Haley Joel Osment joined Twitter today and in his first (and so far only) Tweet promoted an ongoing Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Osment, best known for his childhood role in The Sixth Sense, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight and away from social media for the last few years so an AMA is an odd choice but presumably it’s to promote the IFC parody miniseries The Spoils of Babylon. The AMA is a full of interesting tidbits—how he deals with being a child star, his involvement in that great It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia promo, and hunting lizards to name a few—and we’ve collected the best ones.
I liked you as Mac in It’s Always Sunny.
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 Ancestry.com 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.
Imdb says you like to hunt lizards. Why lizards, and what kind of traps/spells do you use?
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.
If you could, would you take it all back and have been a normal child (instead of a child star), and why?
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.
What was your strategy for avoiding the child star meltdown that so many young actors and actresses seem to experience today?
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!
Who is your favorite Kingdom Hearts character besides Sora and what is your favorite line of Sora’s?
the number of times i have screamed “RI KUUUUUU”…
Kairi’s great too….not playing favorites
Any information on Tusk you could give us?
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.
How did you like working with Will Farrell? it seems everyone either loves him or hates…
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.
Can you please explain the context behind this keyboard cat video that features you and Walker Texas Ranger?
i think you’d have to ask Conan
I was at a press conference with Tobey Maguire last week and learned that he was also on Walker! a rite of passage… he got to be a “cigarette smoking tough in a leather jacket” however. I died of AIDS.