He's got a new show, a new attitude and more than a year after Charlie Sheen's firing from Two and a Half Men and subsequent media blitz, the actor says that that time in his life is firmly behind him.
"It's sort of like a dream I couldn't wake up from. It was like a train I couldn't get off of, but I was the conductor," Sheen told reporters at FX's Television Critics Association fall TV previews Saturday. "It's something that couldn't happen again. Not that anyone would want it to — including me."
However, it remains to be seen whether Sheen's new comedy, Anger Management, has more stamina. The comedy, which premiered in June to record numbers, has since dropped significantly in the ratings. In an unusual deal, Anger Management will be picked for an additional 90 episodes if its current 10-episode first season hits certain ratings thresholds. Despite the drop-off, FX President John Landgraf sounded confident about a pick-up, and FX has already signed a deal to bring on Sheen's dad, Martin Sheen, as a series regular if the show is picked up. (Martin first appears as the father of Charlie's character in an upcoming episode, which his son called Anger Management's best yet.)
"It doesn't put any pressure on me," Charlie Sheen said about the ratings. "That stuff we can't control. We've done the work ... and its really up to the network." Sheen, however, also sounded upbeat about the renewal prospect. "I don't think 90 is going to be enough. I said that out loud, didn't I?" Sheen said. "I feel that with how we've started, we've just scratched the surface."
Like his sitcom home of eight years, Two and a Half Men, Anger Management is a multi-camera sitcom. However, Sheen called Anger Management "a whole different animal" because of the lack of rehearsal time. "Some days more difficult, some days less," he said. "There's no time to overthink it. Some times its wonderful and sometimes it's not."
The big difference between Men and Anger Management, according to showrunner Bruce Helford, is that Sheen now has a say in the creative process. "When Charlie's on the stage, really, that's his stage. When you feel that, your creative juices are flowing," Helford said. "When you don't control your destiny, things gets screwed up in your head and when you do that for eight years, things gets really screwed up, I imagine."
"I think it's been a really different experience," Helford added.
Anger Management airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c on FX. Are you excited to see Martin Sheen on Anger Management?