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If terror of what you can see and fear of what you can't is the soul of The Sixth Sense then surely the heart of the film is the relationship—the friendship—between Dr

If terror of what you can see and fear of what you can't is the soul of The Sixth Sense then surely the heart of the film is the relationship-the friendship-between Dr. Malcolm Crowe and his 8-year-old patient, Cole, played by Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, respectively. For writer director Shyamalan, Willis and Osment were the key to opening the "magical door" for the audience.

"The friendship that develops between Malcolm and Cole is a huge factor in the success of their doctor-patient relationship," says Shyamalan, "and it is imperative that the audience understands that friendship in order to become emotionally involved with these two people and to really care about what the two of them are going through."

"You have Malcolm, a doctor who has devoted his life to children and families," explains Shyamalan, "and you have Cole, a boy who is so ultra-sensitive and hyper-compassionate that this is the perfect channel through which these forces can operate. Ultimately, through the growth of their friendship, they both come to recognize the goodness in each other and the prospect of helping each other and their respective suffering."

Shyamalan continues: "So, in casting the picture I was compelled to have two actors who were 100% believable and 100% vulnerable enough to engage each other as the characters and the audience as well." Shyamalan goes on to explain that Willis, although primarily recognized as an international box office superstar, has an Everyman quality that was evident in his performances in such films as Pulp Fiction, In Country and Nobody's Fool.

"Bruce's performance is so poignant in this film," says Shyamalan. 'There were times when we were shooting when I would look through the lens or at the monitor and I didn't even recognize him. As Malcolm you can see him struggling to figure out what's happening around him, you wonder if he'll make it through and help this kid ... you watch and hope that he'll be redeemed. It's a fascinating performance, filled with subtle humor and pathos ... definitely some of his best work as an actor."

"Night is a very disturbed individual," says Willis, in his trademark wise-cracking manner. "Seriously though, he assigns a lot of meaning and mysticism to the fact that he simply wrote a really brilliant script. There have only been three scripts that I have ever read in my career that I immediately knew I wanted to do and 'The Sixth Sense' was one of those three. It has a real balance of dark and light moments and a great balance of normal and paranormal events in these characters' lives.

"Honestly," adds Willis, "I think Night would have gotten any number of leading men to respond to this script the way I did yet I feel very fortunate that I was the one asked to be included in the cast ... a cast that not only includes two very talented actresses, Olivia Williams and Toni Collette, but also includes Haley Joel Osment, the most amazing child actor I've ever seen. I rank this kid up there with the best adult actors I've worked with over the years. He is immensely talented and smart and is completely unaffected by his talent. W.C Fields would be eating his words if he met Haley. Plus, he's a pretty good little golfer, too."

Willis is not alone in his praise for Osment. "Talk to anyone associated with the making of this film and they


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