Charlie Sheen: "When I look back at the pilot of 'Two and a Half,' it was an absolute gem"
On 'Men' today: "I think you don't realize how important your anchor is until you don't have it"
Fame and excess "everything that you thought it was going to be" followed by "emptiness"
Watch the interview with Charlie Sheen on Friday night. “Piers Morgan Tonight” airs at 9 ET weeknights on CNN.
“I met him (Lance Armstrong) once at a party,” Charlie Sheen told Piers Morgan, “and I’m assuming he was in a bad mood, because he wasn’t the friendliest guy in the world.”
The Hollywood veteran spoke candidly to the CNN host about Lance Armstrong, Lindsay Lohan, battles with “Two and a Half Men” executive producer Chuck Lorre, fatherhood, becoming a grandfather, toning down his bad boy ways, and more.
“He was rude to you?” asked Morgan.
“Yes. I’m sure people have said that about me from time to time; not too often, though, because I’m pretty approachable.”
Sheen recalled that the encounter occurred about five or six years ago.
“I said, ‘Mr. Armstrong, I’m sorry to bother you.’ I think he was talking to Sheryl Crow. And I said ‘I’m Charlie Sheen. I just want to shake your hand.’ And he said ‘That’s nice.’”
Morgan asked Sheen what he thought about Armstrong’s doping admission, and Sheen opened up about his own struggles with drug use and public image.
“The reason I’ve been forgiven for a lot of my stuff,” said Sheen, “is because there’s always been a feeling of honesty and the guy that at least was trying to do the right thing.”
Decades ago, Sheen admitted that he took steroids back in 1988 when he was working on the film “Major League.”
“They worked. And I stopped,” said Sheen, who noted the steroids’ adverse affects.
“It made me crazy. It made me insane and angry and picking fights in bars, you know. So I get it. But it also gave me, in the final couple of weeks of the shooting, the energy I needed to keep going.”
Sheen did say that steroids did not allow him to hit a baseball any better.
“It may give you extra legs deep in the season, but you still have to have that God-given ability to hit the ball,” he said.
A self-professed “baseball player at heart,” Sheen admitted to Morgan that his dream career would be to play for the Cincinnati Reds.
“I don’t know that I had the skills to play professionally,” admitted Sheen. “I probably would have been riding a bus in Duluth until I was like 35.”
Sheen has not spoken to Chuck Lorre since he was very publicly fired by the “Two and a Half Men” executive producer.
“I think we were in the same hotel lobby one night and missed each other by about 10 minutes,” said the actor.
“What would you have said if you had bumped into him?” asked Morgan.
“I’d have walked right up to him and said ‘Hey man, good luck with everything. Sorry about that and see you on campus.’” Sheen replied.
However, Sheen noted that “the fantasy is walking up and dropping him, but that’s not who I am. It’s not who I am. You know, I’m not a violent guy.”
“Do you harbor resentment toward him?” asked Morgan.
“I just wish that he would acknowledge, at some point, that he had a hand in it. He did put out a statement. The timing was perfect for him, actually, because nothing is organic. It’s always a little bit manufactured.”
Sheen also admitted that there are “parts” of Lorre that he misses.
“When I look back at the pilot of ‘Two and a Half,’ it was an absolute gem. And I almost agreed to do that show based on his enthusiasm and his track record without seeing a script. And what I said to him, ‘What are you going to call it?’ And when he said, “Two and a Half Men,” I knew it was a hit.”
Sheen’s opinion on the show, post his own departure, has changed.
“They downloaded their anchor,” he said. “They cut off their anchor and they went adrift. And I think you don’t realize how important your anchor is until you don’t have it, you know.”
Morgan asked Sheen to elaborate on how he feels about his “Two and a Half Men” replacement, Ashton Kutcher.
“He’s a terrific young man and he’s doing a great job with what they’ve given him … he should be really grateful… “
Sheen did laud his former co-star Jon Cryer’s comedic skills, however, calling the Emmy winning actor “a genius.”
Sheen also set the record straight on the $100,000 he gave to Lindsay Lohan.
The pair were set to work together on “Scary Movie 5” and, according to Sheen, producers gave Lohan $100,000 less than what he thought she was going to be paid, so the actor simply made up the difference.
“And was she grateful?” asked Morgan.
“Eventually, yes, absolutely. She was. Yes… It wasn’t like right off the bat, though.”
Morgan noted that Lohan similarly underwent a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse not unlike Sheen’s.
“Can you actually, even you, give somebody like that advice?” asked Morgan. “Or is it, in the end, the look in the mirror and work it out for yourself?”
“If she’d asked me questions about some of my own stuff,” said Sheen, “I would have gladly given her advice but she didn’t. And I found that interesting. Maybe she didn’t want to bother me or didn’t want to pry.”
Sheen expanded on the demons associated with fame, drugs and excess.
“It’s a similar garment that we’re all wearing, yes,” he said. “I think fame has a lot to do with it and I think excess has a lot to do with it… not so much excess but access – access to anything with a phone call at any point, day or night, it doesn’t matter… It can become a nightmare … At first … it’s radical and it’s everything that you thought it was going to be … and then it’s not. And that turns on a dime. And suddenly there’s an emptiness.”
Sheen, 47, who has largely toned down his hard-partying ways, will become a grandfather this year. His 28-year-old daughter from a previous relationship is due to give birth in September.
“I knew it was going to happen eventually,” said Sheen, “… but I didn’t know it would be this soon and it’s none of my business when she chose to do that, you know. So I’ve just got to be along for the ride and celebrating and just cheering her along and giving her whatever she needs.”
Sheen had four other children: Two girls with ex-wife Denise Richards and twin boys with ex-wife Brooke Mueller.
“I put everybody in my neighborhood, which is my ultimate master plan,” said Sheen. “I put Denise and the girls in one house, Brooke and the boys in the other, and we’re all behind the same gate.”
Sheen said his ex-wives get along great and babysit one another’s children.
“It is pretty civilized,” he said. “We just keep everybody paid and they’ll be happy.”
Morgan asked Sheen what bit of advice he would pass along to his two sons.
“Lead with the truth,” said Sheen. “That’s what I’ve always done. That’s what my dad told me.”
Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.