INTERVIEW: Emily Osment of R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour

Emily Osment is perhaps best known for playing Lilly Truscott, Hanna Montana’s best friend on the popular Disney Channel series. But the 15-year-old star is coming into her own with roles like Cassie in R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It, released on DVD Sept. 4, 2007. We caught up with her and learned her thoughts on making a scary movie, navigating the dating scene, and keeping a few things secret.

Your father (Eugene Osment) and brother (Haley Joel Osment) are actors. Does a passion for acting run in your blood?

Emily:I watched my dad and brother when I was little, and they looked like they were having so much fun. So I guess you could say it runs in the family.

Tell us a little about The Haunting Hour. Is making a thriller as exciting as watching one? I’ve read that you don’t like scary movies, and haven’t watched your brother in The Sixth Sense.

Emily: This is the first scary movie I’ve ever worked on. It was fun, because I got to be on the side of what scares you, instead of the one being scared. I have seen The Sixth Sense. I saw it a couple of years ago with my dad at home.

Have you read the R. L. Stine books?.

Emily: I wasn’t brave enough to read the R.L Stine book series when I was younger. But my brother read as many of them as he could. .

Cody Linley, a Hannah Montana co-star of yours, plays Sean in The Haunting Hour. Did you have to remind yourself you weren't on the set ofHannah Montana?.

Emily: No. I was able to separate it because we were in a different location with a different cast and crew. Plus, I was in a very different costume and hairstyle. All of that helped make the magic of the story real for us.

Your character in The Haunting Hour is a Gothic girl. Do you have 'Goth' friends? How did you prepare for the role?

Emily: I don’t personally know anyone like Cassie. I approached this character by looking at the things that made her choose to be a Goth girl more than what she did as a Goth girl. That was really the complexity of the character and what made her tick. She was going through a rebellious stage like all teenagers do to some degree. The ‘why’ is more important than the ‘what.’

What character that you have played so far is closest to your personality?

Emily: I can’t say that one character I’ve played is closer to me than another. Actors pull from their own experiences to bring reality to the characters. I wouldn’t want to play someone who’s a lot like me. There would be no turning it on or off.

I've read that you enjoy writing. What genre did you write? Did you meet Mr. Stine and compare notes?

Emily: I do enjoy writing, but I haven’t compared my writing style to Mr. Stine or any other author. For now, I’m just writing what I feel. Style will be whatever it becomes in the future.

The Haunting Hour hit shelves on September 4th, in plenty of time for Halloween. Do you like the holiday, and how do you normally celebrate it?

Emily:I love Halloween! At least that much of Cassie is like me. But I’ll be in Utah this coming Halloween, so I’m not sure I’ll be celebrating it this year.

The Haunting Hour has pretty cool special effects.

Emily: Yes, the monster effects were created by the same people who did the creature effects in Chronicles of Narnia.

Is it hard to make time for a social life? Are you allowed to date yet?

Emily: Balancing school, acting, and a social life can be difficult. But that’s ok, because I’m in no hurry to be dating. I have some close friends, both boys and girls. If I was focused on one person right now, I wouldn’t have time for my close friends.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Emily:I love to play the guitar. I also love photography and fashion. I’m hoping to maybe get more into that during college.

What would your fans be surprised to know about you?

Emily:Everyone needs to be able to have their own space in which to be themselves. So, for now, I think I’ll keep those little surprises secret.