of well-publicized drunken brawls in retirement homes or possibly leading cops on a destructive car chase just prior to my next contract negotiation,” Cryer wrote.

Jon Cryer plays lovable loser Alan Harper on "Two and a Half Men." Cryer is publishing a tell-all called "So That Happened" about his acting career, with particularly salacious bits about costar Charlie Sheen, in April.

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