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Getting The Cast
Producers Kathleen Kennedy and Bonnie Curtis, who had not yet worked together as producers despite their extensive experience with Spielberg, assembled a top notch crew that would thrive amid the frenzied production schedule filled with complex special effects and processes (some of which were destined to be groundbreaking in their fields) as well as the heightened secrecy factor.

Editor Michael Kahn, composer John Williams, special effects creators Stan Winston and Michael Lantieri and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski have all won Academy Awards for their work with Spielberg. Production designer Rick Carter created sets for "Jurassic Park” and "Amistad,” among other films. Wardrobe designer Bob Ringwood had worked with the filmmaker on "Empire of the Sun,” while ILM senior visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren's experience with Spielberg dates back to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Advances in "virtual set design” would allow whole cities to be built in a blue screen environment. Robotics innovations would bring a teddy bear to life and give him a voice. But the most critical hurdle was still lay before them: casting. 

"The reason we could all take this bizarre journey, in my opinion, rested on the shoulders of Haley Joel Osment,” Curtis observes. "His performance makes it all possible.  He has such a style at such an early age. His transformation within the film is so complete.”

At 12-years-old during filming, Haley Joel Osment had already made his mark in a performance that earned the young actor an Oscar nomination in M. Night Shyamalan's box-office phenomenon "The Sixth Sense.”  In "A.I.,” he plays another kind of remarkable boy – this one built from silicon and synthetics.  "I talked with Steven about to what extent I would make David robotic,” Osment says. "We decided as we progressed and I learned more as a robot about the world, my experiences would make me more and more human and less mechanical. We found that a lot of small details worked best to make him a robot, like having perfect posture. But the hardest thing was that I never blinked during the filming. Not once! My dad helped me concentrate on that.”

Haley's father, Eugene Osment, is also an actor, as is Haley's younger sister.

The elder Osment accompanied his son to set every day, preparing him for the day's work and communicating what the day's technical demands would be.

"I think Haley is the most extraordinary child actor to come along in a long, long time,” Kennedy says. "And I hesitate to use the word ‘child,' as Haley is every bit the consummate professional trained actor that any adult would be. He's quite amazing.”

Jude Law, an Academy Award nominee for his work in "The Talented Mr. Ripley,” was cast to play the difficult role of Gigolo Joe, a "love mecha,” or "mechanical.”  Heavy, intricate makeup was utilized in realizing Gigolo Joe, and Law studied mime and peacock movements to prepare to play a character who sings, dances and transforms himself physically at the drop of a hat.  "Joe is a gigolo,” says Law. "He has various clients, some he just talks to, some he massages. Some he presumably takes a bit further. He is able to change the way in which he seduces.”

Australian actress Frances O'Connor ("Mansfield Park”) and American actor Sam Robards ("American Beauty”) were chosen for the roles of Monica and Henry Swinton, while young actor Jake Thomas (TV's "Lizzie McGuire”) won the role of their fle

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