Heart to heart with ‘Two and a Half Men’ outsider Jennifer Taylor
In her most expansive interview, Charlie Sheen’s TV fiancé on #MeToo, bad auditions, intuition, awkwardness, health, and God
“Two and a Half Men was one of the best things that ever happened to me.” Jennifer Taylor refuses to knock the bawdy, perpetually clever 30-minute sitcom that launched her into the living rooms of 15 million viewers over two seasons. As no-nonsense brunette bombshell Chelsea Melini, she loved freelance jingle writer and constant philanderer Charlie Harper “for who he was despite some of his crap.”
Before joining Two and a Half Men’s sixth season in 2008, the sole female player on her 10th grade football team had spent eight financially uncertain years slogging through occasional guest turns in movies and TV series. Compounded by a poor economy and writers’ and actors’ strikes, Taylor was on the precipice of selling her modest Los Angeles home and moving back to Miami to pursue a teaching career with her electrician husband, son, and incoming bundle of joy.
Taylor was as low as any person could go, face down on the floor begging to God. When nobody expressed interest in buying their home, Taylor took that as God’s divine intervention to hang tight and accepted online courses from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, to complete the 10 credits required for her Bachelor’s in Sociology degree. Welcoming daughter Samantha, within seven days Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre asked the future God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness leading lady to audition for the role of Chelsea [she had previously portrayed three different characters going all the way back to the pilot].
In the months leading up to the interview I found myself replaying all 178 episodes of Charlie Sheen’s eight seasons on CBS’s moneymaking juggernaut before he was controversially axed for self-destructive behavior and creative differences with Lorre vented to the media. Googling cast bios, Taylor came of age in nearby Florida, modeled until appearing in Adam Sandler’s blockbuster comedy The Waterboy, and was a Christian in a sitcom deemed “filth” by costar Angus T. Jones and the Parents Television Council. Such a dichotomy intrigued me. A Buttoned Up profile, one of…