Charlie Day did not eat a baby. As an avid reader of The Huffington Post, Charlie Day wanted to pick his own headline, one that he himself might click on. He chose, "Charlie Day Eats A Baby." A baby what? We can't tell you. That's for you to find out below. (Not really.)
What Day is discussing is this week's new Guillermo del Toro-directed Giant Robot-versus-Giant Monster movie, "Pacific Rim." Day's character does not pilot a robot, nor is Day's character a monster. Day plays Dr. Newton Geizler, a skittish scientist who has a special fondness for the Kaiju (i.e. giant monsters) that are destroying Earth. Actually, it's more than a fondness -- he's a fan. He collects their memorabilia (and their body parts). Also, as a fairly fantastic subplot, Geizler spends a good portion of "Pacific Rim" attempting to purchase a still-living Kaiju brain (he wants to mind meld with it) from a notorious black market dealer named Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman).
It was a little surprising when Charlie Day called himself, just because it's so rare for these things not to be run by a publicist. But, as Day says, he handles his own business. In a, let's say, "loose" interview, Day talks about, well, whatever he wants to talk about. Because, why not? It's Charlie Day. (Again, he did not eat a baby.)
[Charlie Day] Hey, it's Charlie Day.
[Mike Ryan] I was expecting an intermediary to call.
I handle my own business. I've become addicted to The Huffington Post.
Why is this?
Because I have the app on my iPhone and it's ruining my life.
It's like crack. I have to look at it at least a couple of times a day.
Soon, you will be on your own app with this very conversation.
I know! And I don't read the important things. I go straight for the salacious things -- something just like candy and ridiculous.
What's the most salacious headline I can give this interview?
Oh, man. Well, that's your job. That's your world. I couldn't think of that -- "Charlie Day Stabs Baby." You know, you gotta grab 'em, right?
"Charlie Day Stabs Baby" should do the trick. I'm going to see if I can sneak that one by...
[Laughs] I did say it!
We spoke at Comic Con last year about "Pacific Rim." You mentioned a scene in which you're looking for your glasses, and as a practical effect, a very large set of glasses were used for the foreground shot. Now that I've seen it, it completely makes sense now.
That's the thing, it's almost like you want to watch this movie and then you want to watch "the making of," because all of those details Guillermo Del Toro jammed in there are just that -- they're just details. But, when you're there on set, they seem like these epic cinematic designs. It's crazy how they just are tiny little details in a sea of details, which this movie obviously has.
I'm not just saying this because we are talking: I wish you were in this movie more. Your side story was my favorite part.
[Laughs] Well ... thank you.
I found the backstory about how the Kaiju have fans really fascinating. Was there anything cut that we didn't see?
I don't think any of my scenes were cut. I'm not sure if they knew the way that the character would come across until they saw it. One of the reasons I think you're feeling what you're feeling and what I think works about the character is that, in a very heroic movie -- the movie is filled with handsome, strong people saving the world -- it's really great to sort of see that man on the street character. To have that sort of everyman; that imperfect person -- that person who is rough around the edges. And it's nice to see them be a hero in the stories. And I'm not sure any of us expected it to pop in the way that it does.
And this is a different kind of role for you. Last time you compared it to Adam Sandler doing "Punch Drunk Love"...
Really? [Laughs] I'm surprised I made that comparison.
I swear that you did. I just reread it.
No, it is very different for me. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to do that. I think one of my fears was that they were going to hire me and then they were going to write a bunch of fart jokes in there and they were going to try to make it "knock knock" jokes. It was great that Guillermo wanted me to be serious and dramatic and that the humor could sort of come out of this guy's personality as opposed to any jokes that were in the script.
I'm trying to imagine your character's arc in the film if all he did was tell "knock knock" jokes.
[Laughs] Yeah, right. You don't want me running around saying, "Kaiju? I thought he was Catholic!" You don't want that at all.
I heard that the contraption that you wear on your head to mind meld with the Kaiju electrocuted you.
