Haley Joel Osment Discusses Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous And Death Of A Telemarketer – Exclusive Interview
Haley Joel Osment has had one of the most enviable careers out of any child actor out of Hollywood. While he’s been performing since the early 1990s, he broke out into the mainstream in a big way with 1999’s “The Sixth Sense,” ultimately earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his efforts. He’s kept busy over the years, appearing in a litany of projects, such as “Silicon Valley,” “Future Man,” “The Boys,” and “What We Do in the Shadows,” to name a few.
However, where the actor has truly shined over the last few years is in the realm of voiceover work. To gamers, he’s best known for voicing Sora in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise, but you may have also heard him in the likes of “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “Dogs in Space.” If you binge-watched “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous” when it came out on December 3, then you may have thought to yourself that Kash sounded awfully familiar. That’s Osment as well, and he sat down for an exclusive interview with Looper to discuss all things related to his dino role.
Playing a villain for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous
What was it like stepping into a villainous role like Kash?
So much fun. I mean, I think a lot of actors will say that some of the most fun they have is playing these sort of amoral, villainous characters and doing it on a voiceover project is great. Because you can really kind of go for it in expressing all of his rages and pathologies, just using your voice.
And it was also interesting doing it because, until I think the very last couple of episodes, if that, I was doing all this from home in the sort of a custom studio that you set up for yourself. Early on, it’s pillows and blankets, and then as time went on, you kind of find a room that you prepare in order to record stuff. Early on in 2020, this was kind of the only work that was possible to do during the lockdown and everything. So it was great to have something so engaging and fun to do while we were stuck at home.
Was there anything you did to prepare for Kash’s various rages?
It’s really all there in the material. I mean he’s a really colorful character and he has a really high regard for himself. So combining that kind of arrogance and refusal to see anything from anybody else’s perspective, I think we really channel with the work. And it’s also, a lot of the time you’re getting chased by dinosaurs. So that gives you a good feel for how to get to the emotional highs.
So Kash is a gamer. Are there any games you’re playing right now?
This is the time of year, about once a year, around the holidays when there’s not a whole lot going on. I’ll let myself play some video games. I’ve been looking forward to the new “Halo” that’s coming out. So that’s probably going to be happening a little bit between now and the new year.
Osment's future in the Jurassic World franchise
Kash is a rare antagonist that actually survives a season of “Camp Cretaceous.” What direction do you hope to see him go in Season 5?
I have no idea. I’m really not sure what his fate is towards the end of this. I hope there’s something in the future for him, but I mean, it’s hard to say, at Jurassic Park who knows who’s alive and who’s dead.
With Kash, I mean, since he’s surviving for the foreseeable future, is there any chance we could see him and, by proxy you, in a future live-action installment of the “Jurassic World” franchise?
Oh, that would be really cool. I’m a big fan of “Jurassic Park.” I mean the first “Jurassic Park” is definitely way up there on the list on films I’ve seen the most times in my life. So yeah, getting to do a live-action version would be really crazy. God, it’s probably been eight or nine years since this happened, but when they did a release of the original “Jurassic Park” in theaters a while back, and that was really fun to go see that in an actual movie theater.
I was going to ask — What’s your relationship with the “Jurassic Park” franchise, prior to voicing Kash?
When we shot “A.I.” back in 2001, some of our largest sets were on the gigantic Stage 16 at Warner Brothers, where we built the house for “A.I.” and a couple other things. And that, coincidentally, was the same stage where they had the whole T-Rex-breaking-out-of-the-tent sequence.
Returning to some of his earlier works
I have to ask, I’m a huge fan of “What We Do in the Shadows.” Is there any chance we’ll see Topher return?
You know what, that show, there’s especially a lot of leeway with people who might appear to be dead and come back. I don’t know if they have any planned for it, but I’d definitely love to get back up there. As far as I know, that character’s still making souvenir license plates in Benedict Wong’s basement. So hopefully he’ll come back.
We had so much fun. And the great thing about this, a lot of those sets are very interconnected, and we could run up and down the stairs from room to room. And Harvey and I had had a lot of fun with that.
You’ve been the voice of Sora in “Kingdom Hearts” for the better part of two decades now. When you worked on the first game back in 2002, did you have any idea that it would become as massive as it is today?
No, it’s pretty nuts that that’s the longest job I’ve ever had going on 22 years now. And I’ve had fun playing a lot of the additions of it coming out. Now, I feel like the skill of gamers today has vastly exceeded what I can do, now that I’m 33 years old. But I have not even attempted “Fortnite” or any of those other things, but yeah, it’s just really great.
And it’s such an incredible fan base that’s built such an incredible relationship with it over the past couple decades. So I love doing that job. We’ve recorded it remotely from a lot of different cities where I’ve been shooting over the years and the whole creative team over there. I feel very lucky to be part of something that is such an incredible collaboration with so many people.
Do you have any news on the future of “Kingdom Hearts” or your part of it?
Because it’s recorded in Japanese first, I’m usually the very last step on any addition of anything. I’m usually one of the last people to know what the plan is. So I’m hoping there’s more in the future.
Osment turns to the dark side in Death of a Telemarketer
What can you tell us about your role as Jim in “Death of a Telemarketer?”
Yeah, that was a really great time working with Lamorne Morris. He and I have done a couple other things in the past together. We were in a film called “Sex Ed” in 2013, and then he and I did a really fun pilot with Aubrey Plaza in 2016 called “Nightmare Time.” But yeah, always loved getting to work with him, a really crazy surreal script by Khaled Ridgeway and yeah, just a fun cast. We were out in some corporate park, out in the valley, doing some wild and crazy stuff late at night.
Are there any scenes from the movie that stand out to you that you can talk about? I know you don’t want to get into spoilers, but …
My character, there’s a little bit of deception involved with my character. He’s not what he seems to be at first, but I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say, like, me and Jackie Earle Haley, who is also, you know is very exciting to work with. We are kind of holding Lamorne hostage and playing some mind games with him as revenge for his perceived slights against us as a telemarketer. So it’s a lot of these long sequences of us kind of trying to toy with him and manipulate him and the movie is kind of following whether he can escape our evil clutches.
Are there any other projects you have coming down the pipeline?
Yeah. I just finished a movie earlier this year with Matt Walsh and Alexi Pappas and Betsy Sodaro and a bunch of other great people called “Not an Artist” that should be coming out sometime early next year. And then I just got back in October from filming a movie called “Somebody I Used to Know,” which was written by Alison Brie and Dave Franco and which he directed, which also has Jay Ellis and Kiersey Clemons, which is a fun romantic comedy that Alison believes will be coming out sometime in the first half [of 2022].
Season 4 of “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous” is now streaming on Netflix. “Death of a Telemarketer” is now playing in select theaters.