So, it was a Friday night and I'm asked by Extra to cover a set-visit at CBS's hit show "Two and a Half Men." I've had the pleasure of interviewing Charlie Sheen more than several times over the years, through some very tough times in his life, along with many of the high points.
I was told, however, that this night, Charlie would probably not be talking. My show decided to send me anyway, because of the relationship I've had with him. Honest. Integrous. Always warm and friendly. But never sugar-coated, on either side.
When I arrived at Stage 26 at Warner Bros. at around 8pm, I was greeted by the CBS publicity team, who, very nicely said: "Charlie will probably not be talking, but you'll get everyone else." No sooner had those words been uttered, when Charlie, who was about to tape his first scene of the night in front of a studio audience, locked eyes with me. He gave me a very friendly salute and a smile. I turned to my producer Lilli and said, "Ok, at least we've made eye contact... let's see what happens next."
What happened next was both surprising and exactly in character with who Charlie Sheen is as a person. He walked over and asked if he could see me privately. We walked about 20 steps away from the PR people and my crew, and he admitted to me why he hadn't planned on talking tonight, and it's not for publication here or anywhere else. Again, that's what a relationship is all about: trusting, and keeping one's word.
However, Charlie, not knowing I would be coming, decided to honor our relationship and wanted to give me a few minutes of his time during the taping of the show. The only other show on set this night was Entertainment Tonight. They were not going to be getting Charlie, but after he decided he wanted to speak with Extra and me, ET's luck changed. The PR people had to convince Charlie that he had to give some time to the other show, too. It would have been nice to have an exclusive, but you know what? Who cares.
Charlie is a man of his word. He told me way back when things deteriorated with his relationship with ex Denise Richards that the truth would come out about all the outlandish accusations she was hurling at him. Funny thing, she has since recanted every one of them. Clearing Charlie's name and reputation.
We had a great interview outside of Stage 26. Sheen revealed details of his upcoming summer wedding with Brooke Mueller. (Casual, no ties! It's going to be hot. Small, intimate affair). And he admitted feeling vindicated about Denise's reversal of words toward him. Charlie revealed when, not if, he and Brooke begin a family, he really wants a boy (considering he has an older daughter from a previous relationship, and two little girls with Denise). No matter if he and Brooke have a girl OR boy, they've got a name picked out: Bob. He "kids", of course, but you know he's hoping for a boy.
Charlie had heard from Stan Rosenfield, his personal publicist (who also reps George Clooney, among others)... that my brother, Mark, had just that day undergone a very serious cancer surgery, and right at the beginning of the interview, he asked how he was doing, sent his best to him, and wanted me to know that he was concerned. Charlie doesn't know my brother, but, again, this is the type of guy he is.
We spoke for 15 minutes or so, off camera, after the interview, about relationships. His with CBS and his sitcom, mine with my show. We shared stories about family, and this crazy biz.
It's those few minutes that will never air on any TV show, that solidifies a relationship. And it's those relationships that make what you DO see on television work.