Cameron Crowe and Fugit look back on the breakout actor's star-making role with sweet audition footage from his first video submission to be in the modern classic movie.

By Joey Nolfi
July 13, 2021 at 09:42 AM EDT
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Patrick Fugit's audition for the modern classic Almost Famous was music to director Cameron Crowe's ears, and the Oscar-winning director has shared a never-before-seen glimpse at the breakout star's submission tape in celebration of the movie's 21-year anniversary.

In a clip below from the 4K Ultra HD, limited edition Steelbook release of the project, Crowe recalls seeing a teenage Fugit for the first time "late in the process" of the film's gestation, with the crew eventually flying him out from Utah to meet in person.

"I walked into his main office at the time, and he had these huge posters of Truffaut films on the wall. I was a complete unknown from Salt Lake City, Utah, a total random entry in the running," Fugit remembers in a voiceover, which plays over footage of himself reading through lines of the film over two decades ago. "That's exactly the kind of thing he wanted."

Crowe goes on to say that Fugit, now 38, was right for the role because his personal trajectory matched that of his character's, as the actor was on the verge of stardom, just as William Miller — who spends the film following a rock band to write an article for Rolling Stone — stands to break out as an up-and-coming journalist.

"I think Patrick is just being very William Miller off camera," Crowe told EW in an interview for the film's 20-year anniversary last year. "That's when you know that you're on the right track, when people slip into their characters and the characters get to relate to each other in the script, and somehow it works in life as well."

Almost Famous' success would go on to launch Fugit's career as an actor, with the performer appearing in later films like Spun, White Oleander, Saved!, and Gone Girl, in addition to a lead role in the TV series Outcast. Kate Hudson also received her first Oscar nomination for her supporting turn, with the ensemble cast — including Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, and Philip Seymour Hoffman — earning critical raves upon the movie's release.

Watch the video above.

Hear more on all of today's must-see picks in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

Related content:

Almost Famous

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
runtime
  • 124 minutes
director
  • Cameron Crowe

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