As he becomes the first man to grace a MAXIM Australia cover, the new and improved CHARLIE SHEEN talks about women, Hollywood, those “Tigerblood” days, bouncing back, Australia and his new Ultra Tune TV commercial — with stunning Rubber Girl PARNIA PORSCHE. Brace yourselves, folks…
PARNIA PORSCHE (PP): Hey, Charlie, congrats on this feature shoot with me and being the first man to grace a MAXIM Australia cover. How do you feel?
CHARLIE SHEEN (CS): I’m honoured, flattered and, when I heard it was with you, I was thrilled. I’m not saying it carries the same weight as Peter Sellers being the first male on the cover of Playboy in 1964, but let’s just say it’s pretty darn close and perhaps it opens the doors for others to follow.
PP: Well, it’s a great shoot, if I say so myself. Besides getting to work with me, what did you enjoy most about the shoot?
CS: Well, there really isn’t a “besides getting to work with you” as that was the best part – period, the end. When I got the call to do it I made my decision in a couple of seconds as it seemed like a great idea. We shot it in Downtown L.A. a few months ago and Arthur, the photographer, was terrific, the gentlemen who attended the shoot from MAXIM Australia magazine were fabulous and I thought we completed our task in a very timely manner.
PP: I really enjoyed working with you — you are a gentleman and were professional the whole time. Could you say the same for me?
CS: Absolutely I could say the same for you! You’re a stone-cold pro and any of the shots I was uncomfortable with you made them that much easier.
PP: Aw, shucks – I’m bushing! So… tell us about your role in the new Ultra Tune TV commercial and how you came to be the star of it?
CS: Well, when I got the call, I did a little research and saw some of the previous Ultra Tune spots and was impressed with the tone and the energy. So, it made perfect sense for me to be the next Ultra Tune guy.
Any funny behind-the-scenes anecdotes you can share with us?
CS: I don’t know how funny it was but the boat we shot it on could not have been more crowded. I guess the guy who lent it to us that day cut a deal that he could invite everyone he knows to kind of have a party in our vicinity. So yeah, that got a little bit trying at times. But save for the crowded house, the director Shannon Young was fabulous, the crew were amazing and you, along with the rest of your Ultra Tune crew, were nothing but fabulous.
PP: How do you think I went doing this TV commercial? Was my acting up to scratch?
CS: It was beyond “up to scratch”. It transcended “scratch”. You were fabulous and you had an absolute sense of reality and the truth. You were very subtle, had a terrific presence, great look — DUH! — and again, anything I was uncomfortable with you made it that much easier.
PP: Thank you! Any tips you can give a wannabe actress like me?
CS: First of all, stop referring to yourself as “wannabe” – you’re actually doing it! You’re not “wannabe”, you are a professional and I was impressed with your on-set demeanour, your focus and I don’t think they gave you enough material to really tap into your talents. I think you’ve got a future in this thing, kid.
PP: Coming from you, that’s a great compliment — thank you! As a kid, did you always want to become a professional actor or something else?
CS: Ah, speaking of kid! Well, I had my sights set on a career in professional baseball but I realised it was a bit of a pipe dream because, as a kid, I went to baseball camp and saw the real talent that was out there. For a lot of these guys it was either the military or jail or baseball — and that wasn’t my back story. But, as a child, I’d always made short films directing as a cinematographer, and editing every aspect of it, so I was drawn to it. Also, having grown up, around the world, on my father’s movie sets I got a first-hand bird’s eye view of how this thing works – top to bottom.
PP: You’ve worked with some fine actors in your time — who has been the best experience?
CS: It’s really hard to answer that. You single out one experience or person and you piss off the rest of them. I’ve been really fortunate and blessed to have so many opportunities, so many different situations and so many different themes – it’s been a hell of a ride. Sometimes bumpy, but I guess that’s how it goes. People often ask me what’s the favourite film I’ve ever made and my answer is, “I’ve not made it yet.”
PP: Sorry for the loaded question, but am I your favourite Ultra Tune Rubber Girl?
CS: Hands down! Period – the end. And, again, I just pissed off the rest of the crew but I think they’ll get over it.
PP: You’ve been to Australia before coming here to film the latest Ultra Tune ad. How did your recent trip compare with past visits?
CS: This one took the cake. I was well adjusted to the time immediately, I was focussed, I was excited to be there and the whole trip went off without a hitch or stumble or any drama – I did not leave one shred of wreckage behind. And I feel that all the invites to return are nothing but genuine.
PP: What is it that you love most about Australia?
CS: I would have to say the people. The people were nothing but gracious, friendly and engaging – everywhere I went there was nothing but love.
PP: Other than hanging out with the Ultra Tune crew, what else did you get up to during your visit here?
CS: Well, there wasn’t a lot of time. There were only a couple of days off and on those days I went to a sanctuary and did those touristy things with koalas and kangaroos, things like that. When I come back, there are definitely a few other things I’d love to explore.
PP: Besides appearing in Ultra Tune ads, what else do you do with yourself these days?
CS: I’ve actually been working on my autobiography, my memoir and it’s going really well. I can’t say too much about it but let’s just say it’s not going to be a boring read.
