SUNNY SIDE OF FAME

If you want to make it big in film and TV then noth­ing beats just writ­ing your own show and star­ring in it, as a very busy Charlie Day re­veals

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - NEALA JOHN­SON

Charlie Day may not be a house­hold name, but he is as busy, if not more so, than just about any ac­tor you could name work­ing in film and TV to­day.

“Just fin­ished sea­son 10 of It’s Al­ways Sunny In Philadel­phia. Just di­rected a pi­lot. About to pro­duce another pi­lot with the Al­ways Sunny guys. Writ­ing an an­i­mated pi­lot. Pro­mot­ing Hor­ri­ble Bosses 2. Try­ing to get fund­ing for a movie I wrote.

“And,” he adds, almost as an af­ter­thought, “be­ing a dad!”

Day, 38, who grew up in the New Eng­land re­gion of the US, has worked him­self into this po­si­tion over a pe­riod of about 10 years. Ground zero of his cur­rent suc­cess was shoot­ing, on cam­corder, the pi­lot episode of Al­ways Sunny with his mates Glenn How­er­ton and Rob McElhenney.

They sold the show to US cable net­work FX, win­ning a cult au­di­ence for their in­sane ex­ploits as three hugely self­ab­sorbed best mates (and one sis­ter) who run an Ir­ish pub.

The se­ries picked up even more mo­men­tum in sea­son two when Danny DeVito joined the cast. It’s shown lo­cally on The Com­edy Chan­nel.

Now here he is co-star­ring in a big Warner Bros com­edy se­quel with Ja­son Bate­man and Ja­son Sudeikis.

In Hor­ri­ble Bosses 2, Nick (Bate­man), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day) reckon they’ll be able to avoid hor­ren­dous em­ploy­ers – and thus avoid hav­ing to kill hor­ren­dous em­ploy­ers – by start­ing their own small business. When that business col­lapses, they hatch a plot to kid­nap their smarmy in­vestor’s equally smarmy son.

Clearly, Day knows a thing or two about the business of DIY. He reck­ons it was eas­ier kick­start­ing his ca­reer him­self than wait­ing for the right role to come along.

“It was much harder be­fore to just go around and ask peo­ple to em­ploy me,” he says.

“Once I had more to of­fer than just the act­ing – an en­tire show, that some company, namely FX, could make money off – then it was a lot eas­ier for me to do the other part, the act­ing.”

The first Hor­ri­ble Bosses, re­leased in 2011 was only Day’s sec­ond role in a stu­dio film. He’d first proven his comic chem­istry with Sudeikis when the pair played comic re­lief in the Justin Long/Drew Bar­ry­more rom-com Go­ing the Dis­tance.

The Sudeikis re­la­tion­ship was a fac­tor in his then get­ting Bosses, but Day reck­ons it had more to do with the stu­dio want­ing “peo­ple who weren’t gi­ant names at the time, who wouldn’t com­mand a gi­ant pay cheque, so they could af­ford to go get Kevin Spacey and Colin Far­rell and Jamie Foxx”.

Still, the film was his break­out: “Some­what with fans but more so in­dus­try aware­ness,” Day says.

“Be­cause Al­ways Sunny has sadly stayed un­der the radar of some of th­ese stu­dio ex­ec­u­tives.”

After that, Guillermo Del Toro gave Day a role as a sci­en­tist in Pa­cific Rim and the ac­tor lent his en­dear­ingly scratchy tones to the retro astro­naut fig­ure in The LEGO Movie.

Next year, he’ll pop up in the Na­tional Lam­poon’s re­boot Va­ca­tion, which also fea­tures Chris Hemsworth, Chevy Chase, Christina Ap­ple­gate and Leslie Mann. Day is get­ting used to mix­ing with such big names, es­pe­cially after be­ing sex­u­ally ha­rassed for a sec­ond time by Jen­nifer Anis­ton in Hor­ri­ble Bosses 2. The se­quel also adds Christoph Waltz as the in­vestor and Chris Pine as the kid­napped son.

Hol­ly­wood hot­tie Pine ( Star Trek, Jack Ryan) spends much of the se­quel as Day, Sudeikis and Bate­man’s fourth wheel, a job Anis­ton says must have been “quite in­tim­i­dat­ing for any­body who saw their chem­istry in the first film”. Day begs to dif­fer. “Chris Pine doesn’t strike me as the type of man who has had much to be in­tim­i­dated about in his lifetime,” he laughs. As Nick, Kurt and Dale’s kid­nap­ping scheme gets more and more out of hand, the guys tend to talk over each other in panic.

When Hit saw the film, one scene in which the fools are blurt­ing their plans to the po­lice drew a holler of “Shut up!” from two ladies seated be­hind us.

“The au­di­ence was telling the char­ac­ters to shut up?” asks Day when Hit re­lays this story. “Well, that’s not a good sign!”

Not in a this-film-is-bad way, we as­sure him, but in a com­i­cal you’re-go­ing-to-messit-all-up way.

Pic­ture: AP/WARNER BROS.

Ja­son Sudeikis, Charlie Day and Ja­son Bate­man in a scene from

Hor­ri­ble Bosses 2.

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