Haley Joel Osment: Why He Stepped Away From The Spotlight

Haley Joel Osment: Why He Stepped Away From The Spotlight

Haley Joel Osment was only 11 years old when he achieved stardom for his role in “The Sixth Sense.” Now, Haley opens up on Access Hollywood Live about how his life changed since he first skyrocketed to fame. Why did he step away from the spotlight? Plus, was he surprised that “I see dead people” became such a popular catchphrase? And, has he heard from past co-stars Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks?

Osment on his transition. You like this one? Yeah, I like that one a lot. Usually go more traditional, like a black tie. Bow tie. Whatever, three-button. Three-button. So you know three buttons. And the vest. And the vest as well. It's outstanding. I love how he said maybe we should go a little more traditional. I loved the jeans. 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment is now getting fitted for a tux to wear to the academy awards, nominated for best supporting actor for "The sixth sense" with his unforgettable phrase, of course, "I see dead people." After a few follow-up roles, Osment went to college and now is back with "The spoils of babylon," which is hysterical. Talk about your life after being nominated. What was your life like? I mean it was just a crazy couple of years. Getting the opportunity to do, first of all, that movie, and then after that, I think that very year was steelberg's "Ai," which is like a year-long project. And yeah, just a couple of really amazing films that came in a row. But you were a kid, you were a baby! Yeah, and when you're that age, I mean, an experience that unusual really sort of sticks with you, so I remember it very vividly still. I remember being at that touch shop with Tony in 1999. So, yeah. Gosh, good for you. What about -- okay, so, you decide on your own I'm going to go to college, I'm going to get this real experience. And was there a pressure? Did you feel, oh, I've got to keep my career hot, as a 15-year-old kid? I've got to strike while the iron's hot and not go to school? I mean, I think, yeah, there's always that balance, because you know, you're only as good as your last project. So, going away to college, doing something like that, you certainly have to re-establish yourself, but just on the home front, my mom's a sixth-grade teacher, so there was really no question of whether or not I was going to college. Since I was a little kid, we're very, very much into education. I had gone to a regular high school, in your neighborhood, actually, we were just talking about, you know, so it just seemed a logical extension of that. Then going to college just as an artist, I side experimental theater there, so I felt like I was still in my craft, even though if you step out of Hollywood for a while, you'll have to find your way back. How many drunk people come up to you, "I see dead people," like at a party, come on. What would they say to you? You know, at college, it didn't happen that much, but when the film came out, you know, I will never stop being surprised at how much of a catch phrase that became. Looking back, it makes sense now, but when we shot the movie, nobody was thinking, at least that I could tell, that it was going to be the hit that it was and that it would establish that call sign. Were you afforded your privacy at nyu? Yeah, I really was. It's strange, and seems sort of counterintuitive, but going to a giant university like that in New York City, you sort of can blend in a little bit, because the people in New York are sort of not -- you know, don't get too star-struck very easily, I think, you know. It's a big city. And a lot of the people that I was in school with, you know, weren't really in the industry. It was people going into theater and like that, so there was really none of that oddness of, you know, recognition. Good for you. Yeah. I think back to "The sixth sense," under the bed with mischa Barton. That looked kind of cute under the bed. Did y'all stay in touch or anything, because that was kind of fun. Yeah, it was crazy to see her have so much success with "The O.C." I saw her years after that, and that scene was such a disturbing scene. And I remember her having to just swallow -- Freaked me out. It was like this cold cereal mix, she throws up, a really disturbing scene. So, it was funny to see her years later, now that we're adults. Do you run into Bruce Willis at all, stay in touch, maybe a text? I haven't spoken to him in a while, but he was always kind to me and my family. He left some very funny voice mails at our home phone when we started going number one and everything. So -- What did he say? A great guy. For you? I can't remember, we have it on a tape -- I love that, the tape, the old answering machine. Yeah, how much does that happen anymore? And what about Tom Hanks? I didn't know you were the little dude in "Forrest gump." Have you stayed in touch with him? Yeah, a couple years back he had his lifetime achievement award at afi. I saw him there and you were talking about "Captain Phillips" earlier in the show. It's amazing. Riveting. Finding new places to go with these characters. I remember as a 4-year-old even being very taken with his focus on set and how much he, you know, just gets absorbed in the work. So, it's not surprising to see him nominated yet another time. Did you do well in school? I would love to hear that you got Cs. You're straight As, baby. Did you get Cs? I have to disappoint you. As I said, my mom's in education, so very -- I can't remember my grade point average. In college, a conservative style thing, the grades sort of stopped mattering like that, but high school and standardized testing and everything -- What was your S.A.T. Score? Oh, I can't, I can't -- 1400, I bet. We did the year where they expanded it to 2400, I believe. There's the additional essay thing, so I was happy with my score. I got 1400, 700 the first time I took it, 700 the second time. Oh. Don't move. Do you mind if we chat some more? Of course. I've got so many more questions for you. It's fantastic talking with you. Haley Joel Osment. We'll talk to you more in a few