Actor Patrick Fugit was once almost famous. It happened at the beginning of his career and led to such promise. It’s not that the actor hasn’t had a successful career to date, it’s just that he was almost famous, after Almost Famous.
Patrick Fugit’s big fame never really happened, but it almost did. Here’s why he just missed out on becoming the next big thing.
PATRICK FUGIT IS ALMOST
Patrick Fugit’s fame came quickly. He started with a recurring role on the TV series Touched by an Angel and then went on to two TV movies: Legion of Fire: Killer Ants! and Stray Dog. He turned these three small projects into a much larger one. Turns out to be the biggest of his career.
Patrick Fugit wasn’t even supposed to audition for the role of William Miller in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 dramedy Almost Famous. He actually had taken his best friend in to audition for the part and upon hearing his friend read lines, he asked about it. He was told it was for the new Cameron Crowe movie and his friend suggested that he get his agent to ask for a reading for the movie. He did. He eventually got a call from the casting director to go back to the studio and put himself on tape for them. He read three or four scenes and left it in fate’s hands. One month passed. Then two months. And then three. And then he got the call back he was hoping for.
Fugit was then flown back first-class to California (he lived in Utah at the time) with his mother. Upon his arrival, they were taken to Cameron Crowe’s production studio where he sat with the writer/director for a good half-hour before Fugit began to read. According to Patrick Fugit, Crowe disguised the movie as a political piece, where a young journalist would be following a political candidate for a story. He did think it strange when Crowe began asking him about music and the stuff he listened to. Then Crowe asked Patrick if he listens to Led Zeppelin. He gave an answer that still haunts him to this day. He told Crowe, “Nah, I’m not too familiar with him.”
PATRICK FUGIT ON THE SET OF ALMOST FAMOUS
It took a little over a week before Patrick Fugit found out he got the part. At the time, instead of Billy Crudup, Brad Pitt had been hired for