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Jon Cryer's ambition is rewarded

The 'Two and a Half Men' star's decision to compete in the lead actor category rather than supporting pays off in an Emmy nod.

July 19, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
  • Jon Cryer switched from the supporting to teh lead actor category and nabbed a nomination.
Jon Cryer switched from the supporting to teh lead actor category and nabbed… (Richard Cartwright, CBS )

When "Two and a Half Men"star and awards-season perennial Jon Cryer was filling out his Emmy application this year, he decided to make a change — he would make a bid for lead actor.

"It just seemed silly to be in the supporting category when they were hanging so much on the Alan character this season," he said.

On Thursday morning that instinct paid off, as Cryer was nominated for lead actor for the first time in his career, landing the spot for his long-running role as uptight chiropractor Alan Harper. (Cryer has been shortlisted in the supporting actor-comedy category six times, winning once.)

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The actor acknowledged that the Emmy slot was hardly the only difference in his work on the CBS sitcom this past season, which of course saw Ashton Kutcher join the cast after former costar Charlie Sheen had a spectacularly public fallout with show runner Chuck Lorre.

"It was weird to have this totally different presence on the set," Cryer said of how the past season had changed. "Obviously, we all miss Charlie, but at the same time there is a lack of tension on the set, and you have to acknowledge that and be grateful." (In case you're curious, in addition to marks set for partying and tabloid headlines, Sheen over his "Men" career had been nominated four times for lead actor but had never won the prize.)

Of his new partner, Cryer said that "Ashton and I are still finding our way in terms of what works comedically, but it's kind of fun to not know what works. What I love about Ashton is that there's nowhere he won't go for a gag."

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Cryer said that as the show entered its 10th season, pretty much nothing surprised him. "If you told me 10 years ago this show would take off I would have said no way, and if you told me six years ago it would be humming along and then implode in spectacular fashion, I can't say I would have seen that coming either."

The actor said he hadn't spoken to Sheen since the TMZ fixture left "Men," but he did catch the pilot of Sheen's new FX comedy, "Anger Management."

"It's weird. It's weird for me to see him wake up sweaty in bed with a woman and think, 'That's not my show,'" Cryer said. "And it's weird to watch Charlie be in charge of a group that's trying to help people. It's like, 'Really?'"


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