I can’t really pinpoint the first time I saw Charlie Sheen in a movie in the same way I can’t really tell you about the first time I ate processed cheese, wore open-toed shoes, or read the word “sluice.”I must have first seen Sheen in Red Dawn.What’s that?You didn’t remember he was in Red Dawn?Neither did I.Not until I recently gave his film credits a fresh glance.I remembered Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, and even Harry Dean Stanton, but Sheen’s name in that roster led to a perusal of Red Dawn clips on Youtube to absolutely prove his presence.Because I still didn’t believe it.I’d seen that film over a dozen times.But, alas, it’s true.He’s a main character.

There was just something about Sheen’s chiseled looks coupled with his silent pinch-faced stoicism back then that had made him easy to shoehorn into one average-American-guy role after the next.Sheen was the blank slate onto which a director could transcribe whatever generic trait was required.It was his brother who had all of the personality back then.Emilio Estevez I remember well, from the wild-eyed jokester Two-Bit in The Outsiders onward.The difference between the brothers on film is the difference between Estevez’s Billy the Kid and Sheen’s Dick Brewer in Young Guns.Charisma versus stick-in-the-mud.

In fact, another more dynamic character or two carry each of Sheen’s most notable early films in much the same way.He might have been the central figure in Platoon, yet the rivalry between Elias and Barnes drives everything.He played the jock in the crosshairs of Maggie’s desire in Lucas, yet the relationship between Maggie and the titular character is the one we truly care about.And so on and so forth.

Having never seen an episode of “Two and a Half Men,” Sheen’s twitchy exaltations of tiger blood, fire-breathing fists, and torpedoes of truth have been for me like watching the once invisible every-boy being swallowed whole. When he says he’s tired of pretending he’s not special, it sheds new light on what I find to be his early unspecialness.He was just pretending, you see!All that time.Which quite possibly makes him a better actor than I’d ever given him credit for.

While we think we’re watching a train-wreck, Sheen thinks he’s reinventing his brand in a self-directed reality show that knows no single network, that answers to nobody, that unspools across all platforms instantaneously, reaching even people like me who weren’t paying attention to his television career, reaching us all whether we want to be sucked in or not.Perhaps this is what entertainment looks like now.For this reason, I can’t help but be a little fascinated by what happens next and its impact.I’m watching like I’d watch the Mayan calendar run out of dates.

But of course he’s not just someone spouting outlandish rants tailor-made for Twitter feeds or living the life of a rock star from outer space or commandeering the media at all hours of the day or night.He’s someone with a history of violence against women, someone who has temporarily lost custody of his children in light of yet more accusations. When Simon Smithson and I co-wrote a post about eighties action films and knowingly omitted Mel Gibson, there was much back and forth in the comments about whether or not we should have separated Gibson the now-detestable person from his body of work as an artist.This is where that straight-laced blankness of Sheen’s young self might have just saved all of his early films for me.

Mel was always Mel in his roles, the off-kilter, unpredictable whacko we used to admire as such when it was directed toward the criminals of Lethal Weapon or the imperialists of Braveheart.Now when I see these films I see the off-kilter, unpredictable whacko sans the admiration.It’s uncomfortable.It feels like complicity.Sheen, though, wasn’t always Sheen.He was anybody and everybody and nobody.He was virtually invisible. The very quality I’d dismissed him for decades ago has now become the saving grace of his best pre-tiger-blood features.

And thank goodness, because I really, really love Lucas.

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TNB Arts and Culture Editor CYNTHIA HAWKINS teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Most of what she thinks she knows comes from movies, including how to tango, how to take someone down with a ballpoint pen, how to curse in French, and how to catch a moving train. Her work, on movies and otherwise, has appeared in literary journals and magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Parent:Wise Magazine, The Good Men Project, New World Writing, Strange Horizons, and numerous alternative weeklies and anthologies. You can find Cynthia on Twitter and at cynthiahawkins.net.

74 responses to “Emilio’s Brother”

  1. Becky Palapala says:

    I loved Lucas. So much.

