You might remember me from The Sixth Sense or AI: Artificial Intelligence. I have a bunch of projects coming up; currently you can see me on The Spoils of Babylon on IFC. It airs Thursdays at 10 PM.

I just joined Twitter today (honestly!) and you can follow me here: @HaleyJoelOsment

Ask me anything!

EDIT: Alright folks- unfortunately I must end this session. I'm in Los Angeles today and I have to get on the road now if I want to be home by 7PM... Thank you all (and reddit) for a great experience! I will be back again sometime soon!


Comments: 3368 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

hiperbad1845 karma

I liked you as Mac in It's Always Sunny.

HJOsment1693 karma

thank you! I loved that show from season 1...I did not pick-up on the McIlhenny/Osment doppelganger situation until I read an interview where Charlie Day described Rob's being accosted on an airplane by a lady who refused to believe he wasn't me. I was thrilled to be asked to do even a promo. I thought about doing a cursory search after talking to Rob and Kaitlin because both Rob and I have very very Irish ancestry.....but that probably would have been a bit creepy.

HJOsment1492 karma

It was surreal sitting at the bar in Paddy's Pub after watching that show for years and years and years. The cast is the opposite of their characters, I might add. Such nice people.

crimeturtle1885 karma

I refuse to believe that Danny DeVito doesn't get naked and crawl out of couches on a daily basis

d3m0n0id581 karma

I think either Glenn Howerton or Rob McELhenney did an ama and said that the only person who is actually like their character is Danny DeVito

HJOsment899 karma

I enjoy his "Troll Foot" selfies

ImperialMarketTroope40 karma

So......Rob DIDN'T try and put his thumb through your eye?

HJOsment136 karma

no no quite the opposite: the experience was better than

Staxcellence1610 karma

Hey Haley,

Thanks for doing this AMA. As The Sixth Sense was a pretty dark movie and you were still a young kid, do you have any lighthearted memories from being on set? Also, do you feel like you hit puberty quicker after being exposed to Bruce Willis and his radiant manliness?

HJOsment1875 karma

Hahaha i was still a few years away from puberty at that point but Bruce's radiant manliness certainly cannot be denied. He was great to work with, and I wish I had been a little older at the time because apparently there were some pretty great Willis-DJed crew parties on the weekends at the Philadelphia Convention center.

HJOsment1534 karma

Side note: that building was the setting used for filming a lot of movies in the 90s (including 12 Monkeys). People like JFK and Billy Graham spoke there long ago and it has since been demolished. It's weird to go by there now and think of everything that took place in that space. A very Sixth Sense theme!

ngtstkr509 karma

So wait, you do see dead people?

gotacastleinbrooklyn539 karma

You didn't know The Sixth Sense was a documentary?

HJOsment1886 karma

Found Footage. 100%

HJOsment1477 karma

We only pretended otherwise because of Blair Witch...

Archulerus1446 karma

As a mortician when people find out what I do for a living I get asked "Do you see dead people?". I don't know you but you have caused me some annoyances.

HJOsment1471 karma

I'm sorry for that! Morticians get an unfair rap----just ask the Fishers...

HJOsment1823 karma

I saw an interview with a mortician in LA Weekly or something years ago. His response to one question has stayed with me. They asked him if seeing all the ways people die made him afraid of accidents and the like. He said No, in fact it made him feel more at peace with his imminent death because it really can happen at any time--HOWEVER, one common accident that really upset him and changed his driving habits was seeing small children that had been run over in parking lots, since they were shorter than the mirrors. So look over your shoulder when backing out of that space!

RalphytheSavage1369 karma

We played flag football against each other. Instead of shaking your hand and saying, "good game" after the game I said "I see dead people."

I'm sorry.

HJOsment1003 karma

no apology necessary!

Artvandelay11016 karma

Have you started working on Kingdom Hearts 3 yet? What do you know about it that you can legally share with us?

