It has been 11 years since I last spoke to Haley Joel Osment. He was cute and seemed to have an old soul. But as we know, he had some troubled times. After that, it seems he got away from his demons. Lately he is doing voiceover, in TV and independent films. It is good to see him again with a very healthy, light attitude yet a deep voice and a man’s body.
Haley had great chemistry and big laughs in this film with Justin Long during the podcast scene. But there was a challenge from director, Kevin Smith, and he reveals that. Also Haley and Genesis Rodriguez, who plays the girlfriend of Justin’s character, talked about working with Johnny Depp.
Q: How was working with the newcomer Guy Lapointe?
Haley: The famous Canadian actor, Guy Lapointe. [Laughs] I think when Kevin got in contact with him, he responded immediately, saying, “Oh, this sounds like something I’d want to swim around in.” And that certainly was the feeling we got on set that he obviously is a chameleon and really good at stepping into other roles. And with this one, he got to have a lot of fun and act with cinema legend Michael Parks, which is kind of cool.
Q: Witnessing Johnny and his daughter on the set, what was that like?
Genesis: It was awesome. He was acting like a dad so it was really cool to see a dad admire his daughter. He was having such a proud moment that I was like, “Oh my God. This is too cute for words!”
Haley: A dad with a beret and a fake nose. [Laughs]
Q: The podcast scene has great laughs and chemistry with Justin Long. Did you improvise the scene?
Haley: It was like improv on the way to that start of the scene, because it starts with us already cracking up and everything. That was the day where Kevin came in with 15 or 20 pages of new rapid-fire dialogue back and forth with me and Justin. So we were studying our lines really intensely and then saying like, “All right, have you seen this funny video? Have you seen this funny video?” Like trying to get kind of giggly and up to that point. Luckily, Justin’s an easy guy to get along with so we got to that point where the laughter was real.
Q: It seems your character did a lot of stupid things with Justin’s character as a buddy. Do you have a guy friend like that in real life?
Haley: You certainly go into your own friendships to try and map out what it would be like with those two guys and everything. Some of my high school friends who I’m still friends with, there is that thing where you develop your own language with each other. What’s interesting about these two characters is that their podcast is their own special relationship but then it gets broadcast to millions of people and becomes a sort of currency for their fans and everything. But God, trying to think of a safe story with stupid things for my friends. I went to theater school at NYU but most of my friends that I made before college were all guys that played baseball and got into the NFL and everything. So I think those weird sets of friends – some that you’re working on Beckett with and some that you want to go to the Knicks game with and some that do both. I guess I’m lucky [laughs].
Q: We all remember you from The Sixth Sense. How has the transition been from being a child actor to an adult actor?
Haley: As an actor, I feel really lucky because I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of experience on sets and still be relatively young. And it’s fun because your body is kind of your instrument and if you’re getting old over a period of time… Remembering doing characters when I was a kid and now being an adult and having a romantic interest and things like that. The variety is really exciting, so I guess I feel lucky.
Tusk opens in theaters on September 19th.