Haley Joel Osment Interview by Nic Baisley of Filmsnobbery at the Orlando Film Festival 2010

Nic Baisley from filmsnobbery.com sat down with Haley Joel Osment at the Orlando Film Festival 2010 to talk about his role in Montana Amazon, his life at NYU studying experimental theatre, and the direction he is taking for his career.

Check out the Transcript of Haley Joel Osment's interview below...

Copyrighted © www.filmsnobbery.com and The Orlando Film Festival. First published Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Transcribed by Daniel Chia

Be sure to view the ORIGINAL VIDEO




Nic 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?

Haley Joel Osment : It's good to see you.

[ 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...]

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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... " ]

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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 these people.

Nic Baisley : 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.

Nic Baisley : 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 work...

Nic Baisley : HitRECord...

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.

Nic Baisley : Are you active at all online, whether it be social media or otherwise?

Haley 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].

Nic Baisley : 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 you.


Be sure to view the ORIGINAL VIDEO

video Copyrighted © www.filmsnobbery.com and The Orlando Film Festival





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