Last October, after being handed the script for "She Wants Me" by a friend and producer on the indie comedy, Charlie Sheen signed on to play a small role — an outsize version of himself also named Charlie Sheen. He shot his scenes over the course of a few days, and according to writer/director Rob Margolies, was "on time every day and really reliable and always in a good mood."
But speaking to MTV News on Wednesday from Los Angeles, where he's in post-production on the movie, the filmmaker said that the Sheen he's seen in countless recent TV interviews — talking about melting faces and armless children on "Good Morning America," for example — bears little resemblance to the man who was nothing but professional on set.
"Charlie wasn't like that at all," Margolies said. "He was completely in control and not on the defensive. No one ever felt uncomfortable. My personal opinion of him has not changed. I hope he gets the help he needs. I believe in him and wish him the best."
Back in the fall — shortly before Sheen's life took a turn for the worse following a drug-and-porn-star-filled incident at the Plaza Hotel in New York — the actor was having so much fun on the set of "She Wants Me" that he asked Margolies to write another scene in which he could appear. But Margolies declined, telling MTV News additional screen time would have felt artificial and detracted from the original appearance.
The film focuses on a couple — he an aspiring filmmaker, she a struggling actress — who move to Los Angeles. A friend of theirs, also an actress trying to make it big, lands a starring role in a Charlie Sheen film and claims she's even dating him. The couple thinks she's nuts, until the "Two and a Half Men" star actually shows up one day. His three scenes last about five minutes, according to Margolies.
Though the extra scene Sheen requested never came to pass, the actor nonetheless agreed to help finance the production and was rewarded with an executive-producer credit. "He came onboard and gave us a last-minute sum of money to finish the movie in post," said Margolies, adding that the overall budget was "well under half a million dollars."
They wrapped principal photography last year, shot some pickups in January and hope to put the finishing touches on the film by May with an eye toward selling the flick to a studio.
Margolies himself hasn't been in touch with Sheen in recent weeks, but one of his producing partners has reached out to the embattled star. "They're close friends, and he's concerned for him," he said.
While Margolies didn't offer a hypothesis for what might be ailing Sheen at the moment, he did say he understands why he appears to be so erratic in recent interviews.
"He seemed like he was on the defensive in the interviews," the filmmaker said. "I think he's just caught off-guard and scared. It's a result of him feeling like he's being judged. Most people who are being judged act up. It's a defense mechanism. I don't think that's in direct relation to who he is at all."
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