LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Six months after his very public firing from TV's top-rated comedy, Charlie Sheen admitted that he was out of control and not really "winning" during the ensuing media frenzy, but losing.
In television appearances, the 47-year-old actor appeared calm, clearheaded and repentant about the events surrounding his March dismissal from the CBS comedy "Two and A Half Men."
"I couldn't really put out the fire, so I had to keep fueling it," Sheen said on Friday on NBC's "Today" show. He told host Matt Lauer that he regrets claiming he had "tiger blood" and "Adonis DNA," calling them jokes and metaphors that he never really believed.
Discussing his new outlook with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," Sheen claimed he's eager to "lead by example again" -- in sharp contrast to his erratic behavior earlier this year, which he described as being the "reluctant conductor" of a runaway train;
Sheen had been TV's highest-paid actor for his role as Charlie Harper, a womanizing bachelor on the sitcom "Two and a Half Men." He was fired after a public dispute with CBS and Warner Bros. television executives, during which he lashed out at show creator Chuck Lorre.
Afterward, he posted videos on the Web in which he bragged about his "winning" ways and the "tiger blood" in his veins.
"I would have fired my ass too," Sheen told Leno. "Well, maybe not like they did."
The actor's firing and subsequent public behavior followed a series of incidents in late 2009 and 2010 that landed him in legal trouble and in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.
It was when he was fired that Sheen "realized I was pretty much losing," he told Leno on Thursday, adding the humorous dig, "I thought I could come back -- kind of like you did."
Not only did Sheen say he bears no ill will toward everyone involved with "Two and A Half Men," but he'll be watching the show on Monday, when it premieres with Ashton Kutcher as his replacement -- Sheen's character having been killed off to make way for the change.
His character's demise notwithstanding, he said on "The Tonight Show" that he'd welcome the chance for a guest spot on the show. "I'd be completely on board for that."
The reconfigured "Two and a Half Men" airs the same night as Comedy Central's roast of Sheen, which will include appearances by Mike Tyson, William Shatner, guitarist Slash and Sheen's estranged wife, Brooke Mueller.
Despite the "very biting" humor during the roast, the actor told Leno that "it was a celebration for a life that has presented itself as being very roastable."
Reporting by Sheri Linden; Editing by Jill Serjeant