HJOsment1407 karma

Wow, lots of Kingdom Hearts questions! I am a fan of the series too, so I am excited to see what they do with KH3. I only have about as much information as you all do at the moment; they are still making the game, and my part is one of the last steps in the process. I won't be involved until later in the year at the earliest. But I will let you all know if I hear anything more!

remoravox544 karma

Get up on the Hydra's back.

HJOsment1420 karma


Toberoni848 karma

Do people still approach you as "former child star"? If so, how do you deal with that situation?

HJOsment1964 karma

When you get lucky, as I did getting to work on a series of amazing films, one of the drawbacks career-wise is that the image of you at 10 or 12 or whatever is burned into people's minds for a long time. That said, I'm proud that those films are still so beloved and that they stand a good chance of being watched for many years going forward. For an actor, however, it's important to keep diversifying your work and trusting that eventually people will see the span rather than just that moment in time.

DEDson827 karma

Imdb says you like to hunt lizards. Why lizards, and what kind of traps/spells do you use?

HJOsment1612 karma

I used to catch fence lizards growing up in California with a bamboo pole and humane snare (only catch-and-release!) . Then I got serious at about age 8 and got a leopard gecko. They are great pets if you're into reptiles. This is true: I still have that same lizard (Pete). He's 18 years old and they live even longer.

HJOsment1518 karma

Din's Fire

TheLameloid754 karma

What's your golf handicap?

Does it blow your mind that the first film role you landed was FORREST GUMP?

HJOsment1204 karma

Yes it was quite a stroke of luck. The casting agent just happened to see the Bigfoot Pizza Hut commercial I was in at the time (my first job) and she called me in. I have a pretty amazing piece of Forrest Gump movie memorabilia I might tweet on July 6 (the film's 20th anniversary).

HJOsment591 karma

oh golf handicap, I forgot: technically 11 right now but I fell way out of practice in college. The Chelsea piers triple decker robot driving range is fun but didn't keep me up to snuff---spending more time in LA these days so hopefully i can get my game back.

swim_to_survive632 karma

Hey Haley,

I just want to prepare you for what is bound to come later today. Like many, I loved Secondhand Lions and Pay It Forward.

How was working with Michael Caine? I always dreamt he would've made the coolest grandfather.

Edit: I wanted to add a TIL - if you say outloud "my cocaine" you are correctly pronouncing Michael Caine as he would say it.

HJOsment645 karma

Michael Caine is a is a gifted storyteller and hugely generous actor. He would regale all of us on the set with his many stories going back decades in his career. He wrote a very good book in the 80s about acting technique that gives you a good idea of what he's like in person. He is never afraid to share his experience and technique with a younger actor and I appreciated that very much.

SpecialOpsCynic297 karma

The speech Duvall gave to you in Second Hand Lions is one of my favorite sceens ever. Was that really unscripted and if so did he off screen ever add on to it?

HJOsment676 karma

it was of the many remarkable things about Duvall is his absolute dedication to the integrity of not only his own, but his costars' performances; he refused to get out of the lake and wear a coat when we did my coverage of that climactic scene and it was freezing and he is in his eighties. You can always count on him to give it his all, on camera and off camera.

ChezySpam572 karma

What is your most recent or most significant feeling of buyer's remorse?

HJOsment2157 karma

HD-DVD player...

vanwyngarden535 karma

When you were filming the sixth sense did you suffer from nightmares? I am 26 now but I have had a reoccurring dream about the man in the shower since I was 10!

HJOsment1171 karma

It certainly was a disturbing subject matter but there is something desensitizing (not necessarily in a negative way) about seeing the whole process of making a horror movie that prevents you from being too scared going forward. I like horror movies but I have trouble getting really scared anymore! There is a deleted scene from the Sixth Sense where I look out the window of the hospital and see an entire wing with horribly disfigured and mutilated people standing in each of the dozens of windows. I saw every single one of these actors going through makeup and that kind of eased the shock of it. I think Night wisely cut that out because we end up having a movie that isn't too gory and your imagination (the most terrifying force at work) takes over.

hatchetboy172 karma

If we nag you enough, can you get that scene put on Youtube?

