They were California bad boys, their lives a blur of sex, drugs, and violence. Wait! We’re talking about pornographers Artie and Jim Mitchell, the San Francisco siblings/nudie film entrepreneurs played by real-life brothers Charlie Sheen, 34, and Emilio Estevez, 37, in Showtime’s Rated X, airing May 13. Admits Estevez (who also directed): ”There was some fear that people would compare the lives of Artie and Jim to the lives of Emilio and Charlie.” Naaaaah.
Charlie, given your history with drugs, did snorting fake cocaine on screen increase temptation?
SHEEN Not really. It brought up a lot of feelings, but I never left the set thinking about what Teamster can I talk to about going into the hood to score. I was reminded why I didn’t want to live that lifestyle anymore.
ESTEVEZ I was asking Charlie to go into that place almost every day, and there was the fear of: What the f— am I doing? If I’m responsible for a relapse, my father is never going to forgive me. I’d be out of the will!
There’s a scene in Rated X in which Artie is sitting in his empty swimming pool, shooting cans with a gun.
EE It’s a cool image—totally Elvis.
CS I shot the phones one day…. This was 10 years ago.
You shot the phones? At your house?
CS Yeah. I took ’em off the wall, put ’em on the back lawn, and shot every single phone with a Benelli semiauto 12-gauge. The phone had been ringing incessantly that entire week. The cops showed up, and they said, ”You know, it’s against the law to discharge a weapon in L.A. County.” I said, ”Well, sorry, man. I just had a bad week with the phones.”
Emilio, does the ”Brat Pack” label hinder people from taking you seriously as a director?
EE Yeah, it’s horrible to have to have that follow you around the rest of your life. I’m imagining my obituary, and it’s going to say ”Unofficial president of the Brat Pack.”
CS When I have to turn on Craig Kilborn—you know how they have that announcer’s voice introducing the show? ”And tonight! Craig Kilborn! From Hollywood! Where occasionally Charlie Sheen likes to stop by for a hot cup of hooker!” It’s become a go-to joke. Get into one prostitute scandal, and that’s what you’re about.
EE [jokingly] One little prostitute scandal can ruin your whole day.