Cryer on Fire
Actor Jon Cryer on life after Two and a Half Men and settling down with wife and kids in the Valley
It has been a milestone year for Jon Cryer. The actor, who rose to ‘80s fame with movies like Pretty in Pink, recently wrapped the sitcom Two and a Half Men after a 12-year run. He also turned 50, penned a New York Times best-selling memoir—So That Happened—and inked a production deal with Warner Brothers.
Here he shares his trademark frankness—along with a few funnies—with Ventura Blvd editor-in-chief Linda Grasso. Among the topics discussed: how he never thought he’d love the Valley (but does) and coping with the Charlie Sheen debacle.
I was surprised how candid you were in your book. From Charlie Sheen to Andrew McCarthy to Molly Ringwald, some of your reflections weren’t exactly pretty. Were you worried about people being mad?
What’s the point of doing this if you’re not going to be honest? And yes, I was worried. But I tried to look back with a generosity of spirit. The passage of time helps with that.
I do feel terrible that some folks are coming away from the book with a negative impression of Molly. She’s just a quiet person, which was unnerving to me at the time, but she was never unkind. And in fact, she made a lot of efforts to make me feel welcome in LA when I first arrived. I think some people interpret my comments as negative because they are offended that I wasn’t her first choice for Duckie.
What was the hardest thing about penning the book?
Not talking about my (two) children. Because as you can guess, I’m crazy about them.
Speaking of your beautiful family—you married my friend Lisa Joyner. She is strikingly beautiful and smart, as well as an accomplished journalist and TV producer. What attracted her to you?
She’s funny in a very subversive way. It was always fun to see a newscaster cracking wise in the way that she did. Of course, combine that with the fact that she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, and I was pretty much helpless. As for why she would be attracted to me, I can only imagine it was a momentary lapse of judgment. But thankfully I was ready to pounce.
I found your behind-the-scenes stories around the Charlie Sheen debacle fascinating. In retrospect, what was that the toughest thing about that period for you?
It was definitely the sheer sadness of the situation. Charlie and I had worked seven great years together, and seeing him become a completely different person was very disturbing, as it was for people all over the world.
What was turning 50 like for you?
I freaked out pretty good at first. You know, mortality and all that stuff. “Wait, Duckie is 50?!” But then the “it’s better than the alternative” part kicked in. So I’m fine now.
I understand you had a guest role on the premiere of NCIS this season.
I’m so happy to be there. I’ve been a fan of the show since the very first season. So to be a part of it has been pretty great. I’m going to come back for a couple more episodes. And even though I’ve been proud to play a chiropractor for 12 years, playing a heart surgeon gives me a little more street cred.
How did you wind up living in the Valley?
A divorce sent me looking for a new home, and I wanted to live someplace close to my work. I was dubious that I’d ever like living here, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Sure, the proximity to all the studios is great, but when you actually spend some time here it’s kind of beguiling. I love that I can walk places, and all the fantastic new restaurants in Studio City.
Black Market (the desserts are an act of obscenity worthy of a police raid), The Gadarene Swine (even though we’re not vegan) and Ceremony (loved this place when it was called Next Door as well; when wonderful folks run a restaurant, you can always tell). We also love Aroma. Can’t ask for more personality in a restaurant, and then the food arrives and it’s fantastic.
The celeb hang-out of the 80s.