Yes! It's true. I did not realize it was electrocuting me while we were making the movie. I did a couple of scenes with it with Burn Gorman and Burn Gorman was the one who realized there was a wire on it right around the ear. So what I thought was just a sharp edge was actually a mild electrical shock that I was being given every time I do the take. It was just the electricity going to the lights and it was just a little loose wire and it was next to metal -- which is a wonderful conductor of electricity. And that was going directly to my ear. But, I lived to tell the tale and I think it was a harmless amount of electricity.
Do you want to do more action movies? Was this a good experience?
It was a really good experience. I do like big blockbustery movies and certainly it seems like that's the way the industry's going. So, if I want to work, maybe I do want to do more.
I don't know about that. You've had some pretty good success in film, not even counting "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." People loved "Horrible Bosses."
They love it! Yeah. Look, I'm happy to work with good people and do good projects. And, hopefully, I can avoid too many stinkers. Although I know that's sort of impossible in this business. But, you know, so far so good. I hope I can keep it going.
What is next? Is "Horrible Bosses 2" happening?
Well, we're not sure if "Horrible Bosses 2" is next. I think we're all sort of waiting for this rewrite of the script to come in. And I know we all want to work together and we love each other's company. And we think there's potential to see these characters again and have a funny story, but right now, I think what's next is we're going to finish putting together the ninth season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and get that out to people.
The last time we spoke we talked about the "Seinfeld" sketch that you were in when you hosted "SNL." You showed up this past year in my favorite recurring sketch, "Maine Justice."
I don't exactly know where it came from -- I can't speak to that. All I know is that Jason Sudeikis called me, I was New York with my wife and we were shooting a film and Jason knew that I was in town because we're friends. And he's like, "Look, I've been trying to get this sketch on the air and I think it's gone to dress rehearsal a bunch of times and never made it. Do you want to do a cameo in it?" And of course I jumped at the opportunity. I think, you know, it's a ridiculous sketch, but it's also ridiculous in the way that some of the best "SNL" sketches of all time are ridiculous. So I was thrilled that he asked me and I love it over there at "SNL" and I'm excited that we got it on the air.
I have to admit, when I first heard about "The Lego Movie," I rolled my eyes. The trailer looked great, but does that sound weird to you when you're first approached to do a voice?
Do you know what happened for me? Years ago I did a sitcom -- it was before "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia -- it was called "Luis" starring Luis Guzman. And it came and went as many broadcast sitcoms do. But, there were two funny writers on there, a guy named Chris Miller and a guy named Phil Lord. And then they went on to do I think, what? "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"?
Which is a great movie when you see it. It's really, really good.
And then "21 Jump Street."
"21 Jump Street"! I was filming "Pacific Rim" and I went into the movie theater and I was like, "I'm going to watch '21 Jump Street,'" and I didn't know that those guys had directed the movie until I saw the credits at the end. And the movie was so funny and so great. And then, randomly, I got an email from them asking if I'd do a voice in their movie. So, I knew nothing about the movie. I never even saw a script. I just sort of came in and they would talk to me about the character and showed me the lines and I'd play around with them. They are such funny writers and great directors that I was excited to work with them again.
I promise this time I won't post the YouTube clip of you telling Mary Tyler Moore, "Looking fine"
[Laughs] Oh, you can do whatever you want, man. I'm fair game.
It's a great clip. And you got to work with Mary Tyler Moore. Not everyone gets to do that.
And the funniest thing with that, when I auditioned, I sort of said the line sarcastically. Like, "Stop looking at yourself in the mirror, you look fine." [Laughs] And then when I got to the gig, they're like, "No, really compliment her."
Keep an eye out on your app for "Charlie Day stabs baby."
Yeah, or maybe I eat a baby?
Eat a baby?
"Eats Live Baby In Interview."
No one will be able to resist clicking on that.
There you go.
Then we talk about Mary Tyler Moore.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.