    But Charlie Sheen barely registered with me. I was in it entirely for Corey Haim.

    How I loved that boy. So freakin’ cute.

    You know which one I liked? Major League. I’d totally watch that again.

    And Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

    And let us not forget the epic fraternal team-up of Sheen and Estevez in Men at Work!

    Honestly, though, I’ve never liked Charlie Sheen at all. I’d take Emilio any day. That’s Billy the Kid for chrissakes. Sheen can’t top that.

    I still don’t hold Mel Gibson against Mel Gibson, though. I also like Ezra Pound and he was a fascist. Like, literally. I’ll forgive a man a lot of things if he makes good art. And most people will probably forgive Mel Gibson, too, but only once he’s dead. For some reason, people feel more obligated to hate bigots when they’re alive.

    • Matt says:

      I thought I’d be able to not hold Mel Gibson against Mel Gibson, but I tried to watch The Year of Living Dangerously the other night and just couldn’t get through it. Too much of the guy he’s become was shining through in that character. I did not, strangely, have that problem with Gallipoli, but I’m afraid to revisit The Road Warrior for that same reason.

      • “… shining through in that character” — that’s just it. I think I could actually still watch Gallipoli since he’s so different in that from who he is now. I love that film.

        • Matt says:

          I think Gallipoli also got a pass because his character is really the lighthearted rapscallion who plays spiritual brother to the other, especially Mark Lee. He’s not interested in the war or Australian patriotism; he goes along to be a good mate. Tough to feel animosity towards someone like that.

          Plus, he was a LOT younger, and so far removed physically from the person he is now it’s almost difficult to believe they’re the same guy.

      • Becky Palapala says:

        Well, I might have an edge in this ability. Or at least in practicing it. To be frank, if I couldn’t watch films or listen to music created by anyone who I thought was personally, politically, or philosophically moronic or deranged, I’d come pretty close to having to give up music and movies altogether. Same with art and literature, probably.

        So, Gibson’s unique among Hollywood celebrities in that the flavor of what I’m having to ignore is the polar opposite of what I’m used to, but at the end of the day, it’s the same mechanism I use to ignore Sean Penn supping with Hugo Chavez or that flappy-jawed John Cusack losing his political shit on Twitter.

        • Matt says:

          I used to be pretty good at seperating the work from the personality, too. Dunno. Maybe I’m just getting less tolerant and more cantankerous as I get older.

          Then again, it was easier to be forgiving when you didn’t have gobs of entertainment “news” programs and gossip websites endlessly hurling celebrity personality flaws and crazy public meltdowns in your face at every opportunity.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Then again, it was easier to be forgiving when you didn’t have gobs of entertainment “news” programs and gossip websites endlessly hurling celebrity personality flaws and crazy public meltdowns in your face at every opportunity.

          The significance of this reality should not be underestimated. Like, ever. With regard to anything. Perception is so tricky.

          But there’s some truth to the other thing, too. At some point we all earn some degree of liberation from an obligation to be boundlessly relative and limitlessly open-minded.

          Idle youth is the time for standing around scratching one’s beard or suffering cognitive dissonance/existential crisis over whether or not one is giving an obnoxious, dysfunctional, embarrassingly rich and noisy celebrity enough human leeway to make mistakes.

          When you get much older than that…I mean, life is short.

    • I’m hoping Daly will chime in about Men at Work. That’s the one we were talking about yesterday in his comments. I owned that on VHS as well and quoted from it often and obnoxiously.

      • Becky Palapala says:

        Ugh!

        I am an agent of redundancy!

        I didn’t have time to read all the comments on that, and now I embarrass myself.

        Actually, I barely remember that movie. I mean, the plot. I vaguely remember watching it one time, and have a vague recollection of a scene in which one or the other of them crawls out of a nuclear waste barrel of some sort, which I want to say was conveniently marked–as per usual in the 80s and all cartoon depictions of nuclear waste barrels–with some kind of skull & crossbones or radioactive symbol.

        I could be wrong about that last bit. But someone definitely crawled out of a barrel.

