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Choosing films for complexity
Osment discusses transition from child actor to adult, shares feelings on week's film fest

Written by Christopher Lloyd

© 2007 www.indystar.com

First published 24th October 2007

Be sure to read the original article

 

The stars of Hollywood often see their careers follow a celestial path -- generally a meteoric one, blazing hot for a very short time before cratering.

Haley Joel Osment has been in the business 15 years, and he isn't even 20 yet. It helps when your very first movie is "Forrest Gump," which he made when he was 5.

Since then, he's done it all. He played Candice Bergen's son on "Murphy Brown" and famously saw dead people in "The Sixth Sense." He's acted next to Oscar winners and been nominated himself. He's starred in a sci-fi drama for a guy named Spielberg and supplied voices for animated films and video games.

Osment spent the weekend in Indianapolis attending the Heartland Film Festival to promote his newest film, "Home of the Giants." Set at a basketball-crazy Indiana high school, it should reach theaters in early 2008, but can be seen now as part of the festival, which continues through Friday.

"I'm just really happy to be showing at a festival like this, which is perfect because (writer/director) Rusty Gorman's from Indiana. The film takes place here. We actually shot B-roll right in the (Conseco) Fieldhouse over there," Osment said. "The festival itself really stands for something in the film community that I like -- where it's not so much about thumbs-up or thumbs-down on a film, but how it makes you feel."

"Giants" was shot in late 2005 and early 2006, and is Osment's first feature film since 2003's "Secondhand Lions." He's spent most of his time lately attending New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in experimental theater.

In a sense, he's following in the footsteps of his father, Michael Osment, a theater actor who taught him a "realist, no-nonsense style of performance." The younger Osment plans to continue in both theater and film, and is learning to direct for the stage.

The movie business is littered with child actors who couldn't make the transition to adult roles, and Osment says he's aware of the challenges.

"Starting young, the difficulty is you don't want to be seen as a younger actor. So it's about carefully selecting films not just for the sake of departing from past roles, but choosing roles that steadily advance in complexity and age and are never redundant."

Osment certainly doesn't resemble the adorable cherub from "Forrest Gump" anymore. At 19, he's not particularly tall, but his features are more handsomely masculine than boyish, and he speaks in a deep, confident baritone.

Just like his character in "Giants," he's a huge basketball fan, though he quips that "it's a tough time for the Knicks right now."


Call Star reporter Christopher Lloyd at (317) 444-6326.

 

Be sure to read the original article

 

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