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Sheen directed and starred in National Theatre Wales's The Passion.Director Sam Mendes has described Sheen as "a stage creature" and attributed that to the actor's Welsh roots: "I'm serious.While the Los Angeles Times said he "shone", Sheen also returned to the stage in 2003 to play the title role in Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Michael Grandage.It was the first of just three stage appearances during the 2000s; his young daughter was now based in Los Angeles which made more frequent stage runs in Britain impractical.From 2006 to 2007, Sheen starred as the television broadcaster David Frost in Frost/Nixon at both the Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud Theatre in London and at the Jacobs Theatre on Broadway.The play, written by Peter Morgan, directed by Michael Grandage and co-starring Frank Langella, was a critical and commercial success "He's got the voice, the mannerisms, the blaze," said the Financial Times, "but, more than that, Sheen—as viscerally exciting an actor as any in Britain today—shows us the hunger of Frost's ambition ..In 2005, Sheen starred in the National Theatre's production of The UN Inspector, a David Farr adaptation of The Government Inspector.The Times wrote of "a scathingly brilliant and inventive performance" The Evening Standard, while conceding that the performance was "technically brilliant", expressed bemusement as to why "one of the most mercurial and inspiring actors we have seems set on impersonating Rik Mayall throughout".
His performances in Amadeus at the Old Vic and Look Back in Anger at the National Theatre were nominated for Olivier Awards in 19, respectively.
He was also nominated for a BAFTA as the troubled comic actor Kenneth Williams in BBC Four's 2006 Fantabulosa!
, and was nominated for a fourth Olivier Award in 2006 for portraying the broadcaster David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a role he revisited in the 2008 film adaptation of the play.
He also starred as the controversial football manager Brian Clough in The Damned United (2009).
Since 2009 and into the 2010s, Sheen has become known for a wider variety of roles.