        • No worries at all. I barely have time to read all of the TNB posts let alone all of the comments thereafter. This is one I’m going to have to watch again soon, perhaps. I think you’re right. Someone definitely crawled out of a barrel.

  2. Matt says:

    “Sheen, though, wasn’t always Sheen. He was anybody and everybody and nobody. He was virtually invisible.”

    I think you might have just cut right to the heart of his pronounced psychological issues here. I wonder how many times he’s actually been called “Emilio’s brother.” Sheen’s implosion makes me think Emilio’s decision to focus his efforts on behind the camera writing/directing was a wise one.

    • I couldn’t find it again to verify, but I swear in an interview the other day he’d claimed to have gotten an Oscar at age 20. He’s never even been nominated. I do think he’s trying to rewrite himself as the more successful, more entertaining brother, all these years later.

  3. Greg Olear says:

    Sheen has two of the great film cameos of all time: as “Charles” in Being John Malkovich, and as the jailed drug addict womanizer in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In neither case was he actually acting…

    His finest role is as “Wild Thing” in Major League. I’m not even joking. He kills in that.

  4. Art Edwards says:

    He was in some movie a decade or so ago where he was holding up an armed convenience store clerk, and he demands that the clerk drop his gun.

    “Kick it here,” Charlie says.

    And the nervous clerk kicks the gun way the hell over in the other direction, where it slides under an aisle.

    “I meant kick it over here, Pele,” Charlie says.

    That’s my one memory of Charlie Sheen in film.

    Lovely work, C.

  5. Reno Romero says:

    cynthia:

    good stuff. too funny.

    ‘He was anybody and everybody and nobody.’

    great line. so true. like many of you, i never “got” mr. sheen. i guess because he’s bland. i’m a bore so i can spot a bore. and he’s a bore. how, women hang out, bone, and marry that misfit is beyond me. they know his past. or maybe they didn’t see the news that day. kinda like how i didn’t know where idaho was because i didn’t go to school that day. so when those 911 calls start flying in at the speed of light i can’t say i’m overwhelmed with sympathy.

    he’s a loser. someone needs to kick his ass.

    and ol’ melly-poo. geez. don’t get me started, cynthia. i’m not a fan of organized religion (i was raised catholic so you can understand) by any stretch of the imagination so when their players start yapping it up i start gagging and coughing up a lung. or a heart. or a something.

    i can’t separate his art from the degenerate that he is. he was however spotted at the green tree inn here in the CA desert many years ago. word is that he hopped on stage tanked off his ass and sang a few tunes. so not only does he blame the jews for all things shit but he can carry a tune. talk about talent!

    red dawn, huh? really?

  6. Gloria says:

    Cynthia – I have to apologize: when I first saw this post, I groaned. Oh god! Not another Charlie Sheen article! I’m full up on crazy. But I’m glad I read and I’m sorry I ever doubted you. Of COURSE you, of all people, would avoid aggrandizing. Of course you would tease out the human element. Of course you would keep it classy.

    I love Lucas. I don’t remember Sheen being in Red Dawn either.

    Great post, lady.

    • Thanks, lady! Ha, you’re initial reaction’s particularly funny because it was exactly my mom’s when I called her this morning to let her know it was up. “Hey mom, I wrote about Charlie Sheen!” “Ugh.” 🙂 Then when I told her Emilio Estevez figured into it, she was happier. Everyone loves Emilio, no?

  7. Irene Zion says:

    Whatever happened to Emilio Estevez?
    He was cuter. He could act. “Repo Man” was a blast.
    Where’d he go. Cynthia?

  8. Tom Hansen says:

    I actually like that Sheen is going wild, shooting his mouth off and throwing away millions of dollars. There’s too much choreographed nicey nice mutual back slapping speeches in Hollywood these days. But alas, he doesn’t really have the talent to make it really mean something, like Brando when he riled up the Hollywood establishment. Francis Ford Coppola isn’t gonna put his vineyard up as collateral to have Sheen in his next movie. Matt Dillon, Emilio, are far superior as actors. Repo Man was possibly the best flick of the 80’s

    • There’s something really interesting to me about him building his own venue independent of the Hollywood machine, but then, of course, like you said he doesn’t have the talent to make it mean something or to do something truly artistic with it.

