THE SIXTH SENSE
About The Production
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
"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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