Charlie Sheen is tackling on a dramatic role for a new film about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City.
The movie, titled “9/11,” focuses on a group of strangers trapped in an elevator as catastrophe unfolds. It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon, Jacqueline Bisset and Luis Guzman.
“I saw it as an opportunity to do something dramatic, something I had not done in a long time,” the 52-year-old actor told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday. “And I also saw it as a possibility to deliver something focused on the people in a very specific event. It is still a time when we really came together as a country, as a people. And I think given where we are at right now, maybe it is a nice remember, in spite of what led us there, to be more unified, to be more united.”
The former “Two and a Half Men” star added he has “more respect for those there on the tragic day and a lot more sadness for those who didn’t survive.”
However, Sheen’s latest flick is already facing backlash over his casting. A few years ago, he raised questions about the legitimacy of the 9/11 attacks, stating “controlled demolition” possibly caused the Twin Towers to fall.
“I know I got a lot of heat for the opinions I had that weren’t just my own,” he admitted. “I was not just coming up with stuff about 9/11. I was parroting those a lot smarter and a lot more experienced than myself, who had very similar questions. If I offended anyone, I apologize and if I inspired anyone, then so be it.”
He also revealed, “I am more about moving forward. Not to put this behind us, because, as it was brilliantly written, we must never forget, but there are still a couple of things just rooted in simple physics that beg some measure of inquiry. I was in contact with a lot of family members and they were in concert with a lot of my questions.”
Sheen also pointed out that 9/11-focused film, like “United 93” and “World Trade Center” didn’t face the same controversy he’s enduring.
“Maybe there is the combination of those who are always looking to gun for me and those who are always going to root for me,” he said. “I’ll stick with the rooters.”
Sheen, who announced he was HIV positive in 2015, said this role is helping him return to dramatic acting, which is something he did in the past as a young Hollywood before taking on sitcoms.
“All I can do is show up and hopefully do a good job,” he said. “Certain people are going to feel the way they feel regardless. So I can’t really give that much energy. But, they are the same people who will buy me a drink at the bar and congratulate me on something else and then go write a s----y article on this and that.”