      Ah, just the mention of Coppola and Dillon bring back fond memories of Rumble Fish. Man, did I love that movie!

  9. Joe Daly says:

    Bravo! I forgot that he was in Red Dawn. I loved that movie. Great ensemble cast, cautionary Reagan-era propaganda about Cubans and Russians conquering us, and a typically understated tour de force from Harry Dean Stanton.

    Also forgot that he was in Young Guns, which is one of the reasons I’m so stoked you did this piece.

    I have a hard time separating the actor from his/her work when their personal life overshadows their work. I realize is my limitation and I’d love to be able to separate the two, but in cases like Mel Gibson, I can’t. On the other hand, when I see a guy like Tom Sizemore, whose own struggles rival, if not eclipse Charlie’s, I find that I’m rooting for him- I want to like his performance even more than I normally might.

    Anyway, I think that Sheen has shown some legit acting chops, but recent events, and revelations from his television producers, suggest that maybe the flashes of brilliance (or even competency), are simply anomalies. I for one, am very interested to see what direction his career takes. If I were his agent, I’d start booking him in cameos and quirky bit parts in indie movies until he got his cred back, then start chasing down meatier protagonist roles.

    • Why, thank you, Joe Daly! I owe it all to you. Sheen needs to hire you. And Tom Sizemore! Where has that guy been? Last time I saw him was on “Celebrity Rehab.”

    • Sober House! It was Sober House, not Celebrity Rehab. And how depressing is it that this came to my attention via a report that Sizemore’s cast-mate Mike Starr was found dead. Ugh. So sad.

  10. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Yes, the taint of personal choices made public. I successfully watched ANNIE HALL again a few weeks ago. For YEARS, I couldn’t go near a Woody Allen film. The whole Soon-Yi thing tweaked something primal in me. The jokes about child molesters in his movies suddenly had a layer to them, even though he wasn’t technically one.

    What I appreciate about this piece is the GOOD memories of Charlie Sheen you brought forward. I thought he was charming in LUCAS, moving in PLATOON, and bad-but-not-too-bad in FERRIS BUELLER. This guy’s in a lot of pain now and it’s oozing all over. He might not be able to restrain himself, but anyone who picks what’s shown or published has a choice to make.

    • Oh my — the whole Woody Allen thing was a tough one for me because I so love him as a writer. I think I went into denial mode so I could still enjoy his films. The less you know, sometimes the better.

  11. D.R. Haney says:

    I don’t know why people are acting like Charlie Sheen’s life is over just because he got fired from some idiotic sitcom. He’s got tons of money, and if he runs out of that, he can easily make more. Can you say “tell-all memoir”? Can you say “career-rejuvenating appearance at the MTV Awards”?

    In terms of Charlie’s prior career, the movie (made for cable TV) to watch now may be Rated X, which was, I think, directed by Emilio, who co-stars in it with Charlie. They play the Mitchell Brothers, seventies-era porn kings, with Emilio as Jim Mitchell, the sane one, and Charlie as Artie, the drugged-out maniac. From Wikipedia:

    “In 1991, Jim, in response to friends’ and associates’ demands to ‘do something’ about alcoholic, cocaine-addled Artie, drove to Artie’s house one rainy evening in late February with a .22 rifle that he inherited from his father [citation needed] and fatally shot him.”

    Even the names, Charlie and Artie, sound similar, and the [citation needed] bit invokes Martin, just as a lot of people must be telling the Estevez family to “do something” about Charlie. Life imitates, etc. But lest I be mistaken, I’m sure this situation won’t result in anything as melodramatic as fratricide or, for that matter, a fatal overdose or various other hand-wringing scenarios. Charlie strikes me as a survivor.

    • When I was double-checking his film credits, I noticed Rated X. I had no idea what it was, though. Very interesting parallels.

