Has anyone ever out-Sheened Charlie Sheen?
Yes, Charlie Sheen, you set the bar pretty high for actors badmouthing their directors or creators when you called "Two and a Half Men" show runner Chuck Lorre a "clown," a "charlatan" and a man with an "un-evolved mind" Thursday, after Lorre joked recently in a title card that he'd be upset if you outlived him.
But the actor is hardly the first star to bite the hand that feeds. (We don't count Mel Gibson, who has offended many, but, wisely, not a director he's worked with, at least not by name.) Below, some of the other incidents in recent memory that give Sheen versus Lorre a run for their money. Feel free to write in with others we've forgotten, and thoughts on His Sheen-ness himself.
Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay
Fox has fallen ill with foot-in-mouth disease multiple times. One instance had the former "Transformers" star telling Entertainment Weekly that working with Bay is "not about an acting experience" and, in a magazine called Wonderland, compared Bay to Hitler on set. Not the smartest thing to do when Bay is a) responsible for your career and b) could replace you and cut off your big payday, which he wound up doing with the next "Transformers". Bay replied by telling the Wall Street Journal, "Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in 'Transformers.'" Coolly handled, though we're still waiting for a Decepticon to be called the Megan in this summer's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."
Sumner Redstone vs. Tom Cruise
The mogul didn't mince words in the summer of 2006 when he ended Cruise's Paramount production deal with comments to Vanity Fair that the actor, who was not far removed from the Matt Lauer and Oprah couch-jumping incidents, was "embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money.... He turned off all women, and a lot of men." The two since patched things up. But there's still promotion for the new "Mission: Impossible" to get through.
Kevin Smith vs. Bruce Willis
The ball-cap-wearing director is known for his brutal honesty . He had harsh words for Linda Fiorentino earlier in his career, and last year spared Willis little quarter while promoting their movie "Cop Out." "It was difficult. I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where one component is not in the box at all. It was ... soul crushing," Smith said on Marc Maron's podcast of his working relationship with Willis. "I had no ... help from this dude whatsoever." Smith's diss was tempered by the fact that he praised Tracy Morgan in the same interview. Willis was silent.
Shia LaBeouf vs. Steven Spielberg
LaBeouf set off a mini-firestorm when he dissed Spielberg to about a dozen reporters, a group of which we were a part, at the Cannes Film Festival last year after we asked him what he thought of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" two years removed. He called the movie a four-letter synonym for excrement, then said, "There was a reason it wasn't universally accepted." He added, "When you drop the ball you drop the ball." Not so smart, but there was something honest about LaBeouf's manner that made it less stinging than it played back home. Plus some fans kind of agreed.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Charlie Sheen leaves a Colorado courthouse this summer. Credit: Rick Wilking / Reuters