As the furry purple oddball Art in "Monsters University," Charlie Day walks way with nearly every scene he's in, which isn't surprising since his monster is mostly just a pair of legs with a face where the crotch would be. Among early audiences, Art is fast becoming a favorite — or at least that's what people are telling Day. "Well, people have been saying that to me, and I don't know what their ulterior motives are, but I appreciate it," Day says.
There is just something captivating about Art.
You know, he's a crazy guy. He's filled with the absurd non-sequitors. He's positive, he's an optimist and he's been to jail. What's cooler than that? And then the best thing is you get to see what it would be like to be all legs. Legs for days, this guy.
How much were you involved in the design and development?
I did all the design myself. I did all the drawings, I did most of the movie. [Laughs] No, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing. By the time I showed up here they had already animated a scene using lines from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" with the character. I almost feel like they could've taken certain words that I've said from things and cobbled together the entire performance, but they were nice enough to let me do some of the work.
What was your own college experience like?
I didn't go to as large a school [as Monsters University], and there wasn't really much Greek life on campus. I went to a school called Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., about 20 minutes or so north of Boston. I had a lot of friends and met new people and got new ideas and became a better thinker and a more well-rounded person up there. I loved it.
Did you start off college with one idea of what you were going to do with your life and end up with another?
Yes. I was a huge baseball guy growing up, as was everyone in my town. I was passionate about it, I worked really hard at it and I was half-way decent at it, but not ultimately good enough. And by college I realized that it's not going to go any further, and then I started dabbling in acting and the arts, and all that came much easier and more naturally to me. [Laughs] I think it was time to accept that I could maybe play a baseball player in a movie, but that was the only way anyone was ever going to pay to watch me play the game.
So do you keep an eye out for baseball-themed roles now?
You know, the problem is I'm getting older and older, so I'm starting to almost have to look at the coach roles. They've been passing me by, but believe me if one popped up I'd jump at it.
On "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia":
Charlie Day got his start with the off-beat FX comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and he has no plans of stopping the series now — at least not this year. "We're almost done filming the ninth season. Nine seasons," he says with eyes wide. "We were celebrating our 100th episode the other day. It's been a wonderful decade of a lot of laughs. We definitely are going to do a 10th season, and after that I don't know. It depends on if FX wants to keep it going or not. I think creatively we're open to it. I still feel like we're finding new and interesting things for these characters to do and say and new and funny ways to surprise our audience."