This piece is part of our ongoing coverage of the 20th anniversary of Almost Famous.
It is, in fact, all happening: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of writer-director Cameron Crowe’s hilarious, heartwarming masterpiece Almost Famous — one of the greatest music movies ever made and certainly the best film about a Rolling Stone writer (sorry, Perfect superfans) — we hosted a one-of-a-kind reunion.
In the nearly hourlong conversation, Crowe is joined by stars Kate Hudson (who played “Band Aid” Penny Lane), Billy Crudup (who played rock star Russell Hammond), and Patrick Fugit (who played teen journalist William Miller) to look back on the oft-grueling process behind the film, reminisce about classic scenes (including an in-depth breakdown of the “Tiny Dancer” bus singalong, which took two full days to shoot), speculate on what might have happened to the characters in the years after the movie, and much more.
“The amazing thing was we committed to that song — and it was the right song — and it wasn’t even that famous a song,” Crowe says of the bus scene. “And you got to love Elton John, because as soon as he saw the movie, he was like, ‘I always loved that song! You understand that song!’ And he started playing it in his show, and he’s never stopped playing it. He gives us credit for it.” Fugit, meanwhile, says that anytime he’s in a place that has a jukebox, someone tends to put on “Tiny Dancer” and stare at him until he reacts.
The reunion was co-moderated by Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt and James Andrew Miller, host of the behind-the-scenes podcast Origins, which has dedicated its current season to an extensive look at the making of Almost Famous.