CS Interview: Haley Joel Osment on Bad Therapy, Future Man & More!
ComingSoon.net got the chance to chat with icon Haley Joel Osment (The Boys) for the upcoming dramedy Bad Therapy in which he stars alongside Rob Corddry (Medical Police), Michaela Watkins (The Way Back) and Alicia Silverstone (Clueless), as well as the now-concluded Hulu sci-fi comedy Future Man and the possibility of his return to Kevin Smith’s True North Trilogy.
Written by Nancy Doyne and based on her novel Judy Small, the film follows married couple Susan (Silverstone) and Bob (Corddry) Howard as they live an idyllic life in Los Angeles with Susan’s teenage daughter from her previous marriage. After learning from a friend about marriage counselor Judy Small (Watkins), Susan asks they begin seeing her, despite seemingly having no problems, and find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game of manipulation, seduction and deception.
In addition to Silverstone, Corddry and Watkins, the film is made up of a cast that includes Haley Joel Osment (The Boys, Future Man), Aisha Tyler (Criminal Minds, Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Sarah Shahi (The Rookie, City on a Hill), David Paymer (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2).
Between all of the inviting elements of the film, Osment found his biggest draw for wanting to be a part of the project, even if only in a bit part, was the cast assembled on the movie, which by the time he read the script he found “exciting.”
“I’ve been a fan of Rob Corddry’s for a really long time since seeing him on The Daily Show years ago for the first time and with Alicia and Michaela Watkins and everybody, I knew it’d be a good group of people to join up with,” Osment said. “One thing that really surprised me after reading the script was that the novel Nancy based it on was from the early ‘90s but it felt really current and it felt like it was dealing with the issues of today in a really current way. It just felt like a really strong story to be from 25 years ago and also feel like it was written yesterday.”
The 32-year-old actor appears in the film as one of Bob’s coworkers who appears in what Osment describes as a “vignette of Bob’s life” and found the movie’s Los Angeles setting to perfectly fit its tonal jumble, as “LA can kind of be” its own jumble.
“As you physically travel through it or through different parts of your life it can sort of have that dreamlike system or quality and I think that Reed is who Bob would be if he had no sense of moral obligation,” Osment said. “Because Bob has temptations in his personal and professional life, but he is still trying to do the best for his family and still trying to do the right thing and my character is basically trying to see what he can get away with and if he can keep everybody happy and keep his secrets a secret, then he feels like there’s no problems. I think he represents a darker side of what Bob can be.”
While he is best-known for his more amiable performances early in his career in The Sixth Sense and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, as well as more recent turns in Sex Ed and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, he has explored some antagonistic characters akin to his Bad Therapy character, including Entourage and The Boys and finds it to be a rewarding challenge stepping into that type of role.
“It’s a little bit of a leap to play someone who’s as gross as Reed is and to play that kind of sleaziness believably, you sort of have to leave your own moral hangups at the door,” Osment described. “But it is sort of fun to do that too and to play the grossness of this character off of Rob’s discomfort and with his other co-worker peer pressuring Rob into these reckless decisions, it was kind of fun.”
Osment has found a new home in the indie world, which he feels stems from finding “scripts that are original and take some risks,” especially ones in the same vein as Bad Therapy in which they “aren’t easily categorized in any specific genre.”
“Those are always the things that I’m most interested in creatively is to stand the biggest chance of not repeating yourself with characters and everything,” Osment said. “Finding new challenges and new versions of yourself to try and play.”
One of his recent ventures into the indie world saw him appear in the first two installments of Kevin Smith’s Canada-set horror film series, the True North Trilogy, beginning with 2014’s Tusk and 2016’s Yoga Hosers, and though he hasn’t been confirmed to appear in the long-in-development third installment Moose Jaws, he would return if the 49-year-old writer/director reached out.
“I love working with Kevin and the group of actors that he first got together on Tusk, we’re all still friends, we had a great time together on both of those projects,” Osment warmly recalled. “It’d be nice if any production could keep going this year, or next year, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
When not appearing in the indie film genre, Osment has made a name for himself in very genre-rich small-screen projects including Amazon’s hit comic book adaptation The Boys and legal drama Goliath, as well as the first two seasons Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produced Hulu sci-fi comedy series Future Man, which debuted its third and final season last week on the streaming service.
“I’ve had the time to stay at home and finish season three and it’s bittersweet,” Osment said. “I think on that show they told the story that they wanted to tell and that they close things out, but it’s sad to see things come to an end. I think we filmed the pilot in early 2016, so it’s been more than four years that we’ve been working on that together and doing some pretty bizarre and crazy things. That’s another group of people where we’ve stayed close and hopefully we’ll get to work on something together again soon.”
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