- Charlie Sheen brings his 'Anger Management' to FX
- Labour of love from Jason Scott Lee
- Son of the soil
Posted: 27 Oct 2011 06:41 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES, (Reuters): Actor Charlie Sheen, fired from his previous role on TV's "Two and a Half Men," will return to television in summer 2012, in his new "Anger Management" on FX, the network announced on Thursday.
The new sitcom, which had been previously announced but had yet to find a network, sees Sheen playing an anger management therapist who causes chaos in his patients' lives by using unconventional methods, the network said in a statement.
The new show is the latest in Sheen's bid to turn over a new leaf in his career after a turbulent year.
He was TV's highest-paid actor for his role as womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper in the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," but was fired after a public dispute with the show and network executives at CBS, during which he lashed out at show creator Chuck Lorre. He was replaced by actor Ashton Kutcher.
Sheen ranted against his old employers and posted videos on the Web in which he bragged about his "winning" ways and the "tiger blood" he had running through in his veins.
All of that came after a year in which he found himself in legal trouble and in rehab for drug and alcohol use.
More recently, the star has seemed contrite. He settled a lawsuit with the "Two and a Half Men" producers, and appeared on TV talk shows admitting he was out of control. took to the stage at the Emmys - TV's highest awards - and said to the "Men" cast and crew, "From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best for the upcoming season."
"Anger Management," in which Sheen retains a significant ownership stake, is loosely based on the 2003 film of the same name starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. FX has ordered 10 episodes, and production will begin in early 2012.
"We think that Bruce Helford, Joe Roth and Charlie Sheen have come up with a wonderful, hilarious vehicle for Charlie's acting talents, and a character we are very much looking forward to seeing him play," said John Landgraf, President and general manager of FX Networks, in a statement.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
Posted: 27 Oct 2011 09:10 PM PDT
Earthy Jason Scott Lee is willing to take risks to live life on his terms.
Mention Jason Scott Lee and the first image that comes to mind is of him portraying martial artist Bruce Lee in the 1993 film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Undoubtedly, it was Lee's entry point to stardom – he became a household name on a global scale thanks to Dragon.
While the film provided him with a big shift in terms of his career as it allowed him to understand better both his acting and physical skills, it also made him aware of other things within the industry – like Hollywood wanting to shackle him to the role of an action star, banking on his first success and making him their cash cow.
Well, Lee was having none of that.
He wanted to grow, not only as an actor but as a person. This ultimately meant having to say no to lucrative projects. Forging his own path, he took on roles that challenged him on different levels, and not just physically.
This decision led the Hawaiian to take on roles in a few inspiring films and portraying a number of different nationalities such as an Eskimo in Map Of The Human Heart, a native of Chile in Rapa Nui and an Indian in The Jungle Book.
Currently, he is looking at an adaptation of Tenzing Norgay's story – playing the Nepalese Sherpa who went up Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953.
On the subject of his breakthrough Dragon, Lee also learned martial arts for the role. To play the part, Lee trained in Jeet Kune Do with Jerry Poteet, a student of Bruce Lee. This, in turn, introduced him to one of martial arts' philosophies.
"One of the (elements of) evolution of a martial artist is, once there is nothing more the teacher can teach, you must leave the nest and continue (learning) by observing nature, which is your greatest teacher," he says this in an interview at Putrajaya, having just come out of the jungles of Malaysia after filming Malaysian Journey: Hutan for the National Geographic Channel.
Thinking about what he can learn from nature, his train of thought took him to the big question of how he wants to live his life.
As an artiste he has always looked for a sense of freedom in expression and an infinite (creative) canvas that's perpetually challenging him.
Wanting to apply the same principle to his life, he began exploring the option of living a self-sustainable way of life.
This basically means working the land with his own two hands to raise food to feed his family. So some 15 years ago, he bought a 22ha plot of land in Hawaii, named it Pu Mu ("simplicity" and "nothingness" in Hawaiian) and started farming.
He chuckles when asked what it's like to eat the food he grows.
"I think I have a greater appreciation of food," reveals Lee, who has a 15-month-old daughter with his Singaporean wife.
His laugh naturally highlights the crow's feet on his tanned face – as if to prove further that he does spend a lot of time outdoors.
Although the 45-year-old comes off relaxed in person and very gracious, he carries himself with a seriousness at all times. It's almost as if he is thinking of something poignant 24/7 – erm, something like "by working the land and taking care of the plants it's sort of like I am nurturing life."
Lee can sure get into the deep stuff in conversation.
"That's a big part of being a martial artist. You learn these skills for fighting and the more highly developed you become as a martial artist, the easier it is to take a life. Once you realise that, and you know that's not the path you want to go on, you want to be on the path to nurture life, to give life.
"In essence, your being, your quality of life becomes richer because you have this everyday effort and activity that is nurturing life. Understanding that enhances everything that is around you. And you end up wanting to take care of all the things that have no voice, like the forest and the animals in it – things that have no one to stand up for them and are slowly being pushed out."
With the intent of wanting to take care of the land, Lee plants his food – making sure he doesn't use anything harmful to nature – and reforests deforested land next to Pu Mu.
