In Philip Seymour Hoffman’s career of great performances and great scenes, many single out the “Uncool” scene from Almost Famous as one of his best and most iconic. One person who definitely believes that is Cameron Crowe, the man that wrote and directed it. He took to his official website (the appropriately titled TheUncool.com) to tell the story of filming the scene. Read his account and watch the scene below.
“My original take on this scene was a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs. A call to arms. In Phil’s hands it became something different. A scene about quiet truths shared between two guys, both at the crossroads, both hurting, and both up too late. It became the soul of the movie. In between takes, Hoffman spoke to no one. He listened only to his headset, only to the words of Lester himself. (His Walkman was filled with rare Lester interviews.) When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.”