Although casting Charlie Sheen saved Machete Kills director Robert Rodriguez untold hours he might have wasted on establishing his President as totally crazy, it turns out there’s another bit of quick-hit characterization that could take precedence over the Charlie Sheen brand. As reported by TMZ, Sheen is credited in the trailer as “Carlos Estevez”—the first time the actor has appeared on screen under his actual birth name, and the first time that anyone has referred to Charlie Sheen dropping his pseudonym for a movie in which a large Mexican guy stabs people as an effort to “bolster Latino heritage,” as the L.A. Times suggests.
Of course, there are other, possibly less lofty explanations, the LAT reminds, like Sheen “attempting to distance himself from his well-earned bad boy persona,” despite having an entire successful career and its attendant merchandising based on exactly that. But both of these rationales presuppose that it’s just a cheap, self-serving, pandering ploy for attention for a movie in which Charlie Sheen plays the President, Mel Gibson and Lady Gaga are both there, and Sofia Vergara has guns for boobs. And frankly, what reasons have we to expect such gimmickry from Robert Rodriguez or Charlie Sheen? Most likely Charlie Sheen is reclaiming his heritage, at a time when Spain could most use a source of pride. De nada, Spain.