He talks extensively about the crucial relationship between the predator and prey that exists even at the insect level, and how taking out even one species – no matter how small – from the environment will disrupt the entire agricultural ecosystem.
"We have to learn to put nature first before our own consumption. That's the big education policy that I advocate," he says.
Lee's aptitude for nature began at a very young age thanks to his father who used to take his daughter and three sons with him to spend time outdoors.
Working as a supervisor and later an engineer for a telephone company, the half-Hawaiian and half-Chinese dad would take one child per outing on a borrowed boat to go fishing or crabbing.
"He stepped up to deep-sea fishing when I was very young, I couldn't handle the ocean back then but now I go out fishing all the time. So I am sort of reliving that experience," recalls Lee.
At one point during the interview, Lee admits that he probably inherited his steadfast personality from his father, whom he describes as "very staunch and old school."
That ingrained quality came in handy especially when he wanted to grow his own produce.
Having no idea about farming, he turned to a friend from the Amish community to find out how his people grow food and take care of livestock.
A few tips here and there took him to Japan to visit Masanobu Fukuoka, a sensei of natural farming. At this farm, Lee worked for three months observing, working and interacting with fellow farmers.
"We worked from 8am to 5pm every day, six days a week. We had Sundays off, and one hour for lunch. That gave me a strong foundation to his technique on how to grow organically. I went home and applied that method, modifying it where needed because of the different soil and climate – learning by trial and error.
"When I met him, he said: 'So, you like this lifestyle?' And I said yeah. He said, 'I only have one piece of advice for you,' and he was 88 years old at that time. He said, 'If you want to go down this path, don't give up. It may seem simple but it's not easy.'
"And I finally understand what he meant. Because every year when I start on the work, I want to give up; it's ridiculously hard. But every year I stick to it and I realise that it starts to build character. And I continue to explore and there is so much more to learn. So it's like a giant encyclopaedia that's unfolding."
While his farm keeps him busy all year long, Lee remains active in the entertainment industry – he recently had a stint in Hawaii Five-0 and from time to time does projects that make a difference (like working with National Geographic Channel and education programmes with the state department in Hawaii).
But when questioned whether he misses the pampered "movie star" life, he says, "No. I really don't. That's the scary thing."
He adds: "I have always done things that inspire me. Farming was frowned upon because I was at a certain status in society. Now, looking back, I'd say it has always been there.
"When I was growing up, we had a garden. My father would take us so far into the sea that I couldn't even see the island. We went camping, had barbeques at the beach. Those were the happiest times – when you didn't look at the clock, and enjoyed the company of your family. I thought if I could reinvent my life I would like it to be of that; that would be my greatest art."
Posted: 27 Oct 2011 06:41 PM PDT
Leading a self-sustainable lifestyle on his farm in Hawaii for the past 15 years ensures actor Jason Scott Lee is kept busy working the land all year long. But once in a while, – when a worthy project turns up, Lee still takes time to get back into showbiz. In 2007, he took viewers on a cultural experience on the Malaysian way of life in the first instalment of Malaysian Journey. In that one-hour National Geographic documentary, he went hunting with the people of Semelai in Pahang, lived with fishermen on the Langkawi archipelago and shared good times with the Rungus tribe in Sabah.
He followed that up with another documentary titled Living Pono With Jason Scott Lee, which showcased his farm in Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The most recent gig that captured his attention was hosting a second instalment of the documentary Malaysian Journey, this time titled Hutan. For this one-hour documentary – tentatively scheduled for airing in the first quarter of 2012 – Lee visited Malaysia's rainforest regions including Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Taman Negara National Park, Tasik Kenyir, Gunung Mulu National Park and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
When we met at Putrajaya in September, he had just completed a non-stop 15-day shoot to cover the abovementioned areas.
"I had no idea about the rainforests in Malaysia when I said yes," says Lee. "All I knew was Borneo because I have a friend in the film business from Malaysia (a dancer by the name of GTO), and I was like where is that? So I finally got introduced to his country."
The first time he landed the hosting gig, it happened by chance. He was in Singapore filming Dance Of The Dragon when a producer friend asked if he'd be interested in doing it.
"I hadn't been to Malaysia at that point and I was excited to see a place I've never seen before."
The first documentary was a big hit not only with Malaysians but also internationally. "They told me it did well and they wanted to do one more. So it started as a fluke of an opportunity, now I have to talk to the press about it," he explains with a smile.
Going out in a small crew, everything is kept on a flexible schedule with no script.
"I really try to reserve my reaction on camera so it can be a narrative on camera. I think that helps to bring the viewers into what I am feeling while it's happening. It's a good format for storytelling."
In this journey, Lee may not have learned anything that he can use on the farm except for the little trick of which tapioca leaf to eat from the Orang Batek. But he took note of the kind of tools the people he met in this trip use – learning about the wood they use to make boats and how the resources they use are connected to the culture of the people.
"When you maintain the forest, you maintain the culture. That's the philosophy we have where I come from ... take care of the land and the land will take care of you, not only your health and well-being, but also the culture." – Mumtaj Begum
Malaysian Journey: Hutan is scheduled to air early next year on the National Geographic Channel.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
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