“Now you wanna get nuts?! Come on! LET’S GET NUTS!”
Can you imagine if Christian Bale Batman had delivered that line instead of *Michael Keaton Batman? You know, with that gravelly new Batman voice that made me laugh out loud in the movie theater the first time I heard it?
We’re not here to talk about “What if?” scenarios regarding the Batman franchise, because I am a person who values their life.
If there’s one thing people have made clear on the interwebz, it’s that you should never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, ever start a debate about comic book characters, or about movie characters that are based on comic book characters, or about pretty much anything else in the entire universe that used to exist, currently exists, or will exist in the future, comic-related or otherwise.
I guess this is the end of this post, then. Thanks for ruining everything!
So anyway, I figure the one topic that you may still be able to discuss semi-openly online without having your life threatened (yeah right), is whether to take “Sheen” or “Estevez” as your professional last name if you’re working in Hollywood.
I should mention that the pre-requisite for having to make this decision is that you’re one of Martin Sheen’s sons. Also, it’s integral to the discussion for you to know that Martin Sheen’s birth name is Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez.
Please don’t ever admit to me that you didn’t know that, by the way. You should get rid of some of the useless stuff in your memory like “math” and “chemistry” to make more room for this kind of information because, frankly, your flimsy knowledge base with regard to Sheens and Estevezeseses is embarrassing.
For today’s discussion we’ll just go ahead and pick any two Martin Sheen sons at random.
How about…Charlie Sheen? Okay, that’s one.
And for the second one, we’ll just go with Emilio Estevez, because he seems like a convenient enough choice. There is a third son, and also a daughter, but you probably didn’t know that either, because you decided to read Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” before bed last night instead of Wikipedia and imdb.com, as if that does you any favors.
The Old Man and The Sea spoiler alert: Santiago catches the fish. There’s no meat left on the fish by the time he gets it back to shore and people are all, “Look at the size of this dead, useless fish! I bet it really used to be something, huh?” Hemingway claimed this was just a fishing story and didn’t contain any symbolism. That guy is totally still trolling you from the grave, because you know damn well that story is 100% about his whiskey dick.
Now that you’ve got the two sons all picked out, let’s get into this thing.
The Case for Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen, born Carlos Irwin Estevez, is the youngest of the Sheen/Estevez clan. I can see how when he was first starting out, going by Sheen probably made it very easy for people to go, “Sheen? Say, that isn’t Martin Sheen’s kid by chance, is it? Let’s give this kid an audition!” Using your dad’s stage name also makes it equally easy for backlash to happen, where people probably accused him of trying to get a foot in the door by riding on his dad’s coattails. It’s a gamble.
Hey, you know what? Life isn’t easy. Making it in Hollywood? Even less easy. If you have a way to give yourself a leg up, I say go for it. I don’t discount anyone just because they’re somebody’s kid. You still have to do the work once you get your foot in the door.
I imagine at the time Charlie made the decision to go by the last name “Sheen”, Charlie, the very legitimately bad boy of the two brothers, said, “Here are the amount of fucks that I give with regard to your feelings on the matter of me using my dad’s stage name as my last name.” Then he probably made a zero sign with his thumb and forefinger, lit something on fire, and snorted a line off of Daryl Hannah’s left boob, because Charlie Sheen? Charlie Sheen don’t give a fuck.
Charlie Sheen then appeared in no less than 45 films, and was at one time the highest paid actor on television.
Sure, he’s had more than his fair share of run-ins with the dark underbelly of Hollywood, and maybe appearing in Major League 2 was a mistake because the first Major League was actually a really great sports movie that should have been left to stand on its own, but I root for Charlie Sheen for one reason:
You can tell he’s the guy you want to talk to at the party.
He is a flawed human being. I get that. I’m sure he’s caused no end of trouble for anybody who loves him. I’ve had plenty of people in my life who have done the same. They can cause a lot of heartache. But as you know, according to my favorite Nicolas Cage line in Moonstruck, “I ain’t no freakin’ monument to justice!”
Maybe I wouldn’t marry Charlie Sheen or rely on him to take care of exotic pets or care for expensive glass eggs for the weekend, but I feel like you kinda know that going into it. The man, like all of us, has limitations. I’ve done some really fucked up stuff, too, and I didn’t even have to grow up on camera in Hollywood to celebrity parents.
And, honestly, his performance as the druggie at the police station in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, even though it was just a cameo, is one of the best moments in 80s cinema:
“You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much. People think she’s a whore.”
I want that on a t-shirt.
Based solely on that performance, I am inclined to go with Charlie Sheen.
The Case for Emilio Estevez
The obvious argument here is that since Martin Sheen is merely a stage name, wouldn’t it have been weird if Emilio changed his last name to Sheen? To do so would feel, pardon the Millennial term, “thirsty”. I know, I just totally excused that whole thing in the Charlie Sheen argument, and it would be valid here, too, were Emilio Estevez the same person as Charlie Sheen, but he ain’t.
Charlie Sheen gets special rules, because he just does. I don’t dislike Emilio Estevez, not at all. I like Emilio Estevez. I’m sure he’s a great, reliable guy who rarely disappoints people, rarely trashes anyone’s house, and never goes on national morning news shows to tell people that he has tiger blood running through his veins.
I just feel like he’s the guy at his book club event who wants to tell you about how good the hummus is while you keep checking your watch before you can ditch his event and go back to Charlie Sheen’s party. He seems like the guy you would fully expect to introduce himself as “Gary White”. I suspect he kept his birth name of “Emilio Estevez” because that’s an intriguing motherfucking name for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed guy who looks like he runs the Norway ride at Epcot.
It would be like if Ed Begley, Jr. walked up to you and said, “Hello, my name is Antonio Banderas.” Instead of blindly signing whatever petition he was trying to get you to sign and shoo-ing him away back towards the hummus platter, you would probably say, “Antonio Banderas, you say? Tell me more about yourself, you long, intriguing ghost-cat.” Next thing you know, you’re making out.
I mean, imagine if in The Breakfast Club, as the typical mid-western high school jock on the wrestling team who bullies his teammates, if instead of Emilio Estevez’s character having the name “Andy Clark”, his character had the name “Emilio Estevez”. I would have paid attention to his character from the get-go, instead of only kind of coming around after he cried in front of everyone about how terrible he felt over taping that hairy kid’s buns together in the locker room that time.
I guess what I’m saying is that if your name is Andy Clark and you’re on the high school wrestling team, you’re going to have to work really hard to convince me to give up my pre-conceived notions about you, because “Andy Clark: High School Wrestler” is probably the least intriguing human concept that I’ve ever heard.
Did you really give a shit about Andy Clark in The Breakfast Club, or were you too glued to Judd Nelson’s “I give zero fucks” emotionally-damaged, dark and brooding hoodlum “John Bender” character to really pay attention to anyone else in the movie, let alone Andy freaking Clark?
News Flash To Me: Judd Nelson’s character is the Charlie Sheen of that movie and I can’t believe it took me this long to realize it. You’re witnessing my coming to this realization in real time, so get out your cameras and take a picture of this screen right now for posterity.
Charlie Sheen: Going by your celebrity father’s stage surname is a foot in the door. Meh.
Emilio Estevez: Going by your real name when you look like the guy who runs the Norway ride at Epcot is a foot in the door, and anyone who’s anyone in Hollywood already knows you’re Martin Sheen’s kid either way, so it’s not like it’s a secret or anything. Meh.
Winner: Judd Nelson.
*Unpopular Opinion: I prefer Michael Keaton Batman.
/puts on bulletproof vest