381370 21: Patrick Fugit attends The London Film Festival''s opening night gala of "Almost Famous" November 1, 2000 in London''s West End. (Photo by James Whatling/Justin Goff/UK Press/Liaison) (USA SALES ONLY)
Movies - TV
How A 16-Year-Old Patrick Fugit Landed His Part In Almost Famous
"Almost Famous" is a coming-of-age cult classic made all the more compelling by the breakout performance from then-16-year-old lead, Patrick Fugit. In director Cameron Crowe’s eyes, Fugit’s inexperience in the industry made him perfect for the role of the film’s innocent protagonist, William.
Crowe and casting director Gail Levin were "late in the process" before they stumbled upon Fugit's self-taped audition, Crowe revealed to Comingsoon.net. "He was a pure soul, an authentic Utah kid with a bowl cut and a funny, put-upon manner," Crowe recalled, per Independent.
With the film’s real premise under wraps, Fugit filmed "three random, rapid-fire scenes," per Comingsoon.net, thinking the movie was about politics. Two months later, he did another audition with Crowe in LA, who surprised him with a slew of music-related questions, only for Fugit to admit he wasn’t into music at all.
Crowe played him some music and recorded his reactions, and was convinced that the young actor’s innocence made him the obvious choice. Overall, Fugit’s performance in "Almost Famous," works so well because of his touching naivety in an indulgent and dangerous world.