‘Two and a Half Men’, despite its crassness, was among the most successful American sitcoms. Following the departure of Charlie Sheen from the show, Hugh Grant was approached to play Charlie Harper. But it didn’t materialize.
Hugh Grant happens to be the most ‘British’ British actor out there. He possesses all the traits of a suave British gentleman, both off-screen and on-screen. If we had to define ‘Two and a Half Men’ in a playful way, it was crude, crass and downright funny as hell. Now imagine Hugh Grant replacing Charlie Sheen in ‘Two and a Half Men’. Difficult, right? It could have been a possibility as Hugh came very close to locking the deal. He was also offered a hefty sum for it. Such a lucrative offer was somehow turned down by Hugh Grant, who maintained his ‘class’ and artistic integrity. No, it was not about the crass content of the sitcom. The reason that we didn’t see Hugh playing Charlie Harper was due to a highly professional decision.
- Hugh Grant refused ‘Two and a Half Men’
- Hugh Grant turned down 1 million per episode
Charlie Sheen had troubles with drug addiction and it was very well known. He himself made no attempts to hide that dark side of his personality. In January 2011, the shooting of the show came to a halt as Sheen had to attend a rehabilitation centre for his addictions. This was the first blunt the show took. Later, in a series of interviews, Charlie went berserk making serious allegations against the show’s makers, particularly the creator Chuck Lorre. It, of course, didn’t sit well and Charlie was ousted from the show to never come back again. It was a huge loss for Charlie as he was getting $1.8 million per episode. On the other hand, the showrunners knew that Charlie was the main highlight of the sitcom and its popularity might take a major dip. (They were right as the show’s ratings took a dip and it never was able to recover).
Hugh Grant refused ‘Two and a Half Men’
Now comes the hunt for a new Charlie Harper. There were many options out there. Hugh Grant, a popular British actor, was one of the first choices to play the role. The talks were ongoing for a few months before the actor had to turn down the offer. The reason for him not doing the show wasn’t classified either. As it turned out, he was being offered $ 1 million per episode for the show. It was almost half of what Charlie earned from ‘Two and a Half Men’. Still, it was a huge sum and only a handful of TV actors had ever managed to earn this much from a single episode of a sitcom. But his decision to not do the show was a more creative one.
Hugh Grant turned down 1 million per episode
It was later revealed that when Grant was approached for the show, the scripts for his episodes were not ready yet. It turned out to be a major deal-breaker for him. This goes on to exhibit the professionalism that Grant operates with. He is also known for his humble and kind off-screen persona, with a major fan following in the UK. Hence, signing him on would have been a great thing for the show’s revival. But the lack of professionalism from the show’s side turned out to be the deal-breaker.
In the end, as well all know, Ashton Kutcher was finally hired to replace Charlie Sheen. But then, the show’s ratings keep plummeting and it was taken off-air in 2015. However, in a later interview, Kutcher admitted that he only did the show for the money. Well, good enough.
Tell us in the comments who you think would have been the apt replacement for Charlie Sheen? Also, tell us which was your favourite ‘Two and a Half Men’ episode.