Two and a Half Men’s Holland Taylor has gone back to her theater roots with her one-woman play Ann, which has earned her a Tony nomination. In a candid interview with Parade.com, Taylor opened up about her struggle with depression, why the late Ann Richards would have thought Angelina Jolie was “the bomb,” how former costar Charlie Sheen’s Hollywood upbringing shaped his life, and more.
Here are the highlights:
You often play strong, buoyant, confident women, like Judge Kittelson on The Practice or Gov. Ann Richards in your play. You seem very self-confident, never self-doubting.
“Well, I’ve suffered depression. From my early 40s into my mid-50s.”
How bad was it?
“Bad enough for me to entertain the idea of going into a hospital. I actually wasn’t a danger to myself, but I really sometimes wondered how I could get out of the house to go get food. I was on antidepressants for over 15 years, with very intermittent counseling. It was a very dead period of my life. Antidepressants take away the lows but they also reduce the highs. And for me, over a long period of time, they didn’t really work. So I quit taking them, and my life has been afire since then.”
Ann Richards was transparent about the things she wanted to share, like Angelina Jolie was in opening up about her double mastectomy.
“I think what Angelina Jolie is doing is right up Ann Richards’ street. I was dazzled by it, and I thought it was a wonderful sharing, and just fantastically wonderful for thousands of people who are going through that. I think the world of Angelina Jolie, and infinitely more now, because that was really a dazzling, generous effort on her part. Ann Richards would just think that was the bomb.”
What do you think of Charlie Sheen’s replacement on Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher?
“He’s very charming. Very affable and smart. But I’ve hardly been exposed to him at all.”
And what about Charlie Sheen?
“Anybody who’s spent time with Charlie likes him. He’s as smart a person as you’ll ever find.”
He sometimes hasn’t behaved like he’s smart.
“He grew up with a movie star father [Martin Sheen] who was gallivanting around the world. [Today] Martin is a big AA person and very public about it. But back in the day, Martin was a young, crazy, brilliant talent—always gone, always traveling, sometimes bringing his kids along. It was just a madhouse way [for Charlie] to grow up. And then Charlie himself was a teenage movie star with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his pocket at any given moment. It sounds great to a lot of people, but it’s not that easy to mature and to have a regular life.”