Angus T. Jones Left ‘Two And A Half’ Men As A ‘Paid Hypocrite’ & Now Looks 'Completely Different’

May 31, 2023 by apost team

At just 10 years old, Angus T. Jones rose to fame with his portrayal of the hilarious Jake Harper in the hit sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” one of the most-watched American sitcoms of all time. The show also starred Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. Although fans might remember Jones for his sweet, happy-go-lucky character in the series, the former child actor is now 29 years old and looks worlds away from his days on the small screen. 

According to The Independent, “Two and a Half Men” became an instant hit and, at its height, was watched by 15 million Americans. Jones would become the highest-earning child actor, raking in an annual income of $8 million.

Born in 1993, Jones started acting in small commercials at 4 years old before making his debut on the big screen at the young age of 5 in the crime film "Simpatico.” In 2001, the young actor would make his big break with a lead role in the comedy film, “See Spot Run,” which follows a mail carrier in his adventures after taking in a dog he mistook for a stray but was actually from the FBI and under witness protection. After that, he would star in several small roles in movies before finally being cast in “Two and a Half Men” in 2003.

However, the child actor is now all grown up and has actually stepped away from the spotlight, officially becoming a former actor. Although he won several awards and received nominations over the course of his career, Jones felt like a hypocrite during his time on “Two and a Half Men.”

Holland Taylor, Jon Cryer, Angus T.Jones, Charlie Sheen,Conchata Ferrell, Chuck Lorre (2009), (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

"Two and a Half Men" was a huge sensation when it began to air on CBS in September 2003. Fans grew to love the titular two adults and a boy who played the show's main characters — Sheen as Charlie Harper, a hedonistic bad boy, his uptight brother Alan Harper, played by Cryer, and the latter's mischievous son Jake Harper, played by Jones. The show delivered high ratings and garnered multiple award nominations and wins, including 46 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and nine wins, as well as two Golden Globe Award nominations. 

All three actors were thrust into the spotlight but especially Sheen, whose own bad-boy image was the loose inspiration for his onscreen character. By the show's eighth season, which finished airing in February 2011, Sheen earned a whopping $1.8 million per episode. 

But in the following years, Sheen's private problems became public, leading to a huge fall from grace. After struggling with substance abuse throughout his career, Sheen had failed attempts in rehab and ultimately was fired from "Two and a Half Men" in a highly publicized battle with the studio. The fallout from the incident led to the actor giving bizarre interviews as he continued to spiral downward. 

While at the time he was portraying an image that suggested he was "sticking it to the man," the actor came clean in 2021 about regretting how everything went down. Speaking with Yahoo! Entertainment, he said how people thought it was "so cool" and "fun to watch" him "stick it to the man," but Sheen recalled:

"My thought behind that is, 'Oh, yeah, great. I'm so glad that I traded early retirement for a f***ing hashtag.'"

He spoke of taking "absolute ownership" of his "desperately juvenile" behavior from that time and discussed how things could have been different had someone reached out and asked how they could help when he was clearly suffering from poor mental health.

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher, Angus T. Jones (2011), (Jim Spellman/Contributor/WireImage via Getty Images)

The fallout from Sheen's public downfall and departure greatly affected his career from that point on, but it also drastically affected the show's future too. But rather than fold after losing his golden goose, creator and producer Chuck Lorre decided to continue "Two and a Half Men" with a different star that was arguably even more bankable — Ashton Kutcher. The actor and brains behind the reality show "Punk'd" proved to be just what the series needed, as it breathed new life into it. Kutcher took on the role of Walden Schmidt, a billionaire who purchases the Malibu beach house that the show revolved around after Sheen's character was killed off in a train accident.

Lorre was able to maintain the new iteration of "Two and a Half Men" for four seasons without Sheen, however, the show's numbers dwindled as viewership numbers continued to fall. The show's final episode aired in February 2015 and even included Sheen's character in a meta-episode titled "Of Course He's Dead."

However, Sheen himself didn't appear in the finale, as his character was portrayed solely from behind, allowing a stand-in to play the part. The actor, who famously sparred with Lorre during his departure from the show, criticized the producer for going "low," being "immature" and "completely unevolved" in reference to the finale and its vanity card that appeared at the end of the episode which denigrated Sheen. 

Nevertheless, the show has remained a cultural touchstone of its time and is said to be the reason other Lorre-produced sitcoms such as "The Big Bang Theory," "Mike & Molly" and "Mom" were all made.   

Angus T. Jones (2002), (SGranitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

Despite only being "half" of the men on the show, Jones' contributions to the sitcom cannot be denied. The world literally got to witness him grow up in front of their eyes as he starred in the series from the age of 10 until he was a young adult. 

Jones was born in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 8, 1993, through a surrogate. He also has a younger brother. Destined for stardom, Jones began acting at the tender age of 5, with his first appearance in the 1999 movie "Simpatico." In the following few years, he landed minor roles in movies "The Rookie," "See Spot Run," "George of the Jungle 2," "Bringing Down the House" and "The Christmas Blessing." 