HJOsment618 karma

I'm actually not sure if it's even on the DVD....internet: find it

HJOsment908 karma

For that reason, it's things like The Road, House of Leaves, and The Shining that have the most enduring hold on me because they question your own sanity and send your imagination spiralling out into the worst regions you're capable of imagining.

ContinuumGuy508 karma

Just a random question: Have you always gone by "Haley Joel", or were called just Haley Osment or just Joel Osment before you went into acting?

HJOsment887 karma

I'm actually not sure how this came to be --It's all three of my real, birth certificate my personal life I'm just called "Haley"

lord_leon500 karma

If you could, would you take it all back and have been a normal child (instead of a child star), and why?

HJOsment1354 karma

I think I actually got to experience a "normal" childhood in ways most people don't expect. I went to a regular elementary school, high school, and went to university with only two work-related interruptions in those last four years. You are kind of thrust into the spotlight by being in projects like the ones we've mentioned at a young age but my parents made a tremendous effort to have a home life, education, and community that preserved the privacy and freedom kids need. It also delayed my involvement with social media until this very day (this reddit ama was my first ever tweet) and I think my desire to have almost absolute privacy protected me in my teens and early twenties (which may not have been the case if I didn't grow up that way). At 25 now I think I'm better prepared for public life in this industry.

HJOsment736 karma

So, short answer: no. :)

J0llly485 karma

Have you ever experienced a pay it forward moment in your own life?

HJOsment964 karma

I hear some amazing stories from strangers with surprising regularity....things like kidneys being donated and family members being flown to bed-sides (!) never ceases to amaze me that a movie can have such a lasting effect on the public consciousness. There are a lot of very serious problems in this country but one thing we have going for us is how people are so often willing to make sacrifices to help one another. I've seen this just on this site, from lost dogs being returned to homeless people being housed!

surakian398 karma

I wanted to know what it was like working with Jude Law in A.I.! He seems like a really cool guy to get to work with and A.I. was one of my favorite films as a child.

HJOsment594 karma

AI offered me the most in-depth preparatory experience of my career. Jude and I rehearsed with Steven extensively in the months leading up to filming. Jude also had the immense task of learning to dance expertly in a variety of styles; not only did he sit through three hours of makeup every morning, he was taking hours of lessons in Salsa, swing etc. (my makeup only took about 45 prosthesis!)

lanxner367 karma

The Kingdom Hearts plot is really hard to follow, but seeing as you’ve provided your voice for most of the games, can you understand most of it? Do you tend to play the games yourself?

HJOsment923 karma

I will never forget walking in for the first session of KH2 and seeing that the producers had set up a bulletin board with a flow chart explaining the sequence of events in different universes and watching them almost struggle to sort it out. It wasn't that they weren't knowledgeable, they just were still unraveling the story for themselves and dealing with the huge amount of information Nomura-San puts out. That was when I personally realized how video games had reached the level of art.

HJOsment1093 karma

Or maybe when I beat the Spirit Temple for the first time on N64....

Cocochica33334 karma

What was your strategy for avoiding the child star meltdown that so many young actors and actresses seem to experience today?

HJOsment856 karma

I think the biggest determining factor was my parents. They made an enormous effort to keep me grounded and to make sure that I didn't slack off on school or the other aspects of my life that would be important whether or not my career went anywhere. My dad is a theater actor so he was a big influence in the way I focused on the work rather than the other "Hollywood" aspects of the business, and my mom, a sixth grade teacher, was adamant that I finish my education. I did graduate from NYU in 2011 and I'm glad she steered me that way!

