Charlie's Sheen's meltdown seemed like it would spell disaster for Two And A Half Men, but the show's cast and creators used it as a great opportunity to bring some fresher, funnier, and handsomer life to the show: Ashton Kutcher.
However, Kutcher wasn't the only catch the crew considered. Apparently, Hugh Grant practically had his name on the dressing room door before he decided to back out.
Jon Cryer, who plays the awkwardly endearing, uptight Alan Harper on Two And A Half Men, revealed a fuller version of the story on the Howard Stern Show. Talking to Chuck Lorre, he describes their discussion after Warner Brothers fired Charlie Sheen:
"[Lorre said], 'We need somebody who's teflon, we need somebody who's just so charming it's undeniable, there's nothing you can do. And I said well, who? And he said, 'Hugh Grant.' And I said HA! There is no way we're getting Hugh Grant. And he said, he's flying in tomorrow.
Cryer had reservations all along that Grant would want to join the show. He flew in for the meeting nonetheless, and everything seemed to be going pretty well. Cryer continued:
"[The writers] had come up with a really fun idea, that... this British guy comes to Malibu because he wants to rent a place while his daughter goes to Pepperdine, and he works at the embassy, and he's just incredibly cool. And Allan just thinks, thank goodness someone's going to help me pay the rent here because I can't afford it, and then it turns out he's a con man! He's full of it and I'm stuck with him because he can still pay the rent. It was fun!"
It definitely sounds like it would have worked, but unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be:
"What went wrong is that he just didn't want that life. He backed out. They negotiated a contract, he was signed! I got confirmation from Chuck, 'He's on the show!' [Grant] had second thoughts and said no."
Oh well. Then they wrote the character for Ashton Kutcher, and the rest is history! Remember his epic entrance?
Check out the full interview that Cryer did with Howard Stern here:
Who would be your favorite co-star for Jon Cryer?
Source: The Howard Stern Show