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Monday 19 March 2018

Reel Life

Here he is now: Haley Joel Osment is coming back to our screens in indie comedies Tusk and Me Him Her
Here he is now: Haley Joel Osment is coming back to our screens in indie comedies Tusk and Me Him Her
Re-makers of the Lost Ark: Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala with Jayson Lamb
Haley Joel Osment is still best known for playing Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense

Declan Cashin

With it being Halloween week, it seems as good a time as any to dip into the 'Where/What/How Are They Are Now?' file to find out what's been going on in the life and career of Haley Joel Osment, the one-time child star of twisty '90s ghost story The Sixth Sense.

Aged 10 when he made that movie that earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Osment hasn't made anything of note since Steven Spielberg's AI in 2001.

It was at that point, alas, that HJO entered the difficult teens, made all the more difficult for child stars trying to move into more grown-up roles.

Throughout that period he worked mainly in voiceover roles for video games (specifically the Kingdom Hearts series), but hit the headlines for less welcome reasons in 2006 when he was involved in a drink-driving car accident and was sentenced to three years' probation and compulsory AA meetings.

Now aged 25, HJO is making his way back to our screens in two indie movie comedies – Kevin Smith's Tusk and Max Landis' Me Him Her.

You'll also be able to see him in the Funny Or Die TV series The Spoils Of Babylon after Christmas, in which he will play Kristen Wiig's son.

* The names Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala might not mean anything to most of us but these two die-hard movie buffs are legends among the more, erm, esoteric-oriented and passionate of film aficionados (i.e. nerds).

That's because these two guys, then just teenagers, spent the best part of seven years in the 1980s making an amateur shot-for-shot remake of Steven Spielberg's Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Director Eli Roth got wind of the project and became one of its biggest champions and then Vanity Fair ran a feature about Strompolos and Zala, who also recently revealed all in a book entitled Raiders! The Story Of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.

Now, that story of how the two guys made their film is itself to become a movie, with producer Jeremy Coon (Napoleon Dynamite) determined to bring it to the big screen.

In order for the project to proceed, however, Coon thinks he'll need input (and/or rights-waiving) from Spielberg and Raiders co-creator George Lucas.

Spielberg, apparently, has already seen the two guys' amateur film and loved it. There hasn't been a peep from Lucas yet though.

* Finally, the New York Post ran an interesting piece last week in which prop masters revealed what it is that actors are really snorting and smoking when shooting drug/cigarette scenes in movies and TV.

The most popular snort-able fake cocaine – the kind used liberally by Matthew McConaughey's character in the upcoming Dallas Buyers Club – is "powdered lactose", while a Vitamin B powder might be used for a more lactose intolerant star.

When it comes to simulating the injecting of drugs, custom-made prop needles are used so when the blunt needle touches the actor's skin, it retracts inside the syringe, giving the illusion of being pushed into flesh.

And as for fake-smoking pot, lots of prop masters opt for either simple oregano or 'faux weed'-type ganga, minus the crucial, active ingredient THC.

Needless to say, some actors wanted to smoke the real thing – but the prop masters were too discreet to rat up those stars.

Irish Independent

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