      I agree. His career isn’t over. I’m being serious when I ask if people really watched “Two and a Half Men.” Did they? I don’t know. I hate sitcoms, and I don’t really watch television. Unless there’s a movie on it 😉 Maybe getting dumped from that show is the best thing ever.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        I was saying that you‘d implied his career was over, to be clear. I’ve just read a few things to the effect of: “Oh my God, you shouldn’t speak that way about your boss! He might fire you, and then what?” Manifestations of the corporate-slave mentality.

        I idly watched two or three episodes of Two and a Half Men, and as idiotic sitcoms go, I’ve certainly seen worse. I know a married couple, middle-aged, who love that show, and it seems to me that I’ve spoken to a few like-minded others. I try not to judge people too hard in the matter of taste. I often fail, but I try, and that’s already a big step forward from “You like that?” youth.

        • When I first saw Emilio in Repo Man I figured he’d be one of my favorite actors for years to come. And then….it was just one Mighty Duck after another. A true disappointment. I still love that movie, though. Produced by former Monkey Mike Nesmith, by the way. Emilio did direct a half-decent but almost entirely ignored Bobby Kennedy biopic about a year ago. Strangely, it was called Bobby.

          I think it’s a little odd that during the midst of the gleeful national ridiculing of Charlie Sheen’s behavior, it isn’t often mentioned that he clearly is suffering from outright cocaine psychosis. Not just ego plus partying plus crazy Hollywood, but genuine brain damage brought on by heavy, habitual cocaine intake. All the symptoms are right there to see, but it’s sort of passed off as mostly a personality issue. He’s just an asshole movie star, etc. Well, he probably has been an asshole all along, but it’s way beyond that now. I just think it’s weird that addiction is often mentioned, but not the actual medical ramifications, as if he could jump into some Malibu rehab and be “normal” again after a few weeks of group sessions and flax smoothies.

          One of the worst movie’s I’ve ever seen, and I saw it as part of an afternoon double-feature matinee: The Rookie starring Charlie Sheen, Charlie Sheen’s beard, and a sleepwalking Clint Eastwood. You could tell the whole way through that they hated each other.

          Finally, no one who lived in SF during the early 90’s, which was the heyday of Mitchell Bros. madness, can bring themselves to watch Rated X, and that includes me. Charlie Sheen is about as convincing an Artie Mitchell as he is playing Gloria Estefan in the long forgotten classic The Music of My Heart.

        • I think the media, anyway, is *just starting* to talk about Sheen’s health in those terms now. There was a report on NBC this morning in which they showed the videos Sheen had uploaded overnight and discussed the possibilities of him being bipolar or braindamaged. Of course, he said he was “bi-winning.” It’s all funny until someone gets hurt, as far as the public is concerned.

          I did see The Rookie, and I have zero memory of it. Which is a blessing, perhaps.

      • Matt says:

        Yes, exactly. Dude had a pay-or-play contract for not just this season but another one as well, I think. So he was fired…and made like $20 million for it.

        Hope my next layoff goes that well.

  12. My girlfriend’s TV package (I think it’s Virgin) includes three 24-hour Two and a Half Men channels. This is in Britain.

  13. Angela Tung says:

    for the life of me, i can’t remember Charlie Sheen in Red Dawn either. i can see Patrick Swayze very clearly, and Jennifer Grey squeezing orange juice on his head right before getting shot (sorry: SPOILER), and Tommy Howell swinging Lea Thompson onto a horse.

    Lucas, on the other hand. that scene in the laundry room. that first kiss with Maggie. *siiiiigggghhhh*

    • It is weird how “absent” he seems! And I watched that film again … maybe six months ago? And still I didn’t remember him in it as I was preparing to write this.

      I’m sure you weren’t alone in sighing during that scene 🙂 It is the dream, isn’t. New girl trying hard to fit in gets *the guy*. Poor Lucas though. Poor poor Lucas!

