Baisley : This is Nic Baisley
from filmsnobbery.com. I am here at the Orlando film festival,
here at the Plaza Cinema Cafe, here with Haley Joel Osment.
How are you doing, sir?
Joel Osment : It's good to see
Montana Amazon teaser clip plays... " This is the story
of a family a lot like yours, if yours has left a trail of
mayhem and destruction across the country...]
You're here with Montana Amazon. How did
you get involved with that project?
Haley Joel Osment : The
script came to me about two years ago and immediately caught
my attention, because it's one of the most unique stories
that I have ever read. And then Alison (Brie) and Olympia
(Dukakis) came along at about the same time as I was reading
the script, and we all got attached and just sorta went for
it out in California, so it's truly exciting to see it come
to the Festivals.
Excellent. Now we all know where you've
come from, we don't have to go too far into it, but as far
as you were growing up that way, what are some of the things
you've learned from those different projects that you have
take on to the next project?
Haley Joel Osment : Every
experience offers a lot of things for you to learn. This one,
Montana Amazon, in particular, was an exciting opportunity
to get comfortable with a really fast pace of film making.
We were doing sometimes upward of 35, 38 setups a day, more
than twice what you would normally do even on low budget independent
film. So we just learned to be very prepared to shoot a lot
of different scenes on any given day, and just ready to adapt,
you know, be prepared for anything that the weather or time
constraints would force us to do.
Promo Montana Amazon teaser clip with Haley
Joel Commentary plays... " ]
Now, you know, you mentioned at the Panel last night...you
and I were at the here at Orlando...that was fun...
Haley Joel Osment : That
was really fun, yeah.
You mentioned that you were at New York
studying experimental theatre. How did you come about that
decision as opposed, kinda, just continuing other acting pursuits?
Haley Joel Osment : You
know, I left it open while I was in school that if a script
came along which I really responded to, that I would take
a leave of absence, and NYU was luckily very accommodating
with that. I actually did take a semester off to do Montana
Amazon because the script came along and I really wanted to
give it a shot. But, the choice to go to college was something
that I made when I was younger. Finishing my education was
really important to me, and specifically, studying theatre
rather than film, you know, was just a world that I hadn't
been a part of nearly as much as I had been with film. So
learning the different styles of composition, and you know,
all the things that had to do with theatre, were all very
important to me, trying to be as well rounded an actor as
I possibly could be.
You know, I look at younger guys like yourself
and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who started younger and kinda grew
up in the Industry, but have kinda stepped back a little bit
and have done more independent projects. What's the appeal
of stuff like that?
Haley Joel Osment : I
mean, just the creative freedom that it offers you. I mean,
obviously independent film, there's a lot more of a variety
of stories. All of my favourite scripts, well, not all of
them, but most of my favourite scripts that I've read, even
films that were not ultimately made, came from the Independent
market, because you have the freedom to try things that may
not be palatable to the Studios, necessarily. So there are
great Studio films that are made, but as you have mentioned,
there are many young actors who would gravitate to environments
where they could work with filmmakers that are not necessarily
constrained by what the Studios have to do.
Now, obviously you picked to do Montana
Amazon because you were really attracted to the character.
A couple of questions. What attracted you to the character,
and how often do scripts come across your door where you're
like, "I wish that I could do that, but I don't have
time" or "I don't have the ability"?
Haley Joel Osment : Erm,
you know, college was not an obstacle to films, you know.
A lot of the great Independent scripts that I read just ultimately
did not end up getting made. You know, the downturn in the
economy has made it hard for really low, low budget films
to get out there, so there's been some tragedies... I've read
some great stories which just don't seem to get their money.
But with this character, in particular, to answer your first
question, a lot of the non verbal aspects of it were pretty
attractive to me. Alison's character is pretty much the only
character that consistently is talking throughout the movie.
So with me and Olympia having this very non verbal, highly
physically charged relationship of aggression and dominance,
that was an exciting thing to tackle.
Do you see yourself, as far as future roles
is concerned, do you see yourself as more the leading guy,
Christian Bale-Batman kinda situation, or do you see yourself
more as like, you know, the guy whose going to be the lead
in a romantic comedy or the drama, or the stuff that, like,
you've seen what Crispin Glover ends up doing... he was in
Back to the Future but ended up in really weird stuff, but
everyone seems to dig it. So, I mean, where do you see yourself
and your career, after school, and you know, that kinda situation?
Haley Joel Osment : I
try not to plot too much the type of actor that I want to
be seen as. From the place I'm in, I'd like to try as much
as a variety of films that I possibly can. You know, you mentioned
Christian Bale, but the film that he did right before Batman
was The Machinist, you know, which was a huge change in physicality
as well the type of film and the type of character and everything.
So that type of flexibility is something that I'd really like
to do, and I couldn't have predicted doing this film two and
a half years ago, so I look forward to scripts that come along
that offer a unique challenge and aren't things that I have
necessarily dreamed of in the past, you know, things that
take you by surprise.
How often do you get passed scripts from
people at school? I mean, do you get treated like one of the
guys there, or do you end up, you know, people kinda harrass
you a little bit?
Haley Joel Osment : Oh,
people were really great in NYU. I mean, it's such a large
school, and it's in New York City, so in a way that somehow
offers you a little bit more cover, and a campus that would
be more insular, I guess. But, as far as my classmates in
the Theatre School, it's a very close, small group of people
and we were just classmates and friends and everything. People
knew of my background but it didn't end up as being something
that interfered with ability to create new relationships with
One last thing, you mentioned on the Panel
last night... you kinda hinted that you might like to take
a turn at directing. Do you have anything that you are already
thinking about, or you're kinda out there looking for specific
things? What's that all about?
Haley Joel Osment : I
mean, that's a tough leap to make, but as we've seen, a lot
of actors who've spent a lot of time on sets ultimately get
the desire to have that creative control and sort of create
a world of their own as well as just act in someone else's.
So, yeah, I certainly would like to make my own work and everything.
I don't know what necessarily would be the easiest route,
or the quickest route to doing that, but it's something that
I would like to work towards. I technically executive-produced
this film, even though that was kinda of an honorary title
[laughs]. Roles behind the camera is something that I would
like to approach, and I think that I will ultimately get there.
Are you a writer as well?
Haley Joel Osment : Yeah,
you know, there are stories that I am interested in, and now
that school is in the past, I have the freedom to get creative
with my free time, when I am not making films. You mentioned
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has that website where they develop
Haley Joel Osment :
Yeah, he's very, very forward thinking about how artists can
create new work, and that's very inspiring to me. A path like
that would be pretty cool.
Are you active at all online, whether it
be social media or otherwise?
Joel Osment : I'm not, you know,
it's a tough mixture of being known in the wider world, I
don't participate in Facebook and Twitter and all those things.
I can't say that it's all that attractive to me, but I recognise
its great creative potential. So I think I ultimately do need
to adapt with the times, and be working with the huge pool
of creative artists that are out there through the internet,
it will be something that I will need to broach, but the obstacles...
how do you keep your personal life private, whilst still participating
in something where that's sort of the currency of that interaction.
I am certainly starting in, to be aware of it, now that I
have all this free time now that I am not at school [laughs]
so I can study that rather than the books [laughs].
Well, I appreciate your free time that
you do have, and chatting with us for a couple of minutes,
and congratulations on Montana Amazon, and congratulations
on being here at the Orlando Film Festival.
Haley Joel Osment : Thank
sure to view the ORIGINAL
Orlando Film Festival