Sheen a quick worker on new show
Actor Charlie Sheen talks about TV show Anger Management during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., on July 28, 2012. (Gus Ruelas/Reuters)
When did Charlie Sheen become Larry the Cable Guy?
It's almost as if you want to ask Sheen, "What's the rush?" But when you gaze through the haze, maybe the answer is obvious.
Sheen's new series Anger Management has one of the most bizarre production philosophies you can imagine. It basically amounts to, "Git-R-done," which of course is Larry the Cable Guy's catch phrase.
"We're making really good time per episode," Sheen said at the Television Critics Association tour.
So making TV is like driving to Florida? Is that really a good way to work?
"I think so, yeah," Sheen said. "Ask me that question in episode 72."
Anger Management currently is airing on FX in the United States, while simultaneously being in production. It'll get a "sneak peak" debut in Canada on CTV following the Olympics on Aug. 12, then will air regularly on CTV in September.
The business deal for Anger Management stipulates that if certain ratings targets on FX are hit in the first 10 episodes, there will be a commitment to 90 -- yes, 90! -- more.
One can't help but wonder if Sheen is pushing so hard because he never knows when his life may go off the rails again.
"It was like some runaway train I couldn't get off of, but I was the conductor," said Sheen, referring to his tumultuous departure from Two and a Half Men last year. "It was something that could never happen again, so that was pretty cool. Not that anybody wants it to, including me.
"My life's different now that I'm not insane anymore. Pretty accountable most of the time."
But just as he previously seemed hell-bent on self-destruction, Sheen now seems hell-bent on taking full advantage of his current "accountability window."
"There's no real rehearsal for the show," said Bruce Helford, creator and executive producer of Anger Management. "Literally the actors get the lines, we see the scene on its feet, writers make changes, the actors go to makeup, cameras are blocked, come back together, shoot the scene, make changes as we're going.
"Almost every actor came to me at some given point and said, 'What am I doing?' because they never had the chance to feel the entire play."
Luckily, Anger Management isn't exactly Hamlet.
Based on performance to date, the series is a virtual lock to hit its mandated ratings threshold. Martin Sheen, Charlie's dad, will join the cast in a recurring role for the extended run, playing, not surprisingly, the dad of Charlie's character.
Sheen acknowledged having family around helps keep him focused.
"I can wish every minute for an ordinary and simple life -- it's not going to happen," Sheen said. "But I don't really look at it as chaos. I look at it as challenges."
Charlie Sheen is lucid right now. He wants to make 100 episodes of Anger Management as quickly as is humanly possible.
Git-R-done, man. Git-R-done.