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Why You Rarely Hear From Jon Cryer Anymore

Even though Jon Cryer is not a massive star, he is certainly a Hollywood veteran with a few standout roles under his belt. After his noteworthy appearances in the popular TV shows "Two and a Half Men" and "Supergirl" along with the film that sparked his career, "Pretty in Pink," the talented actor has been the subject of a respectable amount of media coverage over the decades.

Yet with all that said, Cryer has not been the focus of major broadcast stories recently for good reason. Aside from playing the DC villain Lex Luthor on TV, he has, for the most part, followed several other pursuits outside of acting — most of which must be a pleasure for him as they involve personal passions, collaborations with loved ones, and giving back to those facing adversity. So Cryer's relative silence in the news these days has little to nothing to do with struggles or anything of that sort and is more about him taking a short break from that aspect of his celebrity life. Listed below are the activities of a man who has proven himself to excel in his profession and is now eager to try new things.

Jon Cryer transitioned to television

Jon Cryer's long career in the entertainment industry began in the 1980s when he was still a teenager. While his first film may have seen him take the lead role in the romantic comedy "No Small Affair" alongside Demi Moore in 1984, the role that made him famous was in the John Hughes classic "Pretty in Pink." In the 1986 Brat Pack romance, Cryer's character is Duckie, a quirky nerd who is trying to win the heart of his best friend, Andie, played by massive '80s star Molly Ringwald.

Yet in the decades following his movie debut, Cryer gradually appeared in fewer and fewer films, with "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" and "Hot Shots!" being some of the few big projects he was involved in. On the other hand, the actor's work in showbiz was far from over, as he simply just landed roles in TV productions instead. In the 1990s, however, when Cryer worked on shows like "Partners" and "Getting Personal," TV stars garnered far less fame than their film counterparts (unless you were on "Friends"), so the actor never reached the level of popularity that he might have if he managed to remain on the big screen.

Two and a Half Men ended

Jon Cryer burst onto the scene with large film roles early in his career, but he is now known best for playing Alan in the hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men." The long-running comedy series was on air for an impressive 12 seasons before it ended in 2015, and the part led to his two greatest accolades: Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2009 and another as Lead Actor in 2012.

But even years before the show's finale, there were major controversies that dragged the production down, the most notorious of which was the chaotic departure of Cryer's co-star, Charlie Sheen, in 2011. Executives at Warner Bros. Television fired the actor, who was currently awash in scandal, for too many missed rehearsals, forgetting lines, and for simply making the set a toxic work environment, as reported by Reuters. The negative press surrounding the series then continued with the less well-known, yet still quite damaging remarks of actor Angus Jones, who called it "filth" and begged viewers to stop tuning in (via YouTube).

The show lived on for a few more seasons after the exits of the two main actors, and Ashton Kutcher was brought on to replace Sheen. However, after a brief ratings boost, the Cryer and Kutcher combo was unable to bring the sitcom back to its former glory, as the ratings dropped significantly in the last few seasons, per Business Insider.

Lex Luthor has been recast for Superman & Lois

In the years following the conclusion to the "Two and a Half Men" series, Jon Cryer secured an iconic role as the infamous villain Lex Luthor in "Supergirl." Earlier in his career, the actor gained somewhat related experience as the nephew of the criminal mastermind, Lenny, in "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," but he then played a more prominent part as Lex in the CW series.

Cryer was not only featured in 20 episodes during the last few seasons of the superheroine's show, for the actor also made an appearance as the old antagonist in several others of the DC Arrowverse, including, "Arrow," "Batwoman," "The Flash," and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," as per ComingSoon. Yet the most recent of Cryer's biggest TV parts has also come to an end following the conclusion of "Supergirl" in 2021.

There was a chance that Cryer could continue to play Lex in the future episodes of "Superman & Lois"; however, that possibility became slim once it was revealed that the series would not take place in the same universe. The actor then completely squashed the rumor when he posted on Twitter, "For the record, the folks at DC were very cool and gave me a heads up that the show was going a different way with [the] character before they started looking. Most of the time, actors learn about this stuff when it comes out in the trades. I'm grateful they were classy about it."

