CBS network’s most popular sitcom during the height of its reign – Two and a Half Men – is known to have paid its cast members’ hefty salaries. For many, it simply added to their already big bank accounts. For others, it was a career boost.
Walden Thoreau Schmidt, played by Ashton Kutcher, was introduced in the season nine premiere titled, “Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt”. He replaced the character of Charlie Sheen after he was fired by the network.
- How did Ashton Kutcher come into the picture?
- Did Ashton Kutcher do it only for money?
- Kutcher patched up the holes in the ship
For fans it may seem like it all happened yesterday, but Ashton Kutcher did four seasons of CBS’s Two and a Half Men. Ashton Kutcher’s popularity earned him more than just clout (this gig also turned out to be the biggest coup of his career) but also helped him outdo his predecessor Charlie Sheen and get at the top of Forbes’ rich TV actors list.
How did Ashton Kutcher come into the picture?
Two and a Half Men premiered on CBS for 12 seasons from September 22, 2003, to February 19, 2015. The sitcom that originally starred Charlie Sheen (Charlie Harper), Jon Cryer (Alan Harper), and Angus T. Jones (Jake), was all about a jingle writer, his uptight brother, and a troublesome son.
However to everyone’s surprise, things took an unexpected turn at the end of season 8. Sheen’s erratic behavior in public led producers to rethink their decision of having him as a lead in the series.
In 2011, after Sheen entered rehab, CBS placed the production of the series on a brief halt and released a statement saying that they were concerned about Sheen’s health and well-being.
Sheen, who at that time was the highest-paid TV actor of all time, took a paycheck of $1.8 million per episode. After he went on to publicly attack the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, the network had no choice but to fire him.
During the season 9 premiere, Charlie was said to have died after falling in front of a train on vacation in Paris with his stalker neighbor, Rose (Melanie Lynskey).
After his death, Charlie’s house was sold to Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher), who allowed Alan and Jake to continue living there.
Who’s your favorite Two and a Half Men (Quiz)
Did Ashton Kutcher do it only for money?
When Kutcher appeared on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, he made an eye-opening revelation about his decision to star in Two and a Half Men as Walden Schmidt. He stated that he was “shocked” he ever took the role, because at the time it was offered, it seemed like it nobody was willing to take it. After all, who could take a chance at trying to look convincing in there after Sheen set such an impression with viewers?
Also, joining a show that was drowning in so much controversy likely would have been impossible for other comedic actors.
Given the complicated background, this makes us wonder what encouraged Kutcher to accept the role and take this big a risk?
On Howard Stern’s show, Kutcher revealed that he only took the role when CBS offered him a huge amount of money. Kutcher also said that he had joked with his agent during lunch that he would only accept the Two and a Half Men role if he gets offered as much as Sheen was making.
Even though Kutcher agreed to star in the sitcom because of the hefty cheque, many agree that he managed to turn the Walden Schmidt character into something interesting and made the show better that it was before.
Kutcher patched up the holes in the ship
A chiropractor and single father, Alan Harper lives in a beachfront house with young and divorced billionaire Walden Schmidt, who bought the house following the untimely death of Alan’s brother, Charlie. As Alan is unable to afford his brother’s home, he sells it to Schmidt, and as a way of showing his gratitude, the billionaire allows Alan and his son Jake to move in with him. Soon, Alan finds himself transitioning into a mentor with Schmidt, whose lifelong dependence on being taken care of has left him a bit naive.
Despite his own failing love life, Alan tries to help Schmidt get out of his comfort zone and in terms of dating. The show also features Berta, a sharp-tongued, unapologetic housekeeper. Other fairly regular characters include Alan’s rich, self-confessed stalker neighbour Rose who often sneaks in to spy on them. The sitcom largely revolves around their conflicting lifestyles and how they cope with life together.