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Haley Quote about Home of the Giants in an article on Child Actors

Author : Fair

First published in the official Haley Joel Osment Message Board on 27th November 2005

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Since the continued story of how young actors try to make the transition into the world of adult actors is always fun... I found this article from The New York Times to be a rather interesting read. Interesting for what it said... I'll get back to that... as well as interesting for the brief new quote from Haley about his experiences and more insight into why he chose his next role in "Home of the Giants". I bolded that section below, if you just want to jump right to it, but the article is an interesting read. It does recover some old ground, but it also goes into the current trend being used by some young celebrities to aid in the transition.

Although what Haley has to say is quite interesting, I find that if you "read between the lines" of the article as a whole, and compare that to what we seemingly know about Haley... it does infer what a unique individual Haley really is. I don't want to say too much about that, as I do not want to colour your perception of the article before you have read it. The last paragraph about Dakota Fanning was... ummmm... interesting.

Anyway... the original article can be found right here.

Is Child Stardom No Longer a Life Sentence?

Published: November 27, 2005


SHIA LaBEOUF and his manager, John Crosby, were sitting outside a coffee shop here one recent afternoon discussing the most opportune moment for the 19-year-old actor to win an Academy Award.

"Would I want to win an Oscar before I'm 40?" asked Mr. LaBeouf, at the moment perhaps best known for starring on the Disney Channel series "Even Stevens." "Maybe. Would I want to win one before I'm 25? No."

"He wants me to," he said and gestured toward Mr. Crosby, whose shock of sky-high gray hair brings to mind a white Don King.

"I don't want you to, Shia," Mr. Crosby replied. "I think you are."

"I just don't want to win it before I'm 25," Mr. LaBeouf, who has been in the business since he was 11, continued, "because then I have nothing to follow it up with for the next 50 years of my career."

This discussion, albeit in fun, also said something about the ease with which many actors who became stars when they were children have lately found their footing as adults.

Shirley Temple's advance to adolescence may have once been regarded as a career death march, but former child actors now routinely populate the screen and have occasionally emerged as masters of their craft. Jake Gyllenhaal, who started in the business at 8, is now starring in "Jarhead" and has "Brokeback Mountain" coming in December. Leonardo DiCaprio, whose role on the TV sitcom "Growing Pains" at 10 gave him his first taste of fame, is to be back with Martin Scorsese again next year in "The Departed." And Reese Witherspoon, whose performance at 14 in "The Man in the Moon" began her career, plays June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" opposite Joaquin Phoenix, who has also performed onscreen since he was a child.

Others are in the process of making the leap. Jena Malone, who starred in "Badman Out of Carolina" at 12, plays a young married woman in this month's "Pride & Prejudice"; Lindsay Lohan, the former "Parent Trap" star, takes another step toward adulthood in the romantic comedy "Just My Luck," scheduled for March, and Anne Hathaway, the "Princess Diaries" alumna, is now filming "The Devil Wears Prada" opposite Meryl Streep on Manhattan's streets.

"You're not necessarily going to end up being arrested for petty crime anymore," said Dan Schneider, the executive producer of Nickelodeon shows including "Zoey 101," "Drake and Josh" and "All That," referring to the sad fate of several 70's and 80's television stars. Adam Rich, the kid with the bowl cut from "Eight Is Enough," was arrested several times for drugs, shoplifting and breaking and entering, for example; Dana Plato of "Diff'rent Strokes" was arrested for holding up a Las Vegas video store.

Paul Petersen, who starred on "The Donna Reed Show" as a child and heads A Minor Consideration, an organization formed to support former child actors, believes that young stars today still don't have the same opportunities as those who start their careers as adults. He does, however, say that the doors of opportunity for child actors are open for two to four more years than they were in his day. "The industry itself has come to understand that these adolescents have legs," he said, referring to their marketability.

Some credit the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel cable networks with creating a major change in career dynamics for the young. Founded in 1979 and 1983, respectively, the networks created shows for the newly defined "tween" demographic, the 29 million children 8 to 14 years old who control about $40 billion on their own annually, and influence tens of billions of dollars more in family spending, according to 2005 studies by the market research firm Packaged Facts.

Child actors were given starring roles, and were no longer hired for what Mr. Schneider calls their "turbocute" factor. His show "All That" was the first to cast Kenan Thompson, now a regular on "Saturday Night Live." In casting "The New Mickey Mouse Club" from 1988 to 1994, Matt Casella gave Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell and Justin Timberlake their starts. He traveled the country with a handheld video camera looking for children who were talented but not precocious. "I wanted kids at home to feel like, these are kids I could hang out with," Mr. Casella recalled. As a result, he said, his hires often had genuine, age-transcendent talent.