Then in 2003, Jones' life changed forever after he was cast on "Two and a Half Men," and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Speaking about his acting career starting at such a young age, Jones said it was actually his mother's idea, and he just went with it. 

"It was one of those things that was totally random," Jones said in a testimonial on Youtube in 2012. "It wasn't anything that I was like, 'I wanted to be an actor.' I was 4 1/2. I didn't know anything (I wanted).”

His effortless acting and laid-back demeanor made his character, Jake, aka the "half man," a favorite on the show. His onscreen dad, Cryer, would often praise the youngster for his down-to-earth demeanor, as he told E! Online he "hasn't seemed to let (fame) get to him" in 2012.   

Charlie Sheen, Angus T. Jones, Jon Cryer (2009), (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images for PCA)

Jones honed his craft as an actor during his time on the show, and as the series' popularity soared, so did his career — and paycheck. In 2010 at the age of 17, Jones became the highest-paid child star on TV after he signed a contract that landed him $7.8 million over the following two seasons, which amounted to $300,000 for each of the 26 episodes. 

As Jones' character Jake grew older in the series, the character developed into a trouble-making teenager who would call his uncle Charlie's house his "weekend beach house." The character also began to experiment with smoking marijuana and became sexually active, something that Jones ultimately wasn't comfortable with. According to Jones, Jake's development into adult behavior while he himself was still a teenager was something that he found to be "very awkward," he said in a Q&A at the time, as per Today.

"I mean, I am with these people on set that I have been with since I was 8 years old," he added. "And (I'm) doing the adult thing when I am still not an adult. I mean, I am 18, but I am not an adult."

Holland Taylor, who played his grandmother on the show, said that "unlike Jake, (Angus) is very smart."

After almost a decade in a starring role, Jones left “Two and a Half Men” as a regular in 2012 during the ninth season, in which his character finished high school and joined the military. He later returned as a recurring character in the show's final seasons, but he revealed he was unsatisfied with his reduced screen time. He lamented that his character only did "one-scene Skype calls" but said that he reveled in Miley Cyrus' guest appearance on the show "because they actually brought (his) character out of the computer and into the actual set again."  

Angus T. Jones (2011), (Kris Connor/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Also, in the early 2010s, Jones went on a soul-searching journey and joined the Seventh-day Adventist church, which saw him abandon the series for good as its themes conflicted with his religious beliefs. Jones went so far as to call the show "filth" and encourage his fans to stop watching "Two and a Half Men," however, he later apologized for the "misstatement or misunderstanding" and thanked Lorre and other executives for "one of the most significant experiences in my life to date." 

After a short stint with the Seventh-day Adventist church, Jones enrolled at the University of Colorado, finally able to enjoy life as an average young adult. "I wasn't the center of everyone's attention, and that was nice," he told ABC

In 2014, the child actor further elaborated on his controversial decision to leave "Two and a Half Men," admitting he wasn't happy with the direction the show had taken. 

"It was difficult for me to be on the show and be part of something that was making light of topics in our world where there are really problems for a lot of people," Jones told KHOU. "I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn't OK with it and I was still doing it."

Jones left the series after his contract ended but admitted that he should’ve approached the situation differently. He felt bad about how he criticized the show’s creator, Lorre.

“That’s his like baby and I just totally insulted his baby and to that degree I am apologetic but otherwise I don’t regret saying what I said,” Jones revealed.

Despite his harsh comments, Jones returned to the series for its series finale in 2015, which made him realize he wanted to get back into acting.

"Getting to be back on the set with everyone again kind of showed me how much I did like it and how much a part of me (liked) acting," he told People magazine.

Angus T. Jones (2012), (Amanda Edwards/WireImage via Getty Images)

In 2016, the young celebrity took a break from his degree and joined Justin Combs as president of Tonite, an events management company.

Today, Jones looks very different from his sweet, baby-faced character in “Two and a Half Men.” Now 29 years old, the actor occasionally posts photos of himself on his Instagram account, including one in which he could be seen donning long blonde locks and a beard. 

Some people were a fan of his more mature look. One person commented: “Angus! You look great there. The short beard is awesome. Hope all is cool & good on your end.”

However, others wished he was still that young boy they had watched on TV so many years prior. “No, show us your gorgeous, handsome face. We miss you on TV. Make movies. 🙏🙏🙏,” one person said.

Jones’ Instagram has become more artistic in recent years. However, according to his IMDb, his acting credits haven’t gone up by much. In fact, his last role was in 2016 in the miniseries “Horace and Pete.”

According to Fox News, Jones was seen in late May 2023 — the first time he was publicly noticed in about a year’s time. He donned a fuller beard and appeared to be a huskier size. Page Six uploaded the photos to Instagram, where they said the former star “looked completely different” and “had a sullen demeanor.”

However, Jones’ fans stood up for him. “I would absolutely recognize his sweet face!! He's been through a lot. Leave him alone. Hope to see him acting again,” one person said.

It seems like the former actor is enjoying his personal time away from the spotlight, but fans are still hopeful he’ll return to Hollywood one day.

Are you excited to see Agnus T. Jones move forward in his personal life? What kind of role would you like to see him portray if he returned to acting? Let us know, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!

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