Hotel Artemis: Charlie Day on Being Cast as a Bad Guy

The star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia goes dark in Hotel Artemis, and gets to trade punches with Sofia Boutella.

“Always as an actor, you want to try different things and challenge yourself,” says Charlie Day about playing a venal criminal in writer/director Drew Pearce’s new sci-fi thriller Hotel Artemis. “So when Drew asked me to do it, I was both thrilled to get the opportunity to do a character like this, but also a little nervous because Drew and I have been friends for a long time and I thought, ‘I don’t want to let you down.’”

Day shared his thoughts on taking a break from his usual comedic roles in our video interview with him and Hotel Artemis co-star Sofia Boutella, who plays a deadly assassin capable of taking down an entire hallway full of hardened thugs in one striking sequence.

Boutella, who started her career as a dancer but has been showing up in action-heavy fare like Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek Beyond and The Mummy, says there’s not a whole world of difference between dancing and fighting.

“I don’t come from the stunt world at all or fighting or the martial arts world, but I approached it as choreography,” she explains. “You just have to hit and hurt people a little bit.”

Hotel Artemis is a dystopian crime thriller set in a rundown hotel in downtown Los Angeles, home to a hidden hospital where criminals can safely get treated for their injuries with no questions asked and no shooting allowed. One must be a member to enter the facility, which is manned only by the Nurse (Jodie Foster) and her assistant/security guard Everest (Dave Bautista). The movie is set in the year 2028, with water shortages, environmental collapse and rampant crime threatening to bring the City of Angels to its knees.

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Written and directed by Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), who makes his feature debut behind the camera, Hotel Artemis’ cast also includes Jeff Goldblum, Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate, Brian Tyree Henry and Sterling K. Brown. The film is out in theaters this Friday (June 8).