Andrea James

Two and a Half Men

Just for kicks, I had a walk-on role in season 2 of Two and a Half Men in 2004. I saw a casting call for an extremely tall woman. I beat out a roomful of extremely tall women and was hand-picked by co-creator Chuck Lorre. The gag involved an extremely tall guy sitting in front of Rose (Melanie Lynskey) and Alan (Jon Cryer) at a movie theater, blocking their view. Rose makes a fart sound, and the guy moves. They continue the scene, and as the gag at the end, I start to sit in the same seat, and she does the same thing. I don’t even get my butt in the seat before I pop up and cross.

The hair stylist had to do my hair twice in this massive updo that took hours. With heels, I was probably 7 feet tall. My male counterpart and I had all day to wait for our little scene, and when we were walking around the Warner Bros. lot in our getup, we made quite a pair.

I have to say, it was astonishing to watch Charlie Sheen rehearse from up in the bleachers. He showed up off book and nailed it every time. Despite the personal challenges he was working through, his talent was on full display. Another interesting tidbit: our scene was supposed to be done before a live audience, but the whole shoot schedule got thrown off because of an unexpected absence.

I did the gig because it was not a transgender role. I was not interested in playing a trans person on camera at that time, because most of the comedy was at the expense of the character.

Everybody was very nice, and I had lunch with one of the writers one day, and had very brief chats with co-creator Lee Aronsohn and director Pamela Fryman. My job was to stay quiet and stand by, so most of my interaction was with Robert Hallowell, a sweet and funny guy who was Geena Davis’ personal stylist for years. He died at age 55, and had not told anyone he was sick. Via Local 706:

Robert had an extensive resume of features from The Mummy, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, George of the Jungle, Cutthroat Island, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Stuart Little 2, Blast From the Past and many others. He also styled numerous television series and movies of the week: ER (pilot), The Geena Davis Show, Commander in Chief, Two and a Half Men, Ellen, Equal Justice, Sledge Hammer!, Weeds and The X Factor. Robert was the personal stylist for Geena Davis, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lucy Liu, Brendan Fraser and Faye Dunaway. Known as “The Kitchen Beautician,” Robert developed an organic hair care line known as “Prawduct,” and he gave his time to Local 706 members generously sharing his knowledge and skills. He was nominated for a Hollywood Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Award in 2001.

He gave me a bunch of free samples of his hair products and let me walk out with all that stuff in my hair. Such generosity of spirit.

It’s S02E10: The Salmon Under my Sweater if you’re interested. Blink and you’ll miss me!