'Alpha House' Brings Haley Joel Osment Back to Prominence After 12 Years
Haley Joel Osment in Alpha House
It's been almost 15 years since "The Sixth Sense" first introduced us to Haley Joel Osment and a full decade since his last starring film role in 2003's "Secondhand Lions." But the now 25-year-old actor has finally been lured back into the spotlight with "Alpha House," the flagship series of Amazon Studios, whose first three episodes premiere Nov. 15 (including the pilot, which has been available since April). Osment plays a young reporter assigned to Sen. Louis Laffer (Matt Malloy, of "Tanner '88") as the congressman tries to make over his image.
"For me, it's always the quality of the script," said Osment while meeting with the press at an event for the new show, of why he got back into acting. "This was a very funny script. I could see its potential going forward because we have John Goodman ("Roseanne"), Matt Malloy ("Hitch"), Clark Johnson ("The Wire"), and Mark Consuelos ("All My Children"). It's written by Garry Trudeau [of "Doonesbury" fame], who's such a genius. It was an exciting project to be a part of."
Though Osment has done mostly voice work since 2001's "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," he hasn't stopped creating, but, he says, "it's getting very difficult to get those good independent scripts made these days. A lot of things I worked on in college, we just couldn't get them made." Thanks to new studios like Amazon entering the scene, though, "there's a lot more opportunities in that world now, and as an actor, that's really exciting."
Osment also stars in an IFC miniseries due out this year, but the emphasis on television rather than film is a coincidence. "This year, they just all sort of happened at the same time." But he's glad to be on the "ground floor" of the new venture and not just as an actor. "As somebody who likes to watch shows, too, I'm glad to have a lot of variety."
See Osment in "Alpha House":
The process felt very much like making a film, according to Osment. "We catch ourselves saying 'the movie' or 'the show' at turns because it felt like both of those things." Admits Yara Martinez, who plays major money player Adriana De Portago, "I referred to this as 'the movie' in the last interview."