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Haley Joel Osment

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This was supposed to be an Official Biography of Haley Joel Osment, but when the Home of the Giants Tribute Site was preparing this special section for Haley Joel Osment, we felt very strongly that perhaps an "official biography" would not be appropriate for this fascinating young actor, whose life, career and filmography is still very much a "work-in-progress" with many more exciting things to be written. Yet, at the same time, this young man has accomplished so much already in his 19 years, much of it spent giving astonishing performances in front of the camera. We felt very strongly that at this present time , a TRIBUTE to Haley Joel Osment would be far more appropriate to honor this young actor and his amazing work all these years. We hope you enjoy this specially commissioned TRIBUTE to Haley, written with sincerity and great respect by none other than FAIR, who is no stranger to the Haley community.

Haley Joel Osment : A TRIBUTE

by Fair

Sometimes, but perhaps not even as often as once in a lifetime, do we get to experience something so rare, it almost seems impossible that the experience is anything other than a dream. For more than a decade Haley Joel Osment has continued to enchant and astonish us with some of the most deeply nuanced and emotional performances to ever be captured on film. The maturity of what he is able to achieve in his performances belies his years, and we can begin to appreciate why his peers that are many years his senior, all consider him to be an equal and worthy of the title "Actor". Not the qualified "young actor" or "child actor" usually reserved for someone his age for most of his career, but simply as one of their own, an actor.

First introduced to the world as the young son of the title character in "Forrest Gump", that well celebrated and award winning film would serve as an almost prescient glimpse at Haley Joel Osment's brilliant career. That path would soon bring his first leading role in a film about magic and imagination, the delightful "Bogus". The chemistry he would share on screen playing opposite a gentle giant of a character, would prove to be quite enchanting and affecting.

Just a few years later, it was with the release of the film "The Sixth Sense" that everything would change. Suddenly his name would be known and celebrated around the world, and he would become one of the youngest actors to ever be nominated for an Academy Award. Perhaps most significant and enduring of all, his performance would set the standard by which all future performances from any young actor would be judged. The quality of his performance set that standard not because it was an outstanding performance by a young actor, but because it was an inimitable performance set by an actor, who just so happened to be young.

He would follow that up with three films, all made in the same year, and all very different and yet so wonderfully compelling. "Pay It Forward" would offer hope and faith in humanity, as it would suggest that it just might be possible for one idea to change the world. That idea would prove to be quite practical and perpetual in the real world, as the film continues to serve as a source for inspiration and revelation. "Edges of the Lord" would provide a heartrending view of World War II and the Holocaust from the perspective of the youngest victims, and how they try to make sense of such senseless events in their daily lives. No need for frightening battles or even views of the concentration camps, as such atrocities permeate everything in the world around them in this thoughtful film. Then would come a most rare and deeply meaningful collaberation between two genius directors, the Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg hybrid, "A.I. Artificial Intelligence". A film of such formidable depth that Haley Joel Osment was deemed the only actor capable of carrying the full weight of the film, and bringing such a complicated character to life. There are not very many actors tasked with such a heavy burden, but he was equal to, and even surpassed, the challenge with his performance.

"Secondhand Lions" is his most recent, and most accessible film for every age, and provided the opportunity to work with two iconic actors and legends of film. He would prove to be a worthy rival when confronted by their intimidating presence. It would also serve as a reminder that good old fashioned larger than life story telling makes for great entertainment, especially when told to the younger generation who cannot help but sit and listen with wide-eyed wonder.

Such a distinguished and versatile filmography featuring so many unique characters, and now Haley Joel Osment will enchant us again with his next film, "Home of the Giants". Featuring yet another unique character, as he will be forced into the dilemma of having to question everything that he holds to be true, in a town where the belief and support of some things are never questioned. From there, the possibilities for this compelling and amazing actor are endless, not unlike the endless possibilities when you dream.

 

© September 2007 by FAIR and www.homeofthegiants.com

 

 

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