Earlier in the week, in the wake of the Philip Seymour Hoffman news, Cameron Crowe released a statement, describing shooting the “Uncool” scene from Almost Famous, which he called having a “front row seat to his genius.” Yesterday, Patrick Fugit, the young star of Almost Famous and the actor who acted opposite PSH in that scene, also opened up about working with him. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Fugit described working and learning from the “very intense” actor. As a young actor tasked with carrying a film, everyone was on eggshells around him, but not PSH. Hoffman would come up to him saying, “Are you ready? Are you really ready? You’re the lead of the film, and you better step to the plate on this one.” PSH was also protective of him, yelling at the cinematographer for pointing a light directly at Fugit’s eyes. Lastly, Fugit spoke about the incredible experience of filming the “Uncool” scene. Read Fugit’s full account of it below.
Most everybody had wrapped but then we had to go back and shoot that last [phone call] scene. It was my first last day of my career. I was exhausted, completely burned out, completely spent. And we sit down and we start doing that phone call, and the set gets really quiet, more quiet than normal. Everybody was sort of done. Everybody was on their last legs, after five months of shooting, two months of rehearsal. I was sitting there on the phone and Philip was sitting there on the other line, and we would just talk through the lines. We did a lot of takes, and I was so tired that I would go back to using some tricks to try to make myself cry or to make myself emotional. And then the last take, which is the take that’s in the movie, Cameron had Philip talk about how much fun I’ve been having on the film. He said something like, “You know, I don’t want you to worry even though you’re probably not going to see a lot of these people again. This has been an amazing experience, hasn’t it?” And I started losing it; I started crying. And then Philip quickly started doing the lines again, and it was all sort of there. I kept going with the mood and we did the rest of the scene, and I think we did it again, and that was it. That was a wrap.