About That Time Michael Cera Auditioned for The Sixth Sense...


Esquire cornered Michael Cera recently to glean his penetrating life insights for the "What I've Learned" feature. Beyond the requisite Arrested Development movie update (delays aren't his fault, stop blaming him!) and a few comments about Year One's less-than-convenient gold body paint, however, the principal revelations here have less to do with Cera's learning than your own. For starters, how badly did one of his earliest auditions -- for the role of haunted young Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense -- go more than 10 years ago?

Fairly badly, Cera explains:

I auditioned for The Sixth Sense, which I didn't know was about seeing dead people. They didn't mention that in the breakdown. After seeing the movie, and remembering the scene they had me read... It was the scene with the penny. Bruce Willis is saying, "I can't be your doctor anymore," and Haley Joel Osment starts crying and slides the penny over to him. It's a very emotional scene. And I did not do it that way. I did it upbeat. I said "Some magic's real" very optimistically.

Sure, it might have cost him an Oscar nomination. But at least he's opening blockbusters these days and not indiscriminately drawing Osment-style snowcocks around New York. Bullet dodged.

· Michael Cera: What I've Learned [Esquire]