At one point, Charlie Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television, but that all came crashing down when he was fired from Two and a Half Men. After such a major falling out with series creator Chuck Lorre, it was a surprise when it was announced that Sheen would be reuniting with Lorre for his new Max comedy series Bookie.
While speaking with Deadline, Charlie Sheen opened up about his tumultuous exit from Two and a Half Men, saying that if he “hadn’t f***ed everything up, we could have done it as long as we wanted to.” Despite the ugliness towards the end, Sheen still has a lot of great memories from the series.
“Years of great memories, when we were cooking with gas and we were delivering something that people were really invested in, really enjoying, and were really connected to,” Sheen said. “And we didn’t phone it in. I mean, we were working really hard on that show, in every aspect of the production, from the writers room to the crew, to the cast. Everybody. We knew what we had, and the value of taking the time to create it properly.“
Sheen continued: “And I knew the rules, from day one. Well, when I say I knew the rules is just what was required of me to contribute to this workplace, what was expected of me. And so when I started butting up against those, the rules never changed. I would look at it from an athletic point of view. It’s like we practice all week and then Friday night was game night and you got to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back. And then, somewhere along the way, I decided that the rules no longer applied to me. And that was not fair to the system that was in place.“
It was towards the end of the seventh season when Sheen began thinking that perhaps they should end the series, just due to the amount of “personal shit” he had going on in his own life. “There was a couple of times when I did pull myself out of it. I went and sought help and got better and came back and then … yeah, I don’t know why I was unable to maintain that,” Sheen said. “But yeah, there was a moment when I was in rehab and I guess we’d finished Season 7, or we were trying to finish Season 7 and we got the call for the renegotiation. And I was on the phone with my manager and I think one of the agents. And I said, I don’t know, man. I feel like we might’ve reached our limit here. And I’m hearing no, no, no, man, there’s so many more stories to tell. Translation: money to be made for them.“
Sheen would receive $1.8 million per episode for that season. “It’s a lot of money,” Sheen said. “And I said, I don’t know guys. My gut is screaming that if I go back, it’s going to go horribly wrong. I actually said that, and they were like, well, I can also go perfectly fabulous. I’m like, yeah, but that’s not the message I’m getting from my gut. So did I manifest that or did I just get a signal from the future? Maybe it was time. So, do you bow out? No! We cut the new deal and everybody was happy and then everything went horribly. Everything went horribly.“
The first six episodes of Bookie are currently streaming on Max.