PP: Describe a typical day in the life of Charlie Sheen?
CS: Well, it’s just that – it’s typical. I get up super early, I get in the gym, I get in the pool, I spend a lot of time with my children – which any parent knows is a full-time job – and I’m just doing the things that I can control and I can embrace until something breaks professionally. And when it does I’ll be more than ready. I’ve always said, when in doubt – over-prepare.
PP: Now, you’ve certainly had a few ups and downs in your life. Looking back at those “Tigerblood” and “#winning” days, what did you learn from that experience?
CS: I learnt to not take shit so personally and choose your battles – there’s a time and a place to voice an opinion. You know, never leave a hit show, never get fired from a hit show… yeah, tons of regrets about all that stuff, but what are you going to do? It happened. Today is today and I can’t be defined by my past but good God people certainly remind me of it every goddamn day. But that’s alright, I know who I am and where I where I’m headed and, you know, they say the road to Heaven often leads straight through Hell and I feel like I’ve traversed the Hell part.
PP: When you watch old footage like the TV interview you did with America’s ABC News what goes through your mind?
CS: I wish what went through my mind back then was a bullet to interrupt that whole fiasco. Yeah, that was a mess, and it sucks, but, you know, I’ve been doing this 35 years and it’s like I had one bad month and I think everybody loves a comeback. Most people are forgiving, and root for me, but let’s not persecute a guy for the rest of his life for one month out of three-and-a-half decades. Shit happens – you move on.
PP: What advice do you have for men possibly going through a similar situation as you did back then?
CS: I have no advice because NO-ONE will EVER go through what I did back then. It is cosmically unique and sadly or affectionately, or however you want to look at it, but I’m the guy who owns that.
PP: What’s the secret to bouncing back from a situation like that?
CS: I think it’s about attitude, about leading with humour, about making amends, about owning your shit and not forgetting what led to that epic derailment – then doing enough good stuff to not let anything that resembles that ever happen again. And, you know, bouncing back – I’ve bounced back. It’s just a question of when others are willing to move on from it and remove whatever scarlett letter I’ve been cursed with. I’m not bitter, I’m just a realist.
PP: Got any tips for men on how to be a better man?
CS: Well, I lead with no-one is above common courtesy. And that’s not just men – that’s men and women. If you hold that at the forefront, and if it’s engrained in the foundation of your character, then your decisions and your behaviour is a lot more gracious.
PP: From your experience, over the years, what have you learnt about the following…
CS: Save it!
CS: Adore and respect them.
CS: Avoid at all costs.
CS: Love/hate. More love than hate.
PP: What’s the biggest misconception about Hollywood?
CS: The biggest misconception is that films are actually made in Hollywood. Except for the studio stuff, California is about the last place they film anything these days.
PP: What’s one thing men should always know about women?
CS: Oh jeez, you’re asking me? I’d say be patient. Women need to be loved and listened to – I think we all do – and women are more sensitive, they are gentler and they require a lot more grace in one’s approach to them.
PP: What would people be most surprised to know about you?
CS: Hard to say because these days it’s hard to really protect any private parts of one’s self. The general feedback I get from the public, and people out and about in the world, is they always respond that I’m very normal, approachable and very decent. They don’t get any arrogance or any celebrity-type behaviour – whatever that is. And they’re always impressed that they feel like I’m just one of them. I don’t really know what that means because there is no “them” – we are all special.
PP: What’s the funniest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
CS: I was described as being a Warlock Vatican Assassin, which I’m kind of flattered by, but I still have no idea what the f—k that means.
PP: If you could ask Donald Trump anything what would it be?
CS: Anything I answer to this question I will catch immense shit from, so I don’t know. I don’t really have an answer for this question… Yeah, I’m going to pass because I’d rather not spend any valuable energy discussing anything about that individual.
PP: What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2019?
CS: Well, it’s not going to be quitting drinking – I already did that – and I’m not going to say quit smoking because right now that’s not realistic. I guess just be kinder, more patient. Yeah, I don’t really have much there but I’ve changed a lot of things for the better, so New Year’s for me is just another day.
PP: What’s next for Charlie Sheen? Any exciting projects on the horizon you can share with us?
CS: There’s a couple that are looking really good. One is a film, one is a series, but I don’t really want to put anything in print in case something doesn’t happen. As things get closer to commencing you will be the first people that I alert.
PP: Finally, where do you see yourself in five years?
CS: Besides being 58? Jesus. Hopefully doing all the shit I love – professionally, personally, emotionally, creatively… Yeah, I still have a lot of cool stuff to do and I’ve got tons of energy to creative it, so it’s going to be exciting.
PUBLICIST: JEFF BALLARD; HAIR: JANICE ALLISON
MAKE-UP: BRIDGET MARTINEZ
STYLING: KILEY BURK
VIDEOGRAPHER: CONNOR DUTTON
LOCATION: OPULEN STUDIOS LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA USA
PHOTOGRAPHED BY ARTHUR ST JOHN
INTERVIEW BY PARNIA PORSCHE (WITH SANTI PINTADO)
For the full article grab the February 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.