The series on these networks also often focused on the adolescent years, historically a treacherous period for young actors. Speaking of "Lizzie McGuire," the series that made Hilary Duff a star, the Disney Channel president, Rich Ross, said: "The revelatory episode for us was when Lizzie McGuire had to buy her first bra. I watched it and it sort of took my breath away. Because I knew, this is - hello! - every single girl in the world is going through this experience."

Other former child stars like Scarlett Johansson, Kirsten Dunst (who starred in her first commercial at 3), Elijah Wood and Anna Paquin (who won an Oscar at 11) had no ties to the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Speaking about their success in movies, Marion Dougherty, a casting director who started in 1950 and put actors from James Dean to Nick Stahl in some of their first roles, speculated that their continued viability had something to do with a change since the late 1960's in what it means to be a star.

Before then, Ms. Dougherty said, it meant remaining true to type. "If you played a doctor, you always played a doctor." There were exceptions like Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney, but for many young stars, their one specialty was playing a child. Dustin Hoffman, she believes, changed all that when he opted to do "The Graduate" and "Midnight Cowboy" back to back. "Look at the range," Ms. Dougherty said. After that, "good actors wanted to do something different, they didn't want to do the same sort of thing all the time."

Cindy Osbrink, who created the Osbrink Agency, said she employed a model that sounds much like Mr. Hoffman's when looking for projects to showcase her client, Dakota Fanning, even as a child. "We'll do a fun one and then we'll do a serious one, to grow her in both ways," she said of Dakota, now 11. "So when she gets older, she has that option."

Haley Joel Osment , who starred in "The Sixth Sense" and "A.I." as a child, echoed the idea, saying that one reason he did not do a movie for about two years recently was that he couldn't find a diversity of roles. Now 17, he also said he wanted to focus on high school.

"There are not as many different personality types portrayed by high-school-age kids in films," he said, adding that his role in the film "Home of the Giants," to be released next year, offered up a rare mix of vulnerability and complexity.

Some take a dimmer view of these new opportunities, however, tying the increased interest in female child stars to the ever-younger age at which girls are sexualized in popular culture. David Thomson, author of "The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood," said the kind of underage flirtation that once would have seemed shocking is now almost commonplace, while adult female stars are under pressure to maintain the figures of teenagers. The result is an environment in which the ideal actress is a sort of Stepford woman-child. He said: "You could ask this question about Hilary Duff: Was she ever a child? And will she ever be an adult? Because it seems in a way that she's always been the same."

Another successful young actress who might fall into this category is Ms. Lohan, now 19. Her role in "Just My Luck" was originally intended for an actress between 25 and 30 years old, the film's director, Donald Petrie, said. But he felt that Ms. Lohan was ready for the role - and her sexy image may have helped. "She's out there going to clubs and hanging with older Hollywood," he explained, "and she's got her - even her heroes are Ann-Margret. That's a more mature role model."

Mr. Schneider noted that it seems Amanda Bynes, a star on Nickelodeon, has not had the same success as Ms. Lohan and Ms. Duff because she hasn't sexualized her image in the same way. And some have raised eyebrows at Ms. Hathaway's decision to appear topless in the film "Havoc," which is scheduled for release on DVD later this month.

ANOTHER factor in a seamless transition to adult stardom for both sexes may be a new understanding among the young of how celebrity now works, and the power of a personal brand as a marketing platform. "People who are younger are very comfortable with it," said Michael Pagnotta, the publicist for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for 15 years, referring to the business of branding. Following in their footsteps, Hilary Duff has her own fashion and home line, Stuff by Hilary Duff, and both Ms. Duff and Ms. Lohan have successful careers in pop music. Such arrangements let actors diversify their investments, as it were, and increase their potential earning power.

Even for actors who question the wisdom of expanding into merchandising or other areas, there is an awareness that acting is sometimes secondary to personal image. To Mr. LaBeouf, who has also been in the Disney movies "Holes" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played," and will play a teen in the coming film "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," "There's more to it than just the work.

"I think people don't just go to the movies any more because Clive Owen is a good actor," he said. "If that was the case, he'd be the new 007."

Ms. Osbrink said that image was very important for Ms. Fanning as well. "We're totally moving into the teenage stage for Dakota," she said. "Down to the MTV Movie Awards, dressing as a teenager. It's all planned."

Tatum O'Neal, who became, at 10, the youngest person to win an Oscar, for her performance in 1973's "Paper Moon," marveled at the ability current young stars have to play the image game. "I love how she can do that," Ms. O'Neal, now 42, said of Ms. Lohan's apparently effortless evolution from child star to glamorous adult when posing at events like film premieres. "I was so, at 17, like, 'Don't take my picture.' It's so hard to be that cute for that long."

Read the Original Nw York Times Article

Haley is the best.

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


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