He lost his role in Planes

In 2011, Jon Cryer stepped up to become the lead star of "Two and a Half Men," and in that same year, he also accepted the lead role in the animated film "Planes." At the time, the actor seemed ecstatic about the news, as he told ET, "To be a part of a Disney movie is a blast because every person has that connection with Disney movies that they had as a kid. ... To be a part of that is pretty amazing." He also added, "Being a part of a Disney movie is something I have always wanted to do. ... When this opportunity presented itself, I just jumped on board."

Then, only a few months before the scheduled release of the movie in summer 2013, the studio mysteriously posted a trailer, but then quickly removed it before announcing that Dane Cook had replaced Cryer. No explanation for the switch was given, however, director Klay Hall emphasized in a press release that the comedian would give the main character, Dusty, both a quick wit and an edge (via Cinemablend). According to Rotten Tomatoes, the feature-length cartoon failed to impress both critics and audiences, so his exit from the project may have been good for his career overall. But the film did get a sequel, which Cook returned for, and starring in a Disney film still certainly would have increased Cryer's publicity, whether in a positive or negative sense.

His new NBC series is not out yet

Probably the most substantial reason that Jon Cryer has not appeared much in entertainment news is simply because his new comedy show on NBC has not come out yet. In fact, the series has not even begun filming, nor has it been given a name, so viewers will have to wait until its premiere later in 2023, as reported by Deadline. The upcoming part in the sitcom will be the actor's next major role since his last performance as Lex Luthor in the last season of "Supergirl."

Cryer, an executive producer on the series, will star alongside Donald Faison and Abigail Spencer. The family comedy will be about the complicated nature of life with kids after a divorce and the drama that can arise even as the former couple gets along. It's far too early to speculate about how the show will perform or whether it will have legs on the network, but if it's a hit, Cryer will be back in the spotlight for another sitcom success.

He missed out on a few massive roles over the years

Jon Cryer had a little bit of a lull at the beginning of his career without appearing in many major films or shows. There were several major roles early on that Cryer auditioned for but didn't get. Cryer auditioned for the lead role in "Back to the Future" but was rejected in favor of Michael J. Fox — Ben Stiller and Billy Zane were rejected as well (per Yahoo Entertainment). He was also asked to audition for the role of Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs," but the actor declined because he did not fully understand the script. He later realized his mistake and said with sorrow, on "The Howard Stern Show," "I just had to beg off and not audition for what ended up being a brilliant movie."

He also auditioned for the part of Chandler in "Friends," but he's since said that he loves Matthew Perry's performance on the show. Cryer told Howard Stern he would have been "decent" as Chandler, but not "at the level of Matthew Perry." He continued, saying, "When you audition for something and don't get it, it's only when you see somebody do it not well that you get mad. I don't get mad. When I see an actor hit it out of the park, it's like, 'Well, of course, no wonder they gave it to that guy.'"

He was part of the WGA strike

During the Writers Guild of America strike in 2007 when all of Hollywood was effectively shut down, "Two and a Half Men" was one of the numerous productions put on hold. But Jon Cryer did not simply take a break from work during this period and instead showed solidarity with his fellow creatives by participating in the massive labor action.

While Cryer was picketing, he was interviewed by A Socialite's Life, but was also humble about his contribution to the cause and joked that his great sacrifice was declining to appear on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Then, more seriously, he went on to say, "It's sad that this has been really hard for a lot of people. Most of the crew on our show are really gonna miss the money, and with Christmas coming up, this is just hellish. But I really feel like their anger, which is absolutely justified, should be directed at the studios. They've been intransigent and ridiculous in the negotiations."

He wrote a memoir

Just as Jon Cryer's time as Alan Harper was coming to a close with the end of "Two and a Half Men," the actor completed his memoir, "So That Happened." Released in 2015, the book tells the story of working in Hollywood from his perspective, along with the important relationships he has formed with other stars in the industry, such as Charlie Sheen, Demi Moore, John Hughes, Molly Ringwald, and Judd Nelson.

As Cryer explained on "Good Morning America," it was his manager and agent that approached him with the idea to tell his tale, which the actor reluctantly agreed to only after the duo secured a book deal for him. Of particular note in the book is his discussion of Sheen's on-set and personal problems, which led to the actor's being fired from "Two and a Half Men." Cryer said that he'd reached out to Sheen about writing the book and that his old co-star was supportive of him.

