Haley Joel Osment grew a beard to try to ''hide in public''.

The 32-year-old actor shot to international stardom as a child after appearing in 'Forrest Gump' and 'The Sixth Sense', and he admits that growing a beard may have been a belated rebellion against his angelic public image.

He confessed: ''[I grew a beard] to try to hide in public. That didn't really work at all.''

Despite this, the actor rubbished the notion that all child stars are destined for disaster.

He shared: ''I think the percentage of people having a positive experience working as children is much higher than most people imagine.''

The movie star can still vividly remember being appreciative of his success, even as a child.

Osment - whose ultimate ambition is to move into writing and directing - told the Guardian newspaper: ''Being an actor, you can never count on things being smash successes all the time. I remember having that feeling with 'The Sixth Sense' - like, 'It's not always gonna be like that.'''

In 2006, Osment moved to New York to study experimental theatre at university, and he's confessed to making some poor career choices over the years.

He reflected: ''I did work that practically nobody saw for a long time, which was not a great career move - but, ultimately, was important for me to figure out whether this was what I truly wanted to do for the rest of my life.''

Haley's ambitions have evolved over time, but he's still happy to talk about his early success in the movie business.

He said: ''I'm lucky to have a positive relationship with those periods that can sometimes be difficult for other people.''

Reflecting on his initial successes, he added: ''I feel like I'm always building on it.''