Previously Known For: Two and a Half Men, The Rookie and George of the Jungle 2
|Currently Known For: Extreme Christian Beliefs and Sudden Departure from Two and a Half Men|
“I’m on Two and a Half Men and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth.” Once among the highest paid actors in television under 18 years old, Angus T. Jones had a lot going for him in the new millennium when he landed a starring role alongside Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer on Two and a Half Men. Earning $300,00 per episode from 2010 to 2013, the Texas native was an audience favorite throughout his 10-season run on the series before his extreme Christian beliefs led him to cut all ties from what he called a “filthy show” to focus more on his faith and life outside of Hollywood. Officially stepping away from the show in 2014 after calling himself a “paid hypocrite,” Jones made a cameo in the 2015 series finale and has since seemed to mellow out, even suggesting that he hasn’t ruled out acting entirely!
The eldest of two sons born and raised in The Lone Star State, Angus Turner Jones was born on October 8, 1993 in Austin, Texas. He made his acting debut as the Five-Year-Old in Simpatico in 1999 and snagged minor roles in films like See Spot Run, The Rookie, Bringing Down the House and George of the Jungle 2 as well as in television series like ER. Then, in 2003, the 10-year-old caught a huge break when he was cast as the “half man,” Jake Harper, in Two and a Hal Men opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. The show was an instant hit with audiences as Sheen played a womanizing bachelor opposite Cryer’s straight-laced performance as a divorced father to Jake, an adorable boy with a doe-eyed stare and a knack for dry wit.
As Two and a Half Men brought in over 15 million viewers week after week, Jones saw his popularity and his paycheck soar when producers and network executives rewarded his hard work in 2010 with a paycheck of $300,000 per episode after taking home two Young Artist Awards as well as a TV Land Award. Becoming one of the wealthiest television stars under 18 years old and bringing home nearly $4 million in one year, Jones didn’t think twice about signing on for two more seasons but quickly realized that his personal views weren’t exactly in line with where the show was going as his on-screen character was written into more advanced storylines involving sex and drugs.
On the heels of Charlie Sheen’s highly publicized meltdown in 2011 and his eventual departure from the show, Jones had another blow for the show’s creator, Churck Lorre, when he shared his newly born-again Christian views and his disdain for the series. “I’m on Two and a Half Men and I don’t want to be,” Jones said. “A lot of people don’t like to think about how deceptive the enemy is. There’s no playing around when it comes to eternity… People will see us and be like ‘I can be a Christian and be on a show like Two and a Half Men.’ You can’t. You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t.” Although Jones’ words shocked his costars, Lorre was numbed to the outbursts (thanks to Sheen) and responded kindly to the then 19-year-old actor. “He’s part of the show,” Lorre said. “He’s part of our family; we love him. I really can’t disagree with him—the show’s kind of filthy. What he said wasn’t wrong. It might have been indiscrete, but we aspire to create funny filth, so what are you going to do?”
With Jones not renewing his contract, Jake Harper was creatively written out of a main role by joining the United States Army after his high school graduation as Jones later released a statement of his own saying, “I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that.” For Jones, the apology marked the end of his primetime career and allowed him more time to devote to his new faith as a Seventh-Day Adventist and a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During this time, he granted a handful of interviews where he shared insight into his actions saying, “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. I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn’t OK with it and I was still doing it.”
College proved to be a great choice for Jones as he settled into college life and enjoyed a newly discovered confidence as a student on campus. “Going to college was something I was really, really excited about,” he said. “I was allowed to live a normal existence. I wasn’t the center of everyone’s attention and that was nice.” Spending only a year in Colorado, Jones eventually returned to Los Angeles where he kept his promise to appear on the series finale of Two and a Half Men in 2015. Following that, he took a management role with Justin Combs—the son of Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs—at his multimedia and event production company known as Tonite. Thrilled with the new opportunity, Jones told reporters, “I got pretty doomsday with my thinking for a long time, but now I’m having fun and enjoying where I’m at. I no longer feel like every step I take is on a land mine.”
Obviously mellowing out over the years, Jones has spent the last three years working with a variety of religious organizations but recently announced that he was stepping away from traditional organizations to being a new journey. “I’m interested in seeing where I go without an organization putting a stamp of approval on if I’m good or bad or whatever,” Jones said. Fortunately for fans, Jones has hinted that his future might include a return to the spotlight, which is something he would’ve never imagined for himself a few years ago. “The door is definitely still open for me to act, but I’m taking things slowly,” he says. “I’m kind of liking the ability to travel and to move around at a moment’s notice and not have to be in one spot for years at a time.”