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Hangin' With Archives
We're Hangin' With........Those other Spy Kids...
EMILY OSMENT AND MATT O'LEARY
By: Lynn B.
In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Carmen and Juni and another team of Spy Kids have a rivalry going full tilt. Gary and Gerti Giggles (played by Matt O'Leary and Emily Osment) don't always play fair and are out to best them at every turn. Matt, 15, has some strong dramatic roles under his belt. He was John Travolta's son in Domestic Disturbance and Bill Paxton's tortured boy in the frightening Frailty. 10-year-old Emily Osment (yes, Haley is her brother) has played Glenn Close's daughter in the t.v. movie series Sarah Plain and Tall, does voice work for animated films and has made a lot of t.v. guest appearances. The actors, who are covered with fake camel poop for much of the film, looked neat and clean when we interviewed them in L.A.
Okay so was that camel stuff as icky as it looked? Emily wasn't thrilled with it. "It was coffee and something else. I kept messing up my lines so we kept having to put it on again and again. It was awful. We had to wear it throughout the rest of the movie". Ah, the magic of filmmaking. "Mine was chocolate in the mouth, when I spit it out", says Matt. "It was pudding with saltine crackers. We smelled like coffee 24-7. Where's Matt and Emily? Oh, they're over here. We can smell 'um".
Matt felt that it was important to give Carmen and Juni some equal age rivals. "There's more of an equal fight. When there's other kids, the [leads] automatically feel threatened, and it's entertainment". It's also way cool to play a villain. "I'm not quite the villain but I'm the nemesis, I'm the jerk. I had so much fun with that role, it was great".
Both young actors were into the tons of great new gadgets in the film. "The coolest gadget I wish was real was probably my helicopter", says Matt. "My watch was cool and all that, but the helicopter was awesome. I'd just love to go to school and they all get on their bikes and I' be like [Woosh, woosh, woosh] and take off". Emily was really fond of the spider-monkey, one of the film's many fantastic creatures.
us about his musical tastes. "I love hard rock. Metal mixed with
a little bit of industrial maybe sometimes. I love that hard stuff, the
new metal. I got into it with Limp Bizkit but they're more rap, rock.
I love Soil, I love Disturbed". Matt started out in the industry
as a model. "I started modeling and I tried out for the Home Alone
3 open casting call. I didn't quite make it but I got pretty far.
Out of 4,000 kids, I got up to eight and I was like this would be really
cool to pursue". The actor hopes to emulate his friend Bill Paxton's
career. The set of Frailty, where Matt played Paxton's son, was
much more serious than the Spy Kids shoot. "On Spy Kids I remember
days when we'd throw cake at each other".
It wasn't all playtime. The effects work was strange, Matt confides, "It was hard. In front of the green screen, it was a lot more difficult. Like the slizard [one of the creatures] was one of the hardest things. I couldn't get on that thing. It was basically doing the splits to get on it and I can't flex for anything". Only the part of the animal Matt sat on was really built. "I was basically on a block. I had to pretend what his neck looked like and what his face looked like. When the neck would fly back, I'd always have to dodge it and I didn't know which way to go but it was easier for kids to do I think. We have more of a brighter imagination".
Just like co-stars Alexa and Daryl, Matt and Emily had a blast filming in Costa Rica. Emily's brother Haley Joel visited but when he wasn't around, Matt stood in. "He's a little bit older than my brother, but basically they're both great. It was good because my brother wasn't there all the time on the set and it was like having him there because Matt was so much like him. [Haley] helps me a little. He gives me tips because he knows how it feels to be in this situation. A lot of it has come from my dad because my brother's not there to go on auditions with me all the time". Emily doesn't feel any pressure to compete with her famous brother. "In the pool, we play basketball in the water a lot. Most of our competition is in the swimming pool".
Emily and brother Haley aren't pampered Hollywood kids. They do their share of household chores. "Sometimes when my brother and I get in little fights, my mom has this little cup. We have to take jobs from the cup and there's all different kinds like doing dishes, go walk the dogs. We walk the dogs four times a day because they're puppies. We have two golden retrievers". Emily's favorite chore is writing to her grandparents. Her least favorite? "Dusting the furniture". (Hey, check the hair action at left! She could do some mean dusting with that!)
Alexa Vega has admitted to having an early crush on Matt. What's his story? "Yeah, we flirted. We had a lot of fun together. She's a really cool girl. We became very close. Even Daryl, we all became family on the set and we had a lot of cool times together. We went laser tagging all of us together". Emily and Matt had all their scenes together so they hung out when off-camera as well. "When Alexa and Daryl were working, we were out playing on the little minibikes that we had and the stunt director, Jeff Dashnaw, had this little scooter that was motorized. We would do that or just play football". The kids played football with fellow star Steve Buscemi who plays "mad" Dr. Romero in the film. Not the sort of guy you'd think of as beefy football player material. How does he play? According to Matt, "Very well. He's got a very good arm".
When filming in Costa Rica the whole cast made their own crazy fun on the crew bus. "They had potholes that you could fit a Toyota in. It was crazy", says Matt. Card games became a regular past-time, according to Matt. "We took a bunch of Costa Rican money and we used it for fake money. We used that to gamble with each other". "I used to play cards with my grandmother whenever we'd go to visit. So, we played the same games that I was used to", Emily told us. "We played all the time because there was almost nothing else to do on the bus. Sleep and play cards".
We wondered if Matt had bought anything interesting with his first acting paycheck. "I've wanted my whole life a go cart. My dad owns 60 acres of basically all forest in Wisconsin. It's surrounded by farming land but since it's a bluff property, they can't farm it, so he just lets the wilderness go. It's a great place for go carting, so I got one of those". Emily was way more practical. "I don't think I need anything right now. What would I buy with the money I got? I don't need anything. Save it for college". Both young actors came home with some cool loot from the film. The wrap presents from director Robert Rodriguez were really hot. "For a wrap present, we each built our own computers and it was a lot of fun', revealed Emily. "They gave me all the props that we wore." Matt has his special sun-glasses. "You know how they're green [in the movie]? I went searching for these and found them in black".
Matt has a favorite action hero. "I can't wait to see his new film, Vin Diesel. Is he just the coolest guy? The Fast and the Furious, I love that movie and I liked his character in that. Just by seeing the previews for XXX. it looks so cool. All the jumps and everything, classic guy movie". Matt is into X-treme games. "Last summer I started aggressive inline skating and I basically didn't go anywhere without hurting myself." Emily's action heroes are her lively new dogs. "They were bred in Kansas, Tor and Nado. My dad would go out every single day looking at shelters, trying to find a dog. We found two great golden retrievers and they're just so sweet and they're half brother and sister. Last time we got one dog and when we used to go on trips and stuff, she used to get lonely all the time so we decided maybe two dogs would be better this time".
Both actors dream of working with some of the greats in the business. "Robert's [Rodriguez, director of Spy Kids 1 and 2] is one of the most talented directors in my mind out there right now", says Matt. "But I'm a big fan of George Lucas". Emily chose Tom Hanks. "He is just so smart and creative and because my brother worked with him once or twice, he's just so great and so nice". Favorite films are the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off for Matt and, for Emily, The Sound of Music. "They don't make many movies like that anymore". Emily's favorite t.v. appearance was on "Friends" and for a unique reason. "It was a Halloween episode. [The one with Sean Penn]. The best part I think was trying to choose my costume. I could have been like a hippie or wear a hula skirt, and it was just really fun". Both actors are anxious to return in a Spy Kids sequel!
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