Slowly but surely, the actors of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have been trying to branch out from the vulgar FX series. For Charlie Day, that shift mostly began back in 2013 with Guillermo del Toro’s cult classic mecha movie, Pacific Rim.
Day’s role in the film as scientist/kaiju fanboy Newt Geiszler made him a fan favourite character, and it’s a role for which he’s still grateful to land. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Day discussed his friendship with the beloved director. With his upcoming directorial debut, currently titled The Untitled Charlie Day Movie, the actor attributed that film’s progress in part to del Toro, who would gladly offer advice and encourage reshoots even while dealing with his own packed schedule. “I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Guillermo,” said Day. “If I didn’t have a really great and talented friend in Guillermo — and if it wasn’t for [the film’s stars] Ken Jeong, Kate Beckinsale, and Adrien Brody coming back, I would not have gotten the movie into the shape it is now.”
Looking back on Rim, the future Luigi also briefly discussed his disappointment on the 2018 sequel, Uprising. del Toro was unable to direct it (he stayed on as producer), and while Day didn’t want to speak for his friend, he personally was “disappointed” that the director couldn’t return. With him dropping out, the sequel’s original bonkers script had to be rewritten, and Newt ultimately became the villain, one of many things about the sequel that fans did not like.
It sounds like Day feels more or less the same, but it was his love for del Toro that made him stay on the film. “Guillermo had given me this opportunity in the first place, and he created the character,” he said. “So if the franchise went on, I wanted to be a part of it for his sake.” What also made him stick around was ensuring his character was locked in for a Pacific Rim 3, in case del Toro took the reigns again. It’s not clear on what kind of future the franchise has at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped Day from heaping praise on the filmmaker. “Guillermo’s a true auteur, and when you give an auteur a big franchise thing, they’re going to do something interesting with it…Someone else can do someone else, but no one can do him.”