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Showbiz Today Star of Tomorrow

Patrick Fugit: He's 'Almost Famous'

graphic
Patrick Fugit, 17, was picked for his role in "Almost Famous" after a nationwide talent search  

(CNN) -- Writer-director Cameron Crowe based his latest movie, "Almost Famous," on his experiences as a teen-age Rolling Stone reporter in 1973. To find the perfect actor to portray his 15-year-old self, Crowe conducted a nationwide talent search.

He settled on Patrick Fugit (pronounced FYOO-git), a relative unknown living in Utah. Fugit, now 17, said he entered the audition not expecting to land the role. He said his agents told him it was a "long shot."

But he did, and that's when the real work began.

Fugit admits knowing nothing about music before landing the gig, so he readied for the role of William by reading Crowe's old Rolling Stone articles and listening to a 2-foot-high stack of albums from the director. They included tracks from Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and other rock pioneers

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  MORE STARS
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  • Jon Abrahams
  • Piper Perabo
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  • Hugh Jackman
  • Natasha Lyonne
  •  

    "He gave it to me and said, 'I want this coming out of your pores before we start shooting,'" Fugit said.

    Fugit stars opposite Goldie Hawn's daughter, Kate Hudson, who plays Penny Lane, a young beauty who follows the band Stillwater. Lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee) front the fictitious group.

    Fugit says he was probably most nervous the day they shot the scene in which a few Stillwater devotees deflower the young rock writer. The seriousness of the situation -- or the lack thereof -- wasn't lost on the crew, he said.

    "Everyone knows that I am nervous as hell for this -- really nervous, really nervous," he said. "And I go in my trailer that morning and the wardrobe people didn't put any wardrobe in there."

    Fugit is being dressed up daily these days for photo shoots, and going along for the ride -- wherever his newfound notoriety leads.

    "I just kind of sit back and relax and whatever happens, happens," Fugit said.



    RELATED STORIES:
    Review: 'Almost Famous' a cool flick, man
    September 15, 2000
    Crudup's role resurrects short-story collection
    July 7, 2000

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