Charlie Sheen is a new man.
With a hit new comedy, Anger Management on FX, making headlines for all the right reasons (great ratings), Sheen was all smiles and in a great mood at the 2012 summer TCA press tour on Saturday morning.
During the panel, Sheen talked about the future of the show (90 episodes!), working with his father Martin Sheen, who is set to join Anger Management as a regular, and whether or not his ex-wife Denise Richards will return to the show. And he also addressed his headline-making behavior from last year. Oh, and he talks about possibly joining Mariah Carey on the American Idol judging panel. Yes, really.
Of course, Sheen was asked about his infamous behavior that dominated headlines last year, including his very public departure from CBS' Two and a Half Men.
"It was a crazy time. It's sort of like a dream I couldn't wake up from...It was a runaway train I couldn't get off of, and I was the conductor. It's something that could never happen again, so that's pretty cool," Charlie says. "I learned a lot. I learned stick to what you know. I learned, don't go on a one-man show to 21 cities with no act. My life's different now that I'm not insane anymore. I'm accountable most of the time."
Earlier in the day, FX president John Landgraf announced that the show will likely get picked up for its back-90 episodes. While the number seems a bit daunting, Sheen doesn't seem too worried. "It doesn't put any pressure on me....That's something we can't control...[It's] exciting as hell. I don't think 90 is going to be enough. I said that out loud, didn't I? I feel like how we've started, we've just scratched the surface."
Should the sitcom be picked up (which is all but official, really), Sheen's father Martin Sheen will join the cast as a series regular, playing, you guessed it, his father on the show. "He's great to work with," Sheen gushes.
Of the season one episode his father does appear in, Sheen says, "I think it's the best episode we did. That was the last one we shot. So I don't want to say we peaked, but he brings a whole different energy to it."
Richards, who guest starred in an episode this season as a love interest for Sheen's character, is also welcome to return to the FX series, as the actor says, "We had a ball working on the show...she was fabulous on the show. She'll probably come back and she's welcome back."
Executive producer Bruce Helford adds, "She did a great job. It was really nice to have Charlie's family on the set."
Last week, Sheen told Ryan Seacrest that he was "genuinely interested" in becoming a judge on American Idol, saying it would be "radical." And guess what? Sheen is still interested in replacing Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler! "Sure, why not?" he says. "For me, it's not all about the work, it's about the experience."
So have Idol's producers been in contact with him about the gig? "No, they put it out there like you heard it for the first time, like I heard it for the first time. [They] have my terms," he tells us.
Finally, Sheen talked about Kathy Bates playing the ghost of his former Two and a Half Men character on a recent episode of the CBS comedy. "A woman who won an Oscar playing an impossible role...if you read that part in a book, there's no way that part can come to life, and she did it," he enthuses. "For her to play me…I thought she was great."