Sixth Sense's Haley Joel Osment Talks Hiding His Identity After Child Star Status

Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense
(Image credit: (Buena Vista))

Only so many actors can say they’ve had the honor of uttering an iconic movie line. There’s Arnold Schwartznegger’s “I’ll be back” in Terminator, Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” from The Shining and Andy Serkis’ “My precious” from Lord of the Rings. But Haley Joel Osment has them beat. He said “I see dead people” at just 10 years old and has undoubtedly lived with The Sixth Sense line his entire life.

M. Night Shyamalan’s breakout hit became a cultural phenomenon when it delivered that famous twist and was later nominated for six Academy Awards, including a nomination for young Haley Joel Osment. While the now 32-year-old actor is proud of his early experience on film, he admitted to The Guardian that he’s often found himself trying to figure out ways to blend in. For example, there’s a specific reason why he often dons a beard:

To try to hide in public. That didn’t really work at all.

Somehow, it’s still quite easy to recognize The Sixth Sense actor. His childhood performances in not only the 1999 thriller, but Pay It Forward, Forrest Gump and A.I. are incredibly memorable, and his eyes are a dead giveaway (no pun intended). Haley Joel Osment said he even found himself signing up for a lot of bad guy roles in his adulthood to rebel against his boyish reputation.

Presently, Haley Joel Osment finds himself at piece with his past as a child actor, with these words:

I’m lucky to have a positive relationship with those periods that can sometimes be difficult for other people… I feel like I’m always building on it.

Haley Joel Osment feels especially lucky he didn’t have to face the challenges of his sister, Emily Osment, who piggy-backed with Miley Cyrus on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana craze in the early ‘00s. His 27-year-old sister has remained busy as a television star since her teen days working on Young & Hungry and Fox’s Almost Family. The brother and sister work together on Netflix’s Golden Globe-winning The Kominsky Method.

Haley Joel Osment has been busy with recent appearances in the television shows Future Man, Teachers, The Boys and What We Do In The Shadows. You may have also seen him in last year’s Zac Efron-led Ted Bundy movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, The Devil Has A Name and Bad Therapy with Alicia Silverstone.

As far as M. Night Shyamalan, after years of a bad reputation to shed after his version of Avatar: The Last Airbender and After Earth’s flop, he’s been building up his resume again by secretly continuing his Unbreakable franchise with Split and Glass. He has since produced a series for Apple TV+ called Servant and is currently casting his next movie. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more movie news.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.