  14. Jeffro says:

    I just re-watched Red Dawn about a month ago. I considered it, along with Toy Soldiers and Pump Up the Volume to be the greatest movies of my generation; or, at least did until I re-watched Red Dawn again a month ago. That was a really poorly written movie. Toy Soldiers, on the other hand, was even better than I remember.

    Nonetheless…. WOOOOOLVERRRINES!

    P.S. C. Thomas Howell was a total bad ass in Red Dawn, although he should have hidden behind the rock when the choppers came in. What a martyr he was.

    • Tom Hansen says:

      I know and it’s weird that it’s so poorly written because if I remember correctly it was written and/or directed by John Milius who wrote Apocalypse Now.

      Oh no, there’s gonna be a remake of Red Dawn with Chinese invaders! Blech

    • Wolverines! That’s right. It *was* written by John Milius. And a reboot sounds godawful.

  15. James D. Irwin says:

    I’ve just remembered that:

    1. I own Red Dawn on dvd

    2. I haven’t seen it yet.

    My friend told me a joke yesterday: Charlie Sheen takes a shitload of drugs— enough to take down two and a half men…

    I’ve never really liked Charlie Sheen. I still kind of like Mel Gibson though… well, I like Riggs in Lethal Weapon, which isn’t really the same thing. Can’t actually recall watching any of his other films…

    • Of course you own Red Dawn on dvd! Given your thing for 80s films, you must see this one. It’s so very 80s in every way.

      My two-year-old says “okay-okay-okay” just like Leo Getz. And when I say, “Ha! She sounds just like Leo Getz!,” no one ever knows what I’m talking about. So I’m telling you. Because you’ll get it. You’re the only person who understands my references, Irwin. Unless, of course, you’ve stopped with the first Lethal Weapon. Then I’m on my own ….

      • James D. Irwin says:

        I always forget I have it, so when we come to choose films to watch it remains where it is, with my other Swayze films…

        Oh, I’ve seen all the Lethal Weapon films, which also means I’ve witnessed Patsy Kensit and the worst Sud Efriken accent I’ve ever heard…

        I think though that the second was my favourite. I love them all for the dynamic between Murtagh and Riggs. It’s so enjoyable to watch… the last two are basically comedy action films, but they work pretty well. Kind of like a less OTT Bad Boys…

  16. I’m late to this post, I’ve never seen Two & a 1/2 Men, I’ve ignored everything from the Twitterverse to the LOL cat comparisons, and I’m undoubtably repeating others here, but…

    That moment in FBDO when he sticks out his thumb at Jennifer Grey???

    Fucking brilliant.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Cynthia,
    I love how you point out how invisible Charlie Sheen was in most of his movies, and how his current outsized persona is perhaps some way of making a “presence” for himself. Very interesting.

    If I can play armchair psychologist for two seconds — my qualifications being a crush on Emilio when I was fourteen and a Brat Pack pilgrimage to a Sheen/Estevez owned restaurant in Malibu at some point in the late 80s — I’ve been thinking all of this wild Sheen behavior is some latent reaction to his thwarted dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. I’ve read that all he ever wanted to do was play baseball when he was starting out, and either he got injured or just couldn’t cut it and was talked into acting by his parents. Even after years of success, maybe he’s just bored, having accidentally fallen into something he does fairly well. Or maybe that’s too easy. In any case, I can’t help but think of his baseball dreams each time he says “winning,” “scoreboard,” etc.

    • You made a Brat Pack pilgrimage? Yes! I love that! And how was your dinner?

      That’s such a good assessment. Sheen should be paying us all.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Sadly I can’t remember the food at “Anthony’s in Malibu” at all. I was a pre-teen at the time and just jazzed to be driving through California with my uncle who thought I was insane to insist on eating at Chez Estevez. I’m pretty sure it was overpriced.

        But I was too busy stealing their matchbooks and napkins so I could write Emilio + Liz 4-Ever.

  18. Richard Cox says:

    Some others have mentioned it above, but in Major League he was awesome. But so was everyone in that. It was a well-written, well-directed film, and Charlie Sheen was one of the actors in it, so it’s not a huge surprise.

