Charlie Sheen's Last Stand

By Ware, Michael | Newsweek, July 9, 2012 | Go to article overview

Charlie Sheen's Last Stand


Ware, Michael, Newsweek


Byline: Michael Ware

Hollywood's enfant terrible is back with a new show. Despite 'Anger Management', he's still unhinged, unchanged, and unrepentant.

Charlie Sheen the movie star is apprehensive.

It's only niggles of a passing unease, spasms of an abstract disquiet. That's all. Nothing he can't handle or tuck away, at least for however long it will take until he can come back here, to his private domain within his house; for all intents and purposes a separate, near-sacrosanct wing unto itself. There's a comfort in the assurance of its seclusion. ("I've told everyone, they all know; no one's to even knock unless they've got half the mortgage on them.") Besides, he knows today's a great day. Today his mates are here, and together they're going to the biggest ice-hockey game of the year. His Los Angeles Kings may just snare their first Stanley Cup championship, on home ice, and they'll be there to see it. So there's nothing for the movie star to feel apprehensive about.

But it's getting late, and the movie star is still getting dressed. Or, rather, he's still getting ready. His gathered mates are festive, clustering in the ground-floor kitchen. A few snatch discreet peeks at their watches but say nothing. No one is leaving until Charlie is with them. At last he descends the great staircase, at his warm, genuinely delighted, and gregarious best. A few rise, slinging coats on their forearms, though they know Charlie will mingle before he's set to head out. A drink or two, then, just as he moves as if to the door, I catch his eye and his eyebrows motion upstairs.

We break away and scamper up the carpeted steps, ostensibly to grab a suitably warm addition for my ill-prepared outfit, the same as I wore the day before and have evidently slept in. The movie star scoops up my jacket without breaking stride, and we slam to a halt in one of the domain's smaller en suites. We both take ruthless belts from a liquor bottle, laughing at ourselves in the wall-length mirror. "Quick, one more," he says, thrusting the bottle. I drink and tell him to breathe, promising to be a source of calm today should he need to fix on one.

The booze is still burning as we tumble downstairs and off to the limo.

Since first hitting Los Angeles some months back, I've been struggling with the arithmetic of celebrity in this town, chafing at the falsehoods. But I have issues of my own, namely PTSD, so I try to constantly calibrate for that. And our afternoon, our outing to L.A.'s famous Staples Center, is about to jackknife horribly.

There's a contemporary parlor game of sorts being played in Hollywood. I dub it "The Charlie Sheen Game." It harkens to something Ava Gardner, screen divinity, was quoted as saying in 1968. "Nobody cares what I wore or what I said. All they want to know anyway is, 'Was she drunk and did she stand up straight?'" Like punting on red or black at a casino table, the Charlie game is as monochromatic: is he, or isn't he? Sober. On drugs. Freebasing cocaine again. Sane. Employable. Take your pick. All clearly grotesque and distorted simplifications, ignoring hosts of unimagined complexities.

Charlie's reservoirs of self-loathing are deep and black and still, welling in the subterranean caverns of his core, but then are tapped to fuel the internal-combustion engine that is his angst and his guilt. Yet it's also the engine of his incandescent warmth, his unquestionable talent, and his boundless generosity. (Wickedly wealthy, a lot is only a little to Charlie. He gave me a $26,000 pen so blithely, with such inconsequence, that only angrily hurling it back made it a moment of any note for him at all. "C'mon, you know this stuff means absolutely nothing to me.") However, this is also his compulsion. Brutally self-critical, there's such an odd validation in it for Charlie it's dangerous, almost toxic. It renders him an avid people-pleaser, at times frighteningly quick to forfeit preferences or desires of his own. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Charlie Sheen's Last Stand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.