What About Emilio?

Jason Raymond
With his brother, Charlie (Carlos Irwin Estevez), receiving more press than the 5th largest earthquake on record, I can’t help but wonder: what’s up with Emilio Estevez? Why did two careers which started on such similar paths end up so disparate? And, more poignantly, are we focusing on the wrong Sheen (Estevez)? The answer to the last question is two-fold: of course and why not. America likes turbulence, pyrotechnics.

The brothers both essentially started as extras in the classic Francis Ford Copula film, Apocalypse Now, which starred their father, Martin Sheen. Three years older, Emilio found fame a bit sooner than Charlie with The Brat Pack in two quintessential 80’s films: The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. Before that he played “Two-Bit” in The Outsiders beside big-time Los Angeles luminaries Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, and the late Patrick Swayze.

Charlie didn’t garner much attention until Ferris Bueller’s sister got hot for him in the police station scene. He played a drugged out teen. Portentous? Was Abe Lincoln honest? Sheen gained critical acclaim and commercial recognition later that year as one of the leads in Oliver Stone’s gripping Vietnam drama, Platoon. His next big success came the year after with Wallstreet, alongside a delightfully greedy Gordon Gekko (Micheal Douglas).

The brothers entered the 90’s at roughly the same level of fame and popularity. Emilio was fresh off a successful role as Billy the Kid in Young Guns, and Charlie had fared well as a wild pitcher in Major League. Their personal lives, however, began to diverge.
In 1990, the two joined forces in the hapless film, Men at Work. That year, Charlie accidentally shot Kelley Preston in the arm. They were engaged at the time. Not surprisingly they never married. Emilio already had two children with model Carey Salley, whom he never shot, accidentally or otherwise.

Sheen began dating adult film actresses. Estevez was briefly engaged to Demi Moore; the two remain friends. Sheen was implicated in the Heidi Fleiss scandal, while Estevez married ostensible good-girl, Paula Abdul (they divorced two years later). Emilio made a kids’ film: The Mighty Ducks; Charlie made a spoof: Hot Shots!

The rest of the decade saw the brothers’ fame dwindle with banal sequels: D2: The Mighty Ducks for Emilio, and Hot Shots! Part Deux for Charlie. But while Emilio tended to his garden and vineyard, Charlie was hospitalized for cocaine use and ended up in rehab.

Since 2000, Charlie has no doubt become the more popular brother. His short stint on the TV series, Spin City, and of course, his massive success with Two and a Half Men, has made him the Lebron James of television—a pseudo-villain everyone wants to watch. Meanwhile, Emilio quietly wrote, directed, and starred in one of the best films of 2006, Bobby, a fictionalized account of the events leading to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. The movie’s incredible cast included Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, and Elijah Wood.

I will spare you the run-through of recent controversies and outrageous quotes coming from Charlie. Tune in to E! for the latest. I will mention Charlie has been accused of violence by two of his former wives, pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault. Emilio seems clean as a whistle.

So why do I get 506,000,000 hits when I Google Charlie Sheen, but when I do the same for Emilio Estevez I get 406,000? Well…one would obviously rather have Emilio watch the kids, but it depends on one’s disposition with which brother you’d rather have a drink and shoot the breeze. My choice? If it’s wine, I’ll take Emilio, but if you’re talking scotch and a cigar…it’s Carlos every time.