Simon Rex was, admittedly, in need of some serious cash when multiple tabloids in the United Kingdom wanted him to say that he had slept with Meghan Markle, a co-star on a March 2005 episode of the UPN sitcom Cuts. No, it never happened — although they went to lunch once, as friends — but the tabs were willing to give him $70,000 to say that it did.
“I was broke as f***! I really needed the money,” Rex told The Guardian in an interview published Friday. "But I'll be on food stamps before I do that."
Rex said that Markle thanked him in a letter, which he framed and keeps at his home in Joshua Tree in Southern California.
"She said: 'It's nice to know there are still good people," Rex said.
While promoting the U.K. release of his critically lauded movie Red Rocket, the actor, rapper and former MTV VJ dished on his decades-long career in the entertainment industry, which has included several movies in the Scary Movie franchise and similar fare. He said he always thought he could do more, something like the dramedy that's earned him accolades galore and calls for high-profile new projects, but not everyone agreed.
When he auditioned for director Gus Van Sant for the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, for example, it didn't go so well.
"I go in and sit down with him and Matt Damon," Rex said. "We're doing a reading and then Gus stops me in the middle and says: 'Simon, this is really bad, you're not ready.' Matt Damon is laughing and I'm embarrassed. Gus says: 'But don't worry, you have something. Trust me. Go to acting school.'"
"That was a weird one, man. That was a f***ing circus," Rex said. "[Sheen] was up on stage every night talking s***. Then a pro baseball player would come on and play catch with him, then I'd do a Dirt Nasty song. It was a shitshow."
He also remembered that they traveled everywhere by private jet and the accommodations were first-class.
"Charlie would tell me: 'Order everything on the menu. Lobster, steak, whatever. Use the spa every day, get a facial, get a massage.' I said: 'I don't wanna waste your money,'" Rex recalled. "He said: 'Simon, I make more in one day of Two and a Half Men reruns than you could possibly imagine. Spend all of it.'"
WATCH: Simon Rex on his comeback role in 'Red Rocket':