Kate Hudson reminisces about 'Almost Famous' with her director and co-stars

Hudson and creator/director Cameron Crowe are among those who gathered virtually to talk about the film for its 20th anniversary.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

Once upon a time, Cameron Crowe was a writer for Rolling Stone. But then he went big time, writing about his experiences as a rock journalist for the 2000 film "Almost Famous." So when the time came to hold a 20th-anniversary reunion of the film that launched Kate Hudson and gave us a whole new context for Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," where was it hosted?

On Rolling Stone's website, of course!

"Almost Famous" earned four Oscar nominations, winning for its screenplay.(C)DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

And that's what happened Tuesday, as the long-running rock industry bible shared a video of Hudson (who played Penny Lane), Billy Crudup (rock star Russell Hammond), Patrick Fugit (journalist William Miller) and director/writer Crowe talking about the funny, warmhearted film ... and why it still makes us want to hold our lighters up in tribute all these years later.

Crowe admitted he hadn't known they had a classic in the making. "The shoot was very long, and by the end of it I think they were the greatest goodbye hugs of all time," he said. "We were so happy to have gotten to the end of this journey, which took us all across the country — through rehearsals, and Billy learning guitar, and Kate being a side character and moving up to take the center of the movie, us finding Patrick at the last minute."

Patrick Fugit played a teen journalist and Kate Hudson a teen groupie known as "Band-Aid" in the film.(C)DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

Hudson, who was just 19 at the time of making the film, said she knew she had something special in the script the moment she read it. She recalled reading the script in Crowe's office (he wouldn't let anyone take the pages out of his office) and noted, "I have a moment in Rock School that felt like, I'll never forget it. It might be something on my deathbed, like when your life flashes before your eyes ... it was all of us in the room and Jason Lee (Jeff Bebe) was being a total doofus, funny guy, and Billy was, like, very serious and trying to figure out his thing, and we were all just having the most — I can't explain how much fun it was but it just felt like a magical group of people."

Riding on the tour bus with Billy Crudup and Hudson brought new meaning to the classic tune "Tiny Dancer."Courtesy Everett Collection

The nearly hourlong discussion was hosted by Rolling Stone writer Brian Hiatt and James Andrew Miller, who hosts the behind-the-scenes podcast "Origins," which has spent its whole last season taking a deep dive into the making of the film.

Two decades after making the movie, Crowe still marvels at how it all still seems to resonate — not just for those who watched it, but for those who were a part of it.

Philip Seymour Hoffman also joined the cast (here with Fugit) of "Almost Famous."(C)DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

"These are all beautiful pieces of serendipity," he added. "It adds up to something magical and never ceases to throw me to see what happened there when we were all together there doing it."