Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Recent Child Actor

I also took a look at Haley Joel Osmet (b. 1988) as I was writing my last post, on Macaulay Culkin.  Osmet may have fared a bit better than Culkin, but only time will tell.

Osmet began his career as many child actors do, in commercials.  His first movie was Forrest Gump (1994) where he played the son of Gump, played by Tom Hanks.  This was a big movie, and a good break for Osmet.  If you get the Gump DVD with extra features, it includes part of Osmet's screen test.  It is easy to see why he became a popular young actor.

Quite a few movies and TV series' followed, until he got his real breakout role, The Sixth Sense in 1999.  Haley's performance in the M. Night Shyamalan (b. 1970) film is incredible.  He was nominated for an Academy Award for his effort.  It is not easy to upstage Bruce Willis (b. 1955), but I think most people remember Osmet as the star of this film.

In a similar role, he starred in the 2000 film, Pay It Forward.  He exudes a sad appearance, with the look of his eyes and a slightly odd characteristic in his voice.  He was perfectly cast again, and his co-stars, Helen Hunt (b. 1963) and Kevin Spacey (b. 1959), also have the necessary qualities to make this movie work without trying to take anything away from Osmet.  It was not a movie about successful people, it was about regular people and their struggles to just get through life.

The next year he has a starring role in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence.  Just barely a teenager, Haley has already had a dream career.  He has also had quite a few voice-over roles for animated films and video games.  The next ten years of work bring his total title count to about 45 roles.

IMDb now lists, in pre-production, a comedy called Sex Ed, due to be released later this year.  Osmet is now in his twenties.  Is he trying to break out of his child actor cage?  As with many child actors, he has had some incidents in his life that he probably regrets.  I hope he finds his place in the entertainment industry, and I wish him all the best.

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