Charlie Day Wants You to See Past Charlie Kelly

Charlie Day Needs You to See Previous Charlie Kelly

For 16 years—and counting—viewers have anticipated one factor after they hear the title Charlie Day: power. Frantic, manic power. Finest recognized for his position on It is All the time Sunny in Philadelphia as Charlie Kelly, the illiterate janitor who shares a mattress with Danny Devito and sometimes eats cat meals, Day is related to waving his fingers above his head, elevating his voice to a pitch increased than most would dare to aim, and generally doing each on the identical time. However in Amazon Prime Video’s I Need You Again, that zany weirdo will get the possibility to vary issues up and win love because the lead in a brand new romantic comedy.

Day is aware of that after taking part in a personality for therefore lengthy (Sunny is now the longest-running live-acton sitcom in TV historical past), folks could solely see that character. It is a blessing and a curse—however he is simply asking for a little bit little bit of time. “I really feel like, OK, for those who give me the hour and a half, by the top of the film you’ll be seeing a special character,” he says with fun in Manhattan’s Whitby Lodge. “You may, for the primary quarter-hour, solely be seeing Charlie Kelly, and that’s truthful—I get it.”

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When Day walks right into a room, it is pure to count on what we have seen on display screen. However on this room, his power is completely different; whilst you can nonetheless inform it’s the identical man behind his Covid-friendly double masks, he speaks in a tone that’s calm and measured. He acknowledges that his coin has two sides: sure, the cynic who’s at all times match so completely in Sunny, but additionally the romantic who can play the charming, heartbroken everyman on the forefront of a rom-com.

For 20 years, Day has been in a relationship with actress Mary Elizabeth Ellis (who performs The Waitress, Kelly’s object of unrequited love in Sunny; they married in 2006, the 12 months after the present debuted). To play Peter in I Need You Again, he seemed previous to that, tapping into previous reminiscences of heartbreak and the ache of wanting somebody to need him.

Day says that if he’d had a “Tom Brady-like existence,” it may need been trickier to recollect issues like romantic rejection, however for him, that wasn’t the case. “It’s humorous,” he says. “You don’t overlook these emotions of loneliness, and eager to be seen, and wanting somebody to…”

He pauses for a second to assume. “, you wish to love somebody, however what you really need is you need somebody to like you,” he continues. “You need somebody to say, ‘I see you, I believe you’re fantastic, and I wish to be with you.’”

charlie day


It’s kind of jarring to listen to one thing so tender and earnest coming from the man who we as soon as watched order “milk steak” and a aspect of jelly beans throughout a date on All the time Sunny. (Kelly is “the other of a romantic,” as Day places it.) Nevertheless it additionally is smart within the context of I Need You Again, which lets the man you’d usually count on because the rom-com sidekick lastly get a love story of his personal.

The movie begins with Day’s character, Peter, discovering himself single after his six-year relationship with Anne (Gina Rodriguez) involves an finish. Jenny Slate’s Emma finds herself in the same place, so she and Peter hatch a plan to interrupt up one another’s exes’ new relationship. The mission places Peter in direct competitors with Emma’s ex (an uber-positive private coach performed by Scott Eastwood) and Anne’s new boyfriend (an artsy-fartsy trainer performed by Manny Jacinto). Whether or not or not you are in possession of a six-pack or horny artist vibes, you may see your self in Peter’s anxiousness about measuring as much as the fellows round him.

“Similar to Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle, he’s this residing darling who you root for instantly,” Slate says of her co-star. “He performs the fantastic line between confidence and a good quantity of self-doubt, the fixed inside questioning of, I believe I am doing fairly effectively…however…what if I am not? As an individual, [Day] asks difficult questions of himself, and his character within the movie finally ends up having to do the identical.”

charlie day


Filming I Need You Again in Atlanta throughout the pandemic separated Day from his and Ellis’ son, Russell, who was born in 2011. This stored him emotionally uncooked, partly as a result of he knew his son missed him. “I missed my child, and I used to be stressing about whether or not it was price being there or not,” he says.

However fascinated by his son led to reflecting on his personal experiences within the relationship world, and the way Russell nonetheless has all of that forward of him. “He’s gonna expertise a lot pleasure, and he’s going to expertise a lot ache,” Day says. “And positively the ache of heartbreak, I can solely converse for myself, was among the worst, most devastating… there’s worse ache on the market. However I believe while you’re a youngster, and also you undergo heartbreak, it actually hurts! And also you don’t count on to really feel it so bodily.”

However as painful because it could be, it is also important to the human expertise. “That’s the enjoyment of life,” he says. “If we didn’t have disappointment, we wouldn’t know what happiness is.”

Day desires to spend extra time within the rom-com lane going ahead; he idolizes what the person Slate in contrast him to—Tom Hanks—has carried out in each film, however particularly that Sleepless in Seattle/You’ve Obtained Mail run of the ‘90s. Day felt such a chemistry with Slate from their first second collectively on set that he imagined she could possibly be the Meg Ryan to his Hanks. He desires to do “3, 4, 5 extra” films along with her.

charlie day


The hope is that viewers will be capable of sense the heartbreak Day is channeling. That they will relate to that feeling of being alone; that feeling of wanting extra. However he additionally is aware of that it doesn’t matter what, persons are at all times going to see Charlie Kelly in any efficiency he provides. “As a result of apparently I look and sound similar to the man,” he says with fun.

I Need You Again
is a pointy, humorous tackle fashionable romance, the place Day exhibits he can be somebody completely completely different. And if you cannot see previous Charlie Kelly, then that is your loss.

Evan is an affiliate editor for Males’s Well being, with bylines in The New York Occasions, MTV Information, Brooklyn Journal, and VICE.

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