WASHINGTON -- This is Charlie Sheen like we've never seen him before.
First, the actor has a sunnier opinion these days of George W. Bush, whose administration he once accused of lying about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. After meeting the former president Monday at the dedication of a new USO center outside the District of Columbia, he called Mr. Bush an "absolute gentleman."
"He did the best he could with what he was confronted with, and it is beyond anything I can comprehend," Mr. Sheen told the Washington Post's JulieAnn McKellogg of his new bestie.
The ex-president seemed to have won Mr. Sheen over with a joke he made during a speech Monday at the private ceremony at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
" 'Well, obviously it's not too often that me and Charlie Sheen hang out,' " the "Anger Management" star said Mr. Bush remarked.
Mr. Sheen, who is perhaps best-known for profanity-laced tirades, was quite complimentary of his new friend. "He had better comedic timing in his speech than I've had on TV over the last 14 years," Mr. Sheen raved.
Mr. Sheen is showing off his philanthropic side, donating $1 million to the building of the new 16,000-square-foot Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Md. There were none of his typical antics when he met with injured soldiers to inspect an arts and music rehabilitation room dedicated to him.
Is Mr. Sheen being humble? "I don't even know enough fancy words to describe it," he said. "I just have to have this experience marinate through my soul."
Mr. Sheen also says the public should expect an "epic and life changing" announcement from him in the next month. He would only say that it has to do with music.
Perhaps the experience has changed him ... for now.
"Anybody on my team that hears me complaining about anything now has permission to hit me across the mouth with a polo mallet."