    Speaking of Red Dawn, wasn’t there a recent remake of that? Seems like there was. Google, here I come…

    • Tell me what you find out, if you find out. Someone above mentioned a remake is now in the works. I guess I’d be curious to see what they do with it, but I don’t know. I think that’s one of those movies I only loved because I was teen when I saw it and I loved everything then. Which is funny, because I was the movie critic for my school paper. Each review I wrote, no matter what the film, would be along the lines of, “This movie is the most fantastic movie ever made!”

      • Richard Cox says:

        Looks like it was supposed to come out last year but MGM was broke or something. So now it’s coming out this year. They say.

        And this time it’s the Chinese. Maybe that should be the tag line.

  19. Simon Smithson says:

    Man… see, I used to love Charlie Sheen. He was great in Ferris Bueller, Major League, Platoon… I should really re-watch Wall Street, because a friend recently claimed he was awful in it and I haven’t seen it recently enough to gauge.

    Now it just seems sort of crazy and sad, especially the family stuff, and the abusing women.

    That being said, given his past quotes – which actually come across as entirely lucid and intelligent – part of me wonders if he’s doing a Joaquin…

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Oops. I should have been more clear. I mean his previous comments about how people pay attention to his meltdown, rather than world events.

      • Gotcha.

        You know, in fairness to Sheen, and more importantly to you who really liked Sheen, I should clarify that I wouldn’t say he was a bad actor exactly. It’s probably kinder to allow that perhaps he was given one-dimensional roles based on his looks (with perhaps Major League and his two minutes in Ferris Bueller being the exceptions) and that his characters in those films weren’t the driving force of those films. Even in Wallstreet. I mean, that’s Michael Douglas’ film the way Platoon is Berenger’s and Dafoe’s. Maybe the dude got robbed. I don’t know. His brother knew how to steal a scene though. I think it’s all in the cackle. And maybe the mullet.

        Have you seen the cooking show Sheen did for Funny or Die the other day? Things like that make me think he’s pulling a Joaquin, you know, that he’s shrewdly orchestrating the way he’s putting himself out there in all of these different forums. Plus, I read that on one of his video uploads he can be heard in the beginning rehearsing a script of the seemingly off-the-cuff rant that follows. Hmm.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          I think that’s really the summary of Sheen – he was never going to go out and hit a home run, but in his own way, he was completely dependable for hitting singles, all day long.

          I haven’t seen the cooking show. En route!

        • Boom! That’s the perfect analogy.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          If only I’d thought of it myself, instead of stealing it from Michael Crichton’s Rising Sun.

          He’s talking about Japanese business practices though.

          Not Charlie Sheen.

  20. Clarissa Olivarez says:

    LOVE this article. So perceptive. 🙂

  21. Ducky Wilson says:

    I thought I was the only one who hadn’t seen 2 1/2 men.

    I would not underestimate that this is ALL marketing on his part. I’m in the biz, and there’s nothing an actor won’t do to get attention. They’re making a Wallstreet 3 because both men have had so much spotlight on them. This biz always knows when to strike.

    • Ducky, there should be a club for us. I have much pride in the fact that I haven’t seen 2 1/2 men. As if maybe that makes me cool. Which would be a first.

      I agree completely. Also I think it’s quite possible he is both unwell/mentally unstable/on something AND a modern marketing phenom.

      • Ducky Wilson says:

        His face does have that meth look. He reminds me of the homeless woman who hangs out on the entrance ramp of a highway in Dallas who spits on your car as you drive past her. They should do a sitcom together. I’d probably watch that.

  22. […] CYNTHIA HAWKINS has acquired much of her knowledge from movies, including how to tango, how to take someone down with a ballpoint pen, how to curse in French, how to catch a moving train, how to dress for breakfast (see above), and how to tell Emilio Estevez apart from his brother. […]

  23. Mark Stern says:

    Mark Stern…

    […]Cynthia Hawkins | Emilio’s Brother | The Nervous Breakdown[…]…

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