He hosted episodes of the Undisclosed podcast

Outside of his career in the entertainment industry, Jon Cryer has a deep fascination with true crime podcasts. He also follows controversial court cases, especially the investigation and trial of Adnan Syed that was thoroughly covered in the popular "Serial" podcast. By 2016, the actor had already taken this hobby to Twitter, where he discussed theories with other podcast hosts and those deeply interested in the subject.

Eventually, Cryer's social media interactions led to his being asked by Susan Simpson of "Undisclosed" to host "Addendum" segments for the second season of the podcast, which he enthusiastically accepted. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said, "I'm just a fan! I think they really do a remarkable job — even though they're clearly advocates for Adnan, they took great pains to be fair with the information." The actor then added, "I'm not a lawyer, I just have an avid interest in this stuff, and the 'Undisclosed' team was hoping that I would host a fan interaction show like 'The Talking Dead' is for 'The Walking Dead.'" After so many years on "Two and a Half Men," the side project was just another opportunity in his break from another major on-screen role.

He has become more involved in politics

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Jon Cryer became vocal about his opposition to Donald Trump. In an episode of "The Real," Cryer said, "I worked with a guy who also, whenever he said whatever came to the top of his head, people loved it," referring to his embattled former co-star Charlie Sheen. "And people loved it even more when he said horrible things." He connected this "foolishness" to Trump's candor. "I don't want people to pick the president based on entertainment value," he said.

After four years of Trump's presidency, the actor's outspokenness only increased and led to a Twitter feud with Representative Matt Gaetz in 2020 for his staunch support of the GOP leader. A month later, Cryer was so disgusted with the actions of the president that he posted the Tweet, "I'm a registered independent voter. I've voted for and supported both Republicans and Democrats in the past. But the GOP's conversion to the cult of Trump has made it clear... I will never vote for another Republican ever again. Period."

He produced a play series with his mother in 2022

For a few years leading up to its premiere in May 2022, Jon Cryer collaborated with his mother, Gretchen, to create a new play series called "True Stories." The stage production was a collection of individual stories by solo performers about problems with men, parent issues, and coming of age. Cryer's one-man show in the series, "The Actor's Nightmare," which he wrote and was supposed to perform, had to be canceled. The actor was "unexpectedly called back to L.A."

When talking with Spectrum News NY1, the actor described pulling pieces from his memoir to craft his show. He said, "It's mostly about my relationship to starting in the theater, and it's ironically a love letter to the theater, even though it's got 'nightmare' in the title. Because once COVID hit and we were sort of robbed of any life in the theater, you realized what was missing. So I had written a book years ago that had a lot of stories about my life in the theater, and we realized there was actually sort of a cohesive narrative to it."

He narrated a Vice docuseries

Jon Cryer may not have made any on-screen appearances in 2022, but that also did not mean he was absent from all TV productions. Instead, the actor was featured as the narrator for the Vice docuseries, "Devoured," which combines interesting details about food with a major fascination of the actor: Cryer told Deadline, "Just when I thought there couldn't be a genuinely new twist on true crime, I got 'Devoured.' ... While I can only aspire to the greatness of, say, Bill Kurtis or Keith Morrison, it's an honor to lend my voice to this."

Morgan Hertzan, an executive at Vice, seemed just as pleased to have the actor involved, saying, "Having as immense a talent as Jon Cryer narrate ['Devoured'] is really exciting for us." The six-part series covers all sorts of disturbing criminal activity, from an ice cream company attempting to cover up a listeria outbreak in 2015 to the more historically rooted tales about the mafia.

He focused on helping to curb homelessness

On top of Jon Cryer's side projects over the last few years, the actor has also dedicated his time and resources to the altruistic goal of supplying tiny homes for individuals who are struggling with homelessness in the Los Angeles area. When interviewed by ET, he explained, "This is a way to give them a real home. A real place with privacy and a place where they can feel like a human being again for an amount of money that isn't going to isn't going to crush people."

Tiny houses are a trend to help house homeless people (via New Times San Luis Obispo), providing them with small amenities such as showers, laundry units, and electrical outlets. Sixty-nine thousand people face homelessness in Los Angeles County, and Mayor Karen Bass declared the ongoing, decades-long crisis a state of emergency in January 2023 (via the Los Angeles Times). Homelessness has been and continues to be a major problem in California, particularly as extreme weather intensifies (via the Los Angeles Times). Cryer joins a roster of celebrities helping the homeless, including "Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott, Nick Cannon, and Brittany Bell (via People).