The TV Column: In media spotlight, Sheen the Actor is the man of a thousand faces

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 2, 2011; 10:32 PM

Charlie Sheen, our generation's Laurence Olivier, took on yet another role Wednesday: Frantic Father - executing it brilliantly as he continued his Scorched Earth Media Tour.

Frantic Father had his angelic 23-month-old twin sons, Bob and Max, wrenched from his bosom in the middle of the night by the LAPD and two guys in suits, who took the baby boys to God-knows-where, Sheen told the "Today" show on Wednesday morning.

"At this moment, on live television, I do not know where my children are," Sheen said on "Today," sitting next to his lawyer in a director's chair that was parked by the side of a street. Sheen said he was near the Los Angeles house that he shares with his two "goddesses" - a former porn star and a former Marijuana Magazine cover girl - as well as, until hours earlier, his two baby boys.

"This is not panicking. It's not about ego, it's not about emotion - it's just about getting very focused and getting very much in touch about what I have to do to complete the task of bringing these two beautiful young men back home to the home they deserve to be raised in, with more love, compassion, support, child care and everything else you could possibly want for a child," Sheen told NBC News's Jeff Rossen.

The two children were "just being put to bed" when it all happened, Sheen said.

The embattled "Two and a Half Men" star might have lost his cushy gig on that CBS sitcom for the rest of the TV season, but he's got a new, regular segment on the NBC News infotainment show; this is his third appearance on the program in three days.

CBS and Warner Bros. Television shut down production on "Two and a Half Men" on Jan. 28, when Sheen announced that he was going to enter rehab at Charlie Sheen's House, Calif. Production had been scheduled to resume this past Monday, but the two companies instead announced late last week that they'd shut down the show for the rest of the season. That came after Sheen verbally attacked show creator Chuck Lorre in a tirade on a syndicated radio show, which went viral.

The previous night, Sheen played the role of the Randy Bachelor on ABC's "20/20" - a role he'd also played Tuesday morning on Howard Stern's radio program. After that, still on Tuesday, Sheen played a pretty convincing Creepy Twitter Stalker. And his work as Alleged Sadistic Soon-To-Be-Ex-Husband must be seen to be believed, according to his estranged wife, Brooke Mueller.

One day before performing Frantic Father on "Today," Sheen explained to Howard Stern how the two hot, young blond "goddesses" living in his home share a bedroom and how he has his pick of the litter each night - kind of like HBO's "Big Love," only without the separate houses. He and Stern had a brief chat about which sexual acts each goddess was willing to perform and when, and whether the two women would engage in sex with each other for his viewing pleasure. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday night, on "20/20," Sheen reprised his Randy Bachelor role, telling Andrea Canning of his relationship with the goddesses: "We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view."

"It's no secret that you have an affinity for porn stars," Canning told Sheen.

"Well, I mean, wow, listen to that statement," Sheen joshed back.

"Why?" Canning asked, speaking for us all.

"Well, look at what they do - look at what I do. Duh. . . . They're the best at what they do, and I'm the best at what I do, and together it's, like, it's on! Sorry, Middle America, yeah, I said it."

"Is it the same for prostitutes - is it that it's good sex?" Canning continued.

"Who wants to deal with all the small talk and nonsense? You're paying for something that eliminates that. It makes sense to me. . . . As long as you're not lying to people, I think whatever you're doing, there's no children involved . . . then you're okay. But people are going to judge it, because they're so jealous and they're doing it behind closed doors."

On Wednesday, the sex goddesses had been transformed into Mary Poppins:

"We run errands, we eat, we play with the kids. We watch movies - I watch a lot of 'Two and a Half Men,' Blonde No. 1 told Rossen.

Rossen began to grill the girls:

"Do you love his kids?"

"Are you kidding? I was just up with them right now, " gushed Blonde No. 2. "I didn't want to put him down."

"Is this pretty normal? I mean, there are pictures of the kids on the fridge!" Rossen persisted.

"Aside from the days when we sit with the gold palm fronds and fan him - ," Blonde No. 1 began.

"Hey! Don't run with that! Do not run with that!" Sheen joked - but ominously, we thought.

Goddess No. 1 turned to the camera:

"I'm joking," she said, raising her right hand.

Yup, it seems there's virtually no role Sheen can't throw himself into. And the media laps it up and cries for more.

"That was amazing!" media analyst Steve Adubato raved of Sheen's Frantic Father performance - after it was over - to "Today" Den Mom Meredith Vieira.

"I was prepared to come in and say, 'Out of control, ridiculous, get him off the air - I also wonder about us when we put him on the air," Adubato confided. "I got to tell you, I just saw a father in pain. . . . It seemed very clear that his children . . . are his priority."

Sheen also got rave reviews late Tuesday from "Modern Family" actress Sarah Hyland, for his performance as Creepy Twitter Stalker.

Hyland plays Ed O'Neill's very hot, kinda dim teenage granddaughter, Haley Dunphy, on the show, so you can see why Sheen would pick her as one of a select group of just 15 people he chose to follow initially, when he signed up for Twitter on Tuesday.

"FYI, I've never met @charliesheen in my LIFE, and he's following me now? Really Creeped out. Ew. #notwinning," Sarah Hyland tweeted late Tuesday.

And according to Mueller, his soon-to-be-ex wife, Sheen's also utterly convincing in the role of Sadist. It was her review of his performance that persuaded a Los Angeles County Court judge on Tuesday afternoon to sign a restraining order against Sheen, leading to the twins' being removed from Sheen's house Tuesday night.

"Sunday, February 27 at 8:45 p.m., [Sheen] threatened, 'I will cut off your head, put it in a box and send it to your mom!' " Mueller wrote in her declaration accompanying the restraining order, a copy of which TMZ claimed to have obtained, and posted online.

"He said, 'If you are having this conversation taped, then consider it done!'

"Last Wednesday," Mueller continued, Sheen "threatened to stab my eye with a pen knife, and spit on my feet. He also punched me in the arm. On Saturday, [Sheen] removed our children from my care in violation of our custody orders. I have asked that he return the children to me, and he refuses. I am in great fear that he will find me and attack me and I am in great fear for the children's safety while in his care."

On Wednesday's "Today" show, Sheen denied having made the "colorful" threats that Mueller claims he made.

"No, I did not," Sheen said when asked whether he made the threats. "That's a good one, I guess," he said. "If you spend enough time around me you can formulate things and make it sound like it could have come from my mouth. But you could do that watching reruns.")

Too bad Sheen's been buried in that lame "Two and a Half Men" all these years, so many therefore only know him as the adorable slacker dude in the shorts.

The public is only now starting to appreciate Sheen's virtuosity. Tuesday's all-Sheen "20/20," for instance, attracted the biggest audience for any ABC newsmagazine in more than two years. And, when Sheen performed on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" the other day, he attracted the franchise's largest audience since Oprah was on that show.

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