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Haley Joel Osment: College was crucial

Haley Joel Osment finds it “really exciting” that people don’t recognise him in the Entourage movie.

The 27-year-old rose to fame as a child actor in movies including Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense. Despite receiving an Oscar nomination for the latter, movie roles began to dry up when he hit puberty, but Haley now thinks that was a blessing in disguise as it gave him chance to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

“Having that college experience and a social life that didn't revolve around Hollywood was absolutely crucial," he told Rolling Stone.

Part of the reason Haley found furthering his education so important was because at that time it was starting to look like he was heading off the rails.

In 2006, he flipped his car after hitting a mailbox which resulted in a broken rib, a DUI and three years’ probation, not to mention a now infamous mugshot. Haley is remorseful about what happened, but with hindsight, puts it down to the inexperience of youth.

“That was being a teenager making a terrible decision," he explained.

Since graduating in 2011, Haley returned to acting but instead of landing high profile roles, he chose to focus on smaller, independent projects including Kevin Smith's Tusk and last year’s Sex Ed.

“I've done some really off-the-wall stuff, and stuff that people might not expect," he added. "That's one way to work through people's expectations of you."

However Haley jumped at the opportunity to play a billionaire movie financer in the Entourage movie. While his character is key to the plot, many viewers didn’t realise it was the former child star in the part, but that suits Haley just fine.

“A lot of people don't recognise me until the credits," he said. "That's really exciting for an actor."

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