when charlie had the sheen


"you can't process me with a normal brain." -- charlie sheen.


who doesn't know charlie sheen? especially those who grew up in the 80's when he was the prince of  hollywood and everyone wanted a piece of him, particularly teen-age girls and gays alike.
he starred in such high profile projects as wall street (opposite michael douglas) and platoon, both directed by oliver stone. 
even before he did these movies, charlie was already famous. his father was actor martin sheen (apocalypse now) and his older brother was the then hottest heartthrob emilio estevez (the outsiders, the breakfast club, st. elmo's fire, among other 80s classics).

i first caught a glimpse of charlie in the winona ryder/corey haim film lucas, where he played a jock who bullied and then befriended the campus nerd lucas. (if this was a gay coming of age film, lucas, played by corey haim, would fall in luv with charlie's character, cappie).
i think we watched lucas on betamax (dvds and blu rays were unheard of then. it was several hundred years ago, children!). my classmates and i, who watched it because of corey haim, developed a crush on charlie after watching the movie. he was our james dean. as if!
watch him shirtless in this scene from lucas:


with his heartthrob looks, pedigree and acting chops, charlie sheen was way ahead of his contemporaries and rivals in the industry, notably the hardworking tom cruise who snatched the role of a vietnam war veteran (first offered to charlie) in born on the fourth of july. apparently, director oliver stone had a meeting with charlie and discussed the project with him. but in the end, tom did the movie and the role gave him his first oscar nomination.



******

sadly, charlie did not live up to expectations.
while tom cruise's career sky rocketed, with most of his movies doing well at the box office and some of them even giving him critical acclaim, charlie made forgettable films such as the sports comedy major league. sorry, i have not seen the others. i can only take so much mediocrity in movies (char!).
in fact, charlie disappeared through out the 90s (well he made several little seen b movies) and resurfaced only in 2000 on the tv hit show spin city, where he replaced michael j. fox, who left the show to seek treatment for parkinson's disease.
the gig led to another hit tv show, 2 and 1/2 men, where charlie became the highest paid actor on television, getting as much as $2 million per episode!

******

ironically, while his resurrected career soared, at least on tv, his personal life crumbled. his drug use (or overuse), trips to rehabilitation clinics, sex with porn stars and hookers, messy divorces, among others became favourite topics in tmz and the tabloids.
his drug problems caused him to be fired from 2 and 1/2 men. sad! ham star ashton kutcher, probably one of the most overhyped celebrities, will take over the show. goodluck!


*****

i don't know why some people can't handle fame? a lot of famous celebrities (actors, singers, models, musicians) have turned to drugs that eventually killed their careers and themselves as well. is it really lonely at the top that the only solace are drugs? is the pressure really so great that they go mental?
nowadays, charlie -- haggard, withered, angry and often sounded drugged -- is known for his crazy rants on television interviews and on youtube clips.
still, i hope it's not yet too late for charlie sheen. he still has so much to offer as an actor and a performer. 

*****

here is the trailer of wall street, the movie that earned michael douglas an oscar and showcased charlie's early promise as an actor to beat.


(all pics taken from the internet. so please don't sue me.)

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