is never easy, even when you're a movie
star. Just ask Haley Joel Osment, who
was the little tike who famously coined
the phrase "I see dead people"
in The Sixth Sense. Now 15, he's shedding
that role as quickly as the costumes he
literally outgrew while shooting Secondhand
Lions, recently released on video. Osment,
who plays the role of Walter, was dubbed
"Squeaky" by fellow cast members
when his pre-adolescent voice unexpectedly
jumped octaves, requiring additional takes.
talked to Osment shortly before the film
released in theaters last year. He looked
every bit the polished teenage Hollywood
starand his voice, incidentally,
has settled into a lovely alto.
did you learn from working with Robert
Duvall and Michael Caine?
are really generous actors. They demonstrated
how important it was to give a lot of
your energy to the other actors in the
scene. They are very warm, very caring,
and treated everyone equally on the set.
That made a big impression on me.
Walter's relationship with his mother.
I don't think Walter truly understands
his disappointment with his mother until
he realizes how good life can be, and
what kind of person he can be. He is dependent
on his mother at the beginning of the
film. He doesn't know anything but her.
It takes a shocking experience of being
abandoned to show him there are things
outside his mother. The theme of the movie
is about people who haven't found their
place and have been cast off. It shows
that everyone does have their place.
the scene where Walter finally hugs Hub
and he says, "You're good boy,"
Mr. Duvall said he ad-libbed that line.
Was that an emotional scene for you?
that scene was really emotionally charged,
and that was one of the most memorable
things that happened in that scene, because
we were just playing off each other so
much. Both of them are reaching an emotional
climax through the relationship they have
slowly built up, and when they finally
open up to each other all that comes pouring
out and that line was the result.
does Walter learn in this movie?
You have to put faith in the good things
in lifehonor, and virtue, all those
good principles. You have to see past
power and physical prowess and really
concentrate on the lasting good things
in life and put your faith in them, even
when they are not always supported by
understand you are a good student and
love to read. What are you reading right
Historical novels mostly, because I'm
going to be concentrating on history later
on in high school and hopefully in college
too. I finished the Abraham Lincoln biography,
and I was reading some Steven Ambrose
earlier this year, so I'm trying to get
into that before I start taking the classes.
you just wake up and realize you were
a born actor?
I don't think it's something you are born
with completely. I think acting is a skill
you have to learn, and I credit my dad,
who taught me to act. I think my parents
noticed early on that I enjoyed imagining
when I was a kid. My dad especially realized
that acting could be fun for me. I think
acting is something that fosters the manner
in which you can be in touch with your
emotions, because it makes you experience
things you normally would not.
do you do in your free time?
I'm usually running with the cross-country
team at my school. That's been a big commitment
for me. I play the guitar, I enjoy reading
a lot, and just hanging out with friends.
I have friends who really understand that
I'm just another kid like them. They're
not weirded out by the movies.
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