Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Haley Joel Osment Says Being a Former Child Star Is a 'Double-Edged Sword'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Haley Joel Osment Says Being a Former Child Star Is a 'Double-Edged Sword'

Article excerpt

Haley Joel Osment on being a child star

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TORONTO - Haley Joel Osment says being a former child star is a "double-edged sword."

The 26-year-old actor is still known to many as the kid who could see dead people in "The Sixth Sense," or for his starring turns in films like "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and "Pay it Forward."

Osment said in an interview during the Toronto International Film Festival that he's grateful for his early success but it "burns an image into people's minds."

"When you're a kid and you grow up, it takes some time for people to associate you with more things other than that initial thing. So it's a challenge but I've been lucky enough to do a lot of projects recently that are all over the map," he said. "It's created a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise."

In Kevin Smith's new horror-comedy "Tusk," screening at the fest, Osment plays a bearded, wise-cracking podcaster. He springs into action to save his friend (Justin Long) who is abducted by a Canadian serial killer who turns people into creepy, humanoid walruses.

It's the latest project in which Osment reveals a new side of himself. He has also been praised for his voice-acting in the "Kingdom Hearts" video games and for his role in IFC miniseries "The Spoils of Babylon."

Osment said it's impossible to shed the image that fans have of him -- and he wouldn't necessarily want to.

"I think it would be a mistake to consciously try and fight it. I'm very proud of those films. It's a really happy thing," he said. "You try and do something to try and shatter that image in people's minds, it's kind of not a nice thing to do to your audience. I think I would be trying too hard, you know?"

His first film role was in "Forrest Gump" as the title character's son -- "Yeah, that's not a bad way to start," Osment laughed -- which he said he landed after the casting director saw him in a Pizza Hut commercial. …

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