Who’s cry­ing now

Jon Cryer has adapted to his new house­hold with­out Char­lie Sheen, write Neala John­son and Dar­ren Dev­lyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Jon Cryer -

IN a 2005 in­ter­view on the set of Two and a Half Men, Jon Cryer of­fered a rapid-fire re­sponse to a ques­tion about the at­mos­phere on the sit­com. ‘‘ There are very few sit­u­a­tions when you get lucky in ev­ery way, you know, be­cause usu­ally there’s a jerk some­where,’’ Cryer said.

‘‘ Ei­ther your pro­ducer is a jerk or some­body at the net­work is a jerk or some­body in the cast is a jerk or that third guy on the left is a jerk, but we’ve been very lucky.’’

Two years later, when both were go­ing through re­la­tion­ship tur­moil, it re­mained clear Cryer and star Char­lie Sheen had each other’s back­ing when it came to deal­ing with their re­spec­tive trou­bles.

‘‘ Char­lie is amaz­ing to watch and is al­ways pro­fes­sional, al­ways, but es­pe­cially in times of cri­sis. Thank­fully a good script can get ev­ery­body through awk­ward mo­ments.’’

Cryer, who plays Alan Harper in the sit­com, was to dis­cover in the worst pos­si­ble way that a good script was ul­ti­mately nowhere near enough to save Sheen from an ugly exit from the show.

But two years on from ‘‘ what we will hence­for­ward re­fer to as the crazi­ness’’, he speaks op­ti­misti­cally about how he and the show have re­cov­ered from Sheen’s sack­ing and speaks fondly of the man who filled the void, Ash­ton Kutcher.

If Cryer is bit­ter Sheen’s very pub­lic melt­down put the show and his liveli­hood in jeop­ardy, or that Sheen stomped all over their eight-year work­ing friend­ship, he’s not show­ing it. Does Cryer miss Sheen? ‘‘ Of course. I wish him well. But at the same time, I don’t think he han­dled him­self well,’’ Cryer says, ‘‘ and I wish it had been dif­fer­ent, you know’’.

And while Sheen was sling­ing barbs at the show, did Cryer stick his head un­der cov­ers and hope he didn’t get hit?

‘‘ No, I wouldn’t put it that way. We all dealt with it as best we could. Like I said, I don’t be­lieve they had any choice on the show but to do what they did. But I can tell you straight up, no­body wanted to go there, no­body was happy that they had to do it, but I think ev­ery­body un­der­stood why they had to do it.’’

Cryer has said the show’s hia­tus, en­forced by pro­ducer Chuck Lorre, ‘‘ felt like the end of the world for some peo­ple’’. But af­ter 30 years in the busi­ness, he doesn’t count him­self as some peo­ple. ‘‘ You know, the kind of run that I had on Two and a Half Men be­fore the new ver­sion was still way more than an ac­tor has the right to ex­pect.’’

The ar­rival of Kutcher on set seemed just as sud­den. Cryer com­pares it to be­ing in a ‘‘ fox­hole’’ — ‘‘ You’re very quick friends,’’ he says. ‘‘ When it’s do or die, you just have to do it. Work­ing with Ash­ton, we were able to fo­cus on each other and pull each other through.’’

The odd cou­ple— Cryer is 47 and so good at play­ing awk­ward and square that peo­ple now just as­sume that’s what he is; Kutcher is 35 and all kinds of cool — bonded via their in­ner geeks.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously he’s a hi-tech en­tre­pre­neur and I’m a com­puter nerd, so we have that sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship,’’ Cryer says. ‘‘ It’s very funny now that he’s on the show, ev­ery­body as­sumes that be­cause he’s in­volved in a hi-tech en­ter­prise that he knows how to fix com­put­ers.

‘‘ He is the first per­son to say, ‘ I don’t know how to fix your com­puter. I in­vested in Skype, it’s dif­fer­ent! I can’t fix your email!’

‘‘ Also, we both really love do­ing sit­coms. He really missed it, he did That ’70s Show for a long time here and he’s been work­ing with­out an au­di­ence for a while.’’

The ‘‘ Half’’ of the show’s ti­tle, An­gus T Jones, caused his own stir when he launched a tirade at the sit­com and urged view­ers not to watch it.

CBS Pres­i­dent Nina Tassler says Jones has apol­o­gised to the cast and crew for his com­ments, say­ing he meant no dis­re­spect.

‘‘ He apol­o­gised and we’ve moved on,’’ Tassler says.

‘‘ The kid is 19. I’ve got a 24-year-old. Be­tween the ages of 19 and 24, there’s been plenty of things my kid has said that I wish he hadn’t. The bot­tom line is cooler heads pre­vailed.’’ Two and a Half Men, Chan­nel 9, Tues­day, 9.30pm

On set: Jon

Cryer and (in­set) Cryer,

Ash­ton Kutcher and An­gus T Jones.

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