What the Hell Happened to Emilio Estevez?
Emilio Estevez comes from Hollywood royalty. His dad is actor Martin Sheen. His brother is Charlie Sheen. As a child, his best friends were the Penns (Sean and Chris) and the Lowes (Rob and Chad). Estevez grew up immersed in show biz. In the early 80’s Estevez became the de facto leader of the actors of his generation. Collectively, they were known as the Brat Pack and for a short time, they reigned supreme. As the decade ended, there was a backlash against the Pack. Among his colleagues, Estevez held up better than others. But these days, Estevez is rarely heard from.
What the hell happened?
Estevez is one of Martin Sheen’s children. Charlie Sheen (born Carlos Estevez) and Renée Estevez are his siblings. Estevez was born in New York, but when his dad’s movie career took off, the family moved out West.
Estevez grew up in Malibu where he attended Santa Monica High School. His classmates included Robert Downey Jr. (pictured far left), his brother (pictured second from the right), Rob Lowe (pictured far right), Chad Lowe, Sean Penn and Chris Penn.
When Estevez was 11, his father bought a portable movie camera. Estevez used the camera to make short films with his future actor friends.
When Estevez was 14, his father took his family to the Philippines to film Apocalypse Now. Estevez was miserable. He wanted to return to school in California and his dad was drinking heavily. According to Estevez, there was very little parental supervision:
My father and mother, neither of them cared if Larry Fishburne and I jumped in a jitney and went to Manila for the weekend. President Marcos was in power, martial law was in effect, and you were shot on sight if you were seen on the street after 1am. What were they thinking?
Eventually, things became heated between Estevez and his father. The two had a fistfight which was broken up by Marlon Brando. According to Sheen:
“I was trying not to hurt Emilio and trying to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. Thank God Marlon arrived when he did.”
Estevez talked about his combative relationship with his father:
I hated him when he got drunk, because he’d get violent. Some of it he may remember, some of it he may not. But, yeah, it was horrible. And because I was the oldest, it was always directed at me. But I think the Philippines was the last physical fight we had. The older I got, I started lifting weights and getting stronger, soI was like, ‘Come on, let’s go…’
When they returned to California, Estevez co-wrote and starred in a high school play. The play was titled Echoes of an Era and it was about Vietnam veterans. Estevez invited his parents to attend the production and his father was astonished by what he saw. Sheen recollects:
I had no idea that he was interested. I was so interested in myself I didn’t really focus on what my kids’ needs were, or what their aspirations were. And when he invited us to come see this play, I was astonished. He had this very emotional scene, and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. And I began to realise: my God, he’s one of us. He had that same deep and personal thing. I thought, ah, he’s cursed.
After graduating high school, Estevez refused to attend college. He wanted to start his acting career right away. His first role was in a drama on Insight, a syndicated TV program produced by the Catholic Paulist order. After that, he made his stage debut with his dad in Mister Roberts at Burt Reynolds’ theater in Jupiter, Fla. According to Estevez,”That was the only job Dad ever placed me in.”
In 1982, Estevez starred opposite his father in the TV movie, In the Custody of Strangers.
Estevez played a teen who rebels against his father and gets in trouble when he rear-ends a cop while drunk driving. Sheen and Jane Alexander played his parents. Sheen’s character decides to teach his son a lesson in the form of a little tough love by letting him spend the night in prison. Unfortunately, the events of the evening land Estevez in deeper trouble.
This time, Estevez suggested his dad for the role instead of the other way around. “I just told Dad it would be fun to work together, and one of us might be dead next week, so why waste the chance?”
The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television but lost to Brideshead Revisited.
Later that year, Estevez appeared opposite Matt Dillon in the big screen adaptation of S. E. Hinton’s novel, Tex.
Dillon and Jim Metzler played brothers who struggle after the death of their mother. Estevez and Meg Tilly played rich neighbor kids who are forbidden by their father from associating with Dillon.
Reviews were mostly positive, but the film grossed just a little over seven million dollars.
Posted on November 22, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor, WTHH Director and tagged brat pack, Charlie Sheen, emilio estevez, Martin Sheen, mighty ducks, Repo Man, St. Elmo's Fire, Stakeout, The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, young guns. Bookmark the permalink. 89 Comments.