It’s been more than a decade since Haley Joel Osment saw dead people in the film The Sixth Sense and earned himself an Academy Award nomination at the age of 11.
Now 24, the young actor continues his transition into adult roles with Sassy Pants, an independent film in which he plays the young boyfriend of a man whose teenage daughter moves in with the couple to get away from her overbearing mother.
With spiky hair, nail polish, tatoos and a pierced lip, Osment’s character of Chip is a real departure for the actor whose post-Sense credits include Pay It Forward, AI: Artificial Intelligence, Secondhand Lions and Home of the Giants.
‘I thought the entire script was hilarious when I read it,’ the actor tells Frontiers.com. ‘I think Chip’s got a great injection of energy, and he’s endearing. And it’s a role that transformed me completely and physically.’
‘We kept adding layers from the first day I went into the makeup trailer,’ he adds. ‘The lip ring came in a moment of inspiration. The haircut was a sweep forward and a peacock in the back. Coley [Sohn, the writer/director] gave a clear picture of him in the script—the boots, the hot pants, the tattoo.’
After several years of being mostly absent from the big screen, Osment is busy making movies again. In addition to the supporting role in Sassy Pants, he has filmed the lead role in the film I’ll Follow You Down.
‘The choices I make are not about perception about age but interesting material,’ he says. ‘After college and my difficult last years of high school, new worlds have opened up for me in my age group.’