To celebrate the 20th anniversary of “Almost Famous,” Cameron Crowe, Patrick Fugit, and Michael Angarano reunited on Zoom to discuss how William Miller made being uncool “the coolest.”
In the conversation, Crowe pays tribute to the film’s casting director Gail Levin, who would “stay up all night for 10 months” to find the right actors for the role. “It really helps if you have somebody that really gets you and gets what your dream is,” he says.
Crowe had a similar experiencing working with Don Phillips, who cast “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” for which he wrote the screenplay. He recently watched the celebrity Zoom table read of the cult classic. “It really makes a difference when somebody feels it way down deep. Every face matters. I was very lucky.”
During the read, Shia LaBeouf took on the iconic role of Jeff Spicoli, outfitted in neon sunglasses and a blunt in hand. In an interview with Variety, Crowe praises the actor’s performance, calling it “wild and brave.”
“Tore up the room, too. It just brought everybody to a place of giddiness, that made the whole thing work, for me,” Crowe says. “Though I may not ever get over Morgan Freeman reading my stage direction that I wrote when I was 22. That’s kind of like, ‘Whoo. Okay.’ It’s like Morgan Freeman reading your diary. It was thrilling and slightly scary. But it was fantastic.”
The event, which was hosted by Dane Cook, raised proceeds for emergency relief nonprofit CORE’s work in the fight against COVID-19, as well as for Reform Alliance, a criminal justice reform group.