You could say that the star of a movie puts butts in seats. Their name shines above the posters and on trailers, establishing a connection with a larger pre-existing fan base. But how does one reach such heights? Nobody is an A-Lister straight off the bat. It can take years of slogging away to acquire the appeal of someone like Brad Pitt or Tom Hanks as they're can be the driving force behind a picture; the person the whole film and advertising campaign revolves around. However, once in a while an actor will rise up and quite literally steal the show. They'll put in a performance so inspired and well-crafted, the 'intended star' will cease to shine so brightly in comparison. All of a sudden, the public will take a vested interest in a new talent. All it takes is one performance; an opportunity only a select few have grasped before it passed. Today we take a look at those breakout performances that shook the world.
10. Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense
Stole The Movie Out From: Bruce Willis The line "I see dead people" is perhaps one of the most chilling deliveries of a script in cinema history. Cole huddles under a blanket, staring straight into Bruce Willis' eyes - the fear in his face plain for all to see - and reveals his secret; cold breath following every word. The Sixth Sense is a stunning debut in an advanced role for Haley Joel. He had also appeared as Forrest Jr. in Forrest Gump and the Whoopi Goldberg comedy Bogus, however this is the project that showcased his talent as a young actor. He is nowhere near as annoying as Macaulay Culkin was in Home Alone (or many child actors for that matter), and he genuinely looks terrified in the film's hair-raising scenes. His chemistry with on-screen mother Toni Colette is wonderfully compelling - which is down to the performances on both parts - and his ability to ride his character's story arc is commendable. The back-and-forth with Bruce Willis is one of the film's strong points, as well as Osment's handling of heavy, emotional dialogue. His career may have dwindled into bit-parts and nothingness as he got older, but he followed The Sixth Sense with impressive turns in the Kevin Spacey film Pay It Forward, and as a robot child in A.I.. It's incredible at such a young age he was able to pry the movie away from Willis, it's just a shame he wasn't able to build on such a captivating performance.