HJOsment621 karma

I was also very lucky to work with directors and producers who treated young actors with respect and protected their welfare on set. Spielberg is very well known for caring about where his young actors end up. He sends personal holiday cards to my family to this day which is just mind boggling because his Rolodex must extend into the hundred thousands!

Cocochica3369 karma

Thanks for your answer, and thank you for being a wonderful example to young aspiring actors. Nice to see you give a shoutout to your parents :)

HJOsment53 karma

Thank you very much!

alexzandra13312 karma

I went NYU when you were there. I think I saw you on campus once. Hi! How did you like your program there?

HJOsment488 karma

NYU is a gigantic school but the little part of it I attended was perfect for me. I was at the Experimental Theatre Wing in the Tisch School of the Arts and I loved every minute of it.

turtle_jetpack258 karma

What's your favorite flavor of pie?

HJOsment689 karma

Pumpkin. My mom makes a killer pumpkin pie.

KMA10k253 karma

With regards to Kingdom Hearts, how does it feel to have played the character of Sora for essentially half your life now? Is it an honor, a burden, or something else entirely?

HJOsment451 karma

It is weird to think that this is the character I've been with the longest! It's a great series though and I hope it goes on and on and on.....I did a play in Philadelphia a few years ago ( "Red" by John Logan) and we had a talkback after one Student Matinee....every single question was "WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT?" I enjoyed that.

quiksotik239 karma

Hey Haley, I was a student of your mom's back in 2000 and you and I tossed around a football with some kids after school one day. Heard you on the radio this morning and just wanted to congratulate you on your role! Look forward to seeing you in new stuff in the future. Please tell Ms. Osment Joseph says hi!

HJOsment239 karma

thank you so much! I will tell her!

ragertes234 karma

How did you like working with Will Farrell? it seems everyone either loves him or hates...

And What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

HJOsment342 karma

I'm in the former camp! I think that he and his longtime collaborators (Matt Piedmont and Andrew Steele, director and writer of Spoils, respectively) have an even more surreal sense of humor than what their work on SNL suggested. Matt has a directing style that works perfectly with Ferrell's sensibilities; it's almost a kind of performance art. I had a blast.

Unremoved458 karma


HJOsment769 karma

i suppose it will come out eventually.....Cinnamon Life

detrickswan231 karma

Hey Haley! How was it working on TUSK? Is it as messed up as I hope it's going to be? Thanks for doing this AMA!

HJOsment386 karma

It is. I saw a rough cut two days ago. Immediately knew my Mom and my girlfriend will both not be able to sit through it!

HankSinatra221 karma

Can you please explain the context behind this keyboard cat video that features you and Walker Texas Ranger?

HJOsment283 karma

i think you'd have to ask Conan

HJOsment296 karma

I was at a press conference with Tobey Maguire last week and learned that he was also on Walker! a rite of passage...

HJOsment1032 karma

he got to be a "cigarette smoking tough in a leather jacket" however. I died of AIDS.

XXX-Rx_RnR214 karma

Hey Haley,

I just popped by to say that we've met a couple of times at a Deli I used to manage right next to NYU, don't know if you recall that though. I wanted to pop by and say that I am a huge fan of your work and you are a very awesome chill dude! Awesome to see you doing an AMA ! Cheers!

HJOsment279 karma

thank you! was it Delion? I went by recently and it looks like a whole new store? Weird how different all the spots are along 8th st and waverly etc just a few short years since I was at NYU! If it was Delion, I feel like I went in there at 11AM five days a week during my break. Often I would be waiting for a bialy next to Spike Lee. I think he was editing "When The Levees Broke" in our building. Very nice guy.

HJOsment225 karma

now that would be a great AMA....has he done one?

WaterLady28202 karma

Hi Haley! Do you ever re-watch the movies you were in when you were really young, and is it kind of a surreal experience? Like is it hard to believe it was really you or is it more of a "fond memories" kind of deal? Thanks for doing this AmA. :)

HJOsment435 karma

When big studio films come out you wind up seeing them like a dozen times in a very short period while you're doing publicity. For the Sixth Sense, we went to premiers in Japan, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. So I don't usually return after that except by accident! I don't have a problem returning to my own work (sometimes the things you hate about a performance can inspire you to fix the issue next time around) . I had a crazy experience in Cuba in 2011 related to this. I went (legally!) with one of my NYU professors (an excellent teacher named Catherine Coray--If you're in NYC, you may know her from the theatre festivals and workshops she runs there) and did workshops at a university outside Havana. They asked me to do a talk back there and I saw the Sixth Sense for the first time in a decade. Didn't recognize myself! I remember the experience of shooting movies very clearly but it's strange to watch yourself as a kid.

PHogenson191 karma

I really loved A.I., and I thought your performance was phenomenal, but I think it's also a really misunderstood movie. How do you feel about the way that movie has been received and what are you feelings about it compared to your other works?

HJOsment330 karma

I saw the excellent Kubrick exhibit at LACMA last year and they had one room dedicated to AI---it featured a bunch of drawings Kubrick had commissioned in the early 1990s and it was thrilling to see that Steven had perfectly captured what Stanley had envisioned 20 years ago. Kubrick was never going to direct it; he told steven it should be "A Stanley Kubrick Production of a Steven Spielberg Film," and I think Steven was absolutely true to everything he had planned with Stanley, even if some aspects (like the robots at the end) exposed him to criticism that it was "sentimental" or that the designs recalled Close Encounters. I think people would be surprised if they knew the details of who-added-what during the development process because Stanley was becoming a (little) bit more hopeful and Steven was exploring darker territory than people were used to. Usually the children don't get buried under a glacier for 2000 years in Steven's films!

AMA_requester189 karma

Being one of the rare child actors to be nominated for an Academy Award, what was that feeling like? Sitting at the Oscars and being acclaimed amongst the likes of Michael Caine and Tom Cruise?

HJOsment380 karma

Having Michael Caine say what he said was one of the great honors of my life. That category was pretty special that year, as I worked with Law and Caine in the years following the nomination. Tom Cruise was also very kind to me and my family throughout that award season, as was Michael Clarke Duncan. RIP: he was a lovely guy and great actor.

Driz51189 karma

Who is your favorite Kingdom Hearts character besides Sora and what is your favorite line of Sora's?

HJOsment518 karma

the number of times i have screamed "RI KUUUUUU"...

HJOsment360 karma

Kairi's great too....not playing favorites

HJOsment334 karma

Kairi's great too....not playing favorites

marshmallowhugs160 karma

Hi Haley,

I have to say that Pay it Forward is one of my favorite movies of all times. You had some good WWF moves in addition to the acting! Between Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey, and Bon Jovi (for the parts of the movie he was in) who did you look up to most?

Edit: Actor

HJOsment221 karma

Kevin and Helen were equally inspiring and kind on that project---I've met Kevin Bacon and worked with his wife (Kyra Sedgwick) but we've never had scenes together. He's great too though, obviously. And a good guitarist. Does that put me one degree away from him or two?

ILurveNovelty91 karma

I think he meant Kyra Sedgwick. :)

HJOsment139 karma

oh god whoops you're right

HJOsment196 karma

typing too fast haha--if i edit that, is it considered bad form?

LostInLightRotation152 karma

Hi Haley, thanks for doing this.

My partner (weirdly last night) told me you were once linked with the Harry Potter role but dismissed the rumours saying they would diminish the magic of the books.

  1. Was my girlfriend correct in this?
  2. How do you feel now the the films have been completed? Are you a fan and do you think they've affected the books?

Thanks in advance.

HJOsment452 karma

There were rumors at the time that I was connected but they were untrue. Rowling was (rightly) adamant about the actor being British from the beginning, and I was already shooting AI. Side note: Dan Radcliffe is a terrific guy. Great on stage too.

Cparsonslv143 karma

Are you a robot? I've been convinced that you were a robot.

HJOsment398 karma

Stanley Kubrick actually wanted a robot! but technology couldn't get to his level so they had to make do with me...

travisburnsred104 karma

Do people ever call you "Little Forrest"?

HJOsment216 karma

sometimes people think I am the little Forrest who wore the leg braces! So I guess there were 2 mini-forrests in that film.

Wyrme99 karma

Where do your music interests lie?

HJOsment163 karma

This is something I look forward to digging into now that I'm on twitter. Here are some of the things I'm listening to right now: (I'll add throughout this AMA)

HJOsment242 karma

My Bloody Valentine - mbv Arthur Verocai - Arthur Verocai Little Dragon - Ritual Union Thundercat - Golden Age of Apocalypse Suburban Lawns - (good luck finding this one, I almost couldn't!) Joey Bada$$ - (lots, probably 1999 most frequently)

HJOsment275 karma

anything by Flying Lotus Tame Impala, Four Tet, longtime Radiohead fan, Le Volume Courbe, Broadcast (really underlining this band, often find people haven't heard of them. Tragically, Trish Keenan passed away a few years ago.)

HJOsment155 karma

stereolab, ultraista, Altitude Sickness

HJOsment143 karma

i'll surely be pestering the world with my playlist recs on twitter in the times to come...

HJOsment162 karma

ingMob, WuTang, Jdilla, Madlib, DamFunk, death grips

HJOsment178 karma

Michael Parks is in the film TUSK, which i just finished: at dinner one night in North Carolina I discovered that the "Charlie" and "Bill" and "Miles" he was referring to in a conversation about Jazz were Mingus, Evans, and Davis, respectively. He knew them as friends. The "Martin" that he referred to as an acquaintance was Dr. King. Michael Parks is an amazing man. We listened to Mingus' The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady in its entirety late one night in a tiny motel during shooting. One of those experiences you feel would allow you to die happy.

shadowjournalist48 karma

What is the best dinosaur?

HJOsment127 karma

as a kid, my favorite was with the wisdom of a few more years: no one messes with a velociraptor

RageagainsttheSons29 karma

Absolutely loved you on The Adam Carolla Show today. You were very eloquent and had great stuff to add to his rambling.

What's your favorite pizza topping? Pineapple and Canadian Bacon?

HJOsment34 karma

Lot of very solid, basic Pizza places in my neighborhood in nyc....where I get creative is the sauces....banana ketchup, habanero, many obscure types of BBQ sauce. A homemade BBQ chicken pizza can be pretty great--

razorsheldon24 karma

Pay it Forward was such a great movie. If you ever need any real life examples, feel free to swing by /r/UpliftingNews

HJOsment37 karma

thanks for the tip! the resources here are just boundless

HelenVonBiscuits18 karma

How do you feel about fame? Do you like being recognized or is it a nuisance?

HJOsment44 karma

In general I have a lot of mixed feelings about "FAME" and who we choose idolize and pick apart as a culture, but for me personally it's just one of the aspects of our industry and I don't mind people coming up and wanting to talk about a movie. People are almost always very nice about it.

HJOsment54 karma

I saw a fellow young actor, Jack Gleeson from Game of Thrones, speak very eloquently about this at Oxford Union

suffynose17 karma

Any information on Tusk you could give us?

And, have you seen the play-off cat play you off of Walker Texas Ranger?

HJOsment36 karma

We were excited to see (a semi-accurate) post about Tusk's wrapping in North Carolina go to #1 on Reddit last November! I think Kevin Smith has done an excellent job cultivating his fan base on social media and elsewhere (some of his talk backs go on for 8 hours!) and that was some evidence right there. We have a few more days of pick ups in February but Ive seen a cut and it's OUT OF CONTROL. I laughed and felt uncomfortable in the same proportion as when I watch David Lynch movies. Release will be second half of '14 I believe.