GIFFONI VALLE PIANA — Young actor Haley Joel Osment had a busy day at the 35th edition of the Giffoni Film Festival near Italy’s Amalfi coast. That’s because he met with a selection of the 1500 all-kid jury to talk about filmmaking and the competition titles. Although he was meant to be presented as a role model to the kids the young thesp said the kids’ ideas about the movies “was much more interesting than what I had to say to them.”
As if that wasn’t enough to keep him occupied, journos covering the fest had some heavy questions for him — probably heavier than the ones his mom would ask him if he stayed out past curfew.
They wanted to know what he thought of the state of the world and of the often value-laden American films? How had he planned to levy a successful career as a kid actor into a successful career as a young actor? If that didn’t work, what was he going to do? And, they wanted to know, what would he do were Quentin Tarantino to ask him to be in a film?
“With the terrorism in the world we should concentrate on more festivals like this one,” he said. He doesn’t like “films that try to tell you what to think” and, that he “plans on picking projects with care,” but if acting doesn’t work out, he will keep working in the arts as a writer or director. As for Tarantino, Osment respects the helmer for branching out. “Diversity is the future of the industry,” he said.
The actor hasn’t been in a film since 2003 but announced his next project, a Rusty Gorman pic entitled “House of the Giants” about the importance of basketball to a group of high schoolers.
The film “is very much a part of this transitional period,” he told Variety.
But before getting back to work in September, Osment will spend a week’s vacation on Amalfi with his family.