It seems all recent analysis about Two and a Half Men is more about the drama on the set than any storylines. Nobody can stop talking about the antics of Charlie Sheen after his notorious firing.
What is not always talked about is what happened when Ashton Kutcher came in to replace him.
Those who can remember back that far may recall Kutcher managed to keep Two and a Half Men afloat in the ratings thanks to his comedic skills. He revealed in 2017, though, he never really wanted to go on the show in the first place. Money always talks before comedy.
Was ‘Two and a Half Men’ just pay dirt for Ashton Kutcher?
When Kutcher guested on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show a few years ago, he made an interesting revelation about his decision to join Two and a Half Men as Walden Schmidt. He noted he was “shocked” he ever took the role, because it seemed like it was one nobody really wanted. After all, who could really fit in there after Sheen set such an impression with viewers?
On top of it, joining a show following so much controversy likely would have been impossible for other comedic actors. One almost has to wonder if anyone else would have taken the role, particularly since it was an odd one making Walden a billionaire.
There was almost an eerie meta connection to the character and Kutcher himself. According to Kutcher on Howard Stern’s show, he only took the role when CBS offered him a huge amount of money. Beforehand, Kutcher had joked with his agent during lunch he would only take the Two and a Half Men role if offered as much as Sheen was making.
Apparently this was a warning tale to always be careful what you wish for. Not that Kutcher’s experience was bad by any means. Some might say he improved the show, including being paid multi-millions and having opportunity to profit off syndicated reruns.
Ashton Kutcher never seemed to phone in his performances
Perhaps it makes Kutcher look like a sellout seeing him admit he did Two and a Half Men only because it made him richer. He managed to turn the Walden Schmidt character into something interesting, however, proving he never phones in a role.
Out of all criticism of Kutcher’s abilities, nobody can ever say he never gives 100%. Regardless, he did admit in the above interview he never worried much about whether he would carry the weight of the show living or dying. He figured if the show could remain funny, it would still work.
And so it did, despite having to endure one big problem that could have rattled other actors. Kutcher had to deal with Charlie Sheen intimidating him on Twitter for a long while, according to Ranker.
These tweets got so bad, Kutcher had to address it on a late-night talk show several years later.
Perhaps Ashton Kutcher earned his paycheck the hard way
Those Sheen attacks on Twitter went on far too long, making Kutcher more than a little perturbed. They went on for close to three years per E! Online, leading Kutcher to open up when appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2014.
Said Kutcher to the camera: “Dude, shut the f*ck up! Seriously, like enough already. Like it’s like three years later and you’re still blowing me up on Twitter. Like come on dude, really?”
Sheen took this seriously and eventually apologized for dunking on Kutcher by tweeting: “so sorry u sounded like me! well done! my bad I was pissed at other crap & took it out on you. hope u r good xo.”
Yes, maybe Kutcher really did have to earn that paycheck. He probably never estimated he would have to put up with Charlie Sheen abuse through the show’s remaining time on air.