Day 3 of Fair's Celebration of the First Anniversary of Secondhand Lions !

During the promotional tour for "Secondhand Lions" Haley spent a great deal of time answering many different questions from many different people. Of course that is to be expected when you are promoting a film, and Haley has a level of professionalism that is rarely seen even in most adults.

Most of the interviews that Haley gave to help promote SHL, eventually turned up here in one form or another. But not everything gets discovered, and sometimes the odd item does slip past the nets.

It is kind of interesting that this particular article would be one of those rare items not yet found, but is still very relevant even one year later. Some of the questions and answers have been mentioned in previous articles, but grouped together in this interview, it does provide the answers to many of the questions that have recently been floating around this message board. I am sure most of what Haley said one year ago, still holds true today... the most important point I've highlighted in bold.

Anyway... this Feature Article first appeared in: Volume: 3, Issue: 18 - for August 28 to September 10 of the San Francisco Bay Area magazine known as, "The Wave".


All Grown Up

By Fred Topel

Movie: Secondhand Lions
Director: Tim McCanlies
Starring: Haley Joel Osment , Robert Duvall, Michael Caine
Distributor: New Line

The artist formerly known as Forrest Gump, Jr. turned 15 earlier this year, and age has altered the child actor. Haley Joel Osment’s voice is changing, so he’s not squeaky innocent anymore. He’s taller, his face is stretched out so he’s not a cute little cherub and he’s got a few hairs growing under his nose. It’s a bit surreal to see the teenage Osment walk into a room. The last time we interviewed him, his feet didn’t even touch the floor when he sat in a chair. Now he’s got a bassy voice booming out of a head with a moussed hairdo instead of the childish bowl cut. Yet, he still keeps his father close by at all times; dad eavesdropped on the whole interview.

Osment was trying to promote his new film, Secondhand Lions, which co-stars Robert Duvall and Michael Caine as Osment’s eccentric uncles. But while other reporters were asking, “What’s it like to work with Duvall?” or the deeper, more thought provoking, “What’s it like to work with Michael Caine?” we instead tried to find out about the real Haley Joel.


The Wave: How do you think audiences will react to the new you?

Haley Joel Osment: I think it’ll sort of be a surprise, but I don’t think it’s going to weird people out. It should be expected, because it has been two years since my last film. Being out in public has been easier recently because I look really different from my last film, so I haven’t been as recognizable. It’s had its advantages sometimes, but I think that’s going to go away after this film because people will know what I look like now.

TW: Are you upset that you’re not getting as much attention, or is it a relief?

HJO: I guess it’s not so much a relief because being recognized is not a problem. It is more relaxing not being noticed as much. Also, it’s not just that I’m not recognizable. I think people relate better when you’re older, because I think they have more respect for your age. As time goes on, I think people are becoming more respectful out in public. So it’s never been a problem. It’s just been interesting to watch.

TW: Why did you decide to stop acting for two years?

HJO: We were just looking for the right script and this one came along. The timing was really good, because I was going through similar changes as Walter was at that time, so it was very convenient. The physical quality ended up being convenient. The voice change was potentially a problem going into this film, being inconsistent with frequency levels and everything. That ended up working for the character. We ended up using the voice to symbolize his change with these two uncles.

TW: Do you get scared you might be forgotten?

HJO: I don’t think there’s any fear. With acting, you can never count on there being work available. It’s whatever’s there, so I don’t think there’s any fear. It’s possible. Someday, there may not be any work, but I guess that’s not something I’m worried about. If I just keep doing the right roles, I think that won’t be a problem.

TW: What have you been up to in the last two years?

HJO: I just got into high school. I’m going into my sophomore year, so that’s been a big priority for me, as always. I’ve been running with a cross-country team, and just enjoying the time off. Not working this summer, being off from school and everything, this is a really relaxing period. So, I was able just to enjoy life, I guess.

TW: You’re not one of those weird home-schooled kids?

HJO: We all felt like I should do things as if I wasn’t an actor, and it’s worked out, too. Acting shouldn’t get in the way of me growing up like a normal kid. I’m with a great group of kids and they understand that it’s not about the acting. We just relate to each other like normal kids and everything. I’ve had the opportunity to have these experiences because we didn’t let acting change anything else in my life.

TW: Are you learning to drive?

HJO: Yeah, I got my permit two weeks ago and I’m in Driver’s Ed right now. It’s going well. No wrecks yet.

TW: Have you started dating?

HJO: Not right now. It’s that time, but there’s nothing going on right now.

[Dad chimes in]
Eugene Osment: Learner’s permit first.

TW: Do you have an entourage of personal assistants?

HJO: No. [Laughs] I don’t have that complicated of a life. Understandably, some people have a need for assistants when their lives are as complicated as many of them are. I just don’t have a need for people to help out right now. I’m just 15.

TW: Are you being careful not to let your life turn into a freak show?

HJO: Yeah, because it can happen if you don’t focus on what the business is about. You have to see that everything is just a bonus around the acting. You’re lucky to get the attention you get because it’s a side effect of the work that you’re doing. So if you don’t concentrate on the importance of the work, you could easily get carried away. You could easily have your attention strayed from what is really important in this business. We see that happen sometimes.

TW: When you watch your older movies, what do you see?

HJO: I’ve been happy with the stuff I’ve done, but I can also see the level of progression in the movies that I’ve done. I feel that every film that I do, I’m bringing up the level of performance. Every actor should learn from their last performance and use it in their next performance. That’s how we’re able to create a sense of reality around every character, because we learn what it’s like to feel like one character, and we take the reality that we learned on one film and we add it to the next film. It’s like we’re starting with more information than we did last time.


Haley is the best.



Fair ends the First Anniversary celebration of Secondhand Lions with a look back at one of Haley's early works and offers a surprise at the end of it , in ....

Echoes From The Jeff Foxworthy Show

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