Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen says he 'couldn't really put out the fire'

Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM ET

Peter Kramer / NBC /

Charlie Sheen is talking again, but he appears to have calmed down a bit since the days of "winning!" and tiger blood and goddesses and so on.

In a new interview with Matt Lauer airing this Friday on TODAY, the actor candidly talks about the experiences of his past year, saying, "I couldn’t really put out the fire." He also discusses his family, his sobriety, where his career is headed and his upcoming Comedy Central roast.

"I got the sense the last time we spoke, and that I was watching you on these other interviews, that you were a bit manic, and I don’t mean that as a diagnosis," Lauer says to Sheen. "I mean that more as an adjective. A manic period, you were running in a hundred different directions, physically and emotionally. So how would you describe your emotional state now?"

"It’s a lot calmer," Sheen says. "It’s a lot mellower. Yeah, um that was a time when what happened ... I don’t really know what happened. It was one of those things where the planets were aligned, perfectly or imperfectly. I said some stuff and then it caught such traction globally and instantly that I couldn’t really put out the fire. I had to keep fueling it."

Lauer asks whether the former "Two and a Half Men" star could grasp at the time what it was like to be in the center of the media storm he was fueling.

"It was like being shot out of a cannon into another cannon and then being just shot out of that one," Sheen says. "It was like from one moment to the next I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was pretty exciting ... looking back on it, I don’t think I would trade it, but there are portions of it I would have amended a little bit."

Lauer goes on to ask Sheen about his sobriety and when was the "last time you had a drink or something more?"

"I don’t really keep track of the time," Sheen says. "It’s been awhile, because I feel like, without getting into my feelings about AA and all that stuff, if you’re walking around hanging on to your time, it’s only a matter of time before it goes, you know?

As for the biggest change in his daily life, Sheen reflects on his family.

"I’m seeing my kids a lot more, mending fences with [ex-wives] Denise and Brooke, just trying to move forward and prioritize what matters. You know, just really get back in touch with some more reality. It’s what I call the moments inside the moments.

"I think that’s where the life is, you know, it’s in those quiet moments. It’s not the giant TV deal or the big party or the award or whatever, it’s the memory of your child’s smile at the end of the day that sort of brings that one lonesome tear, you know that tear, right Matt?

Tune into TODAY Friday for the full interview.

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