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Osment: New role is perfect for this point in career

Author :The Associated Press

First published in the The Insider (North Carolina State Government News Service) on Wednesday, September 7th, 2005, 11:40 PM


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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Haley Joel Osment says his latest role as a high school journalist covering the basketball team is perfect for him at this point in his career.

Osment, 17, stars in "Home of the Giants," which is set in high-school basketball-loving Indiana but is mostly being filmed across the Triad area of North Carolina this month and next.

The script by Indiana native Rusty Gorman, who will also direct, attracted him to the film, Osment said. "This one is perfect for this age for me," Osment said as he took a break between scenes Wednesday.

Osment's breakthrough role came in 1994 as Tom Hanks' son in "Forrest Gump." He received an Oscar nomination for the 1999 film, "The Sixth Sense," as a child who communicates with the dead.

In "Home of the Giants," Osment plays Robert "Gar" Gartland, a high school journalist who covers the basketball team as it heads toward a state championship.

"It's important to find roles with characters growing up," Osment said. "Gar is one of those characters that moves me along the timeline in my career."

Osment's character is best friends with Matt, the team's star, played by actor Ryan Merriman Merriman, who has a lead role in the upcoming film, "Final Destination 3."

Danielle Panabaker of TV's "Summerland" and "Empire Falls," plays a new girl in town who studies journalism with Gar.

ESPN commentators Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas also will have scenes, said L. Charles Grimes, the Greensboro attorney who started SymPics International with his attorney wife, Elizabeth "Libby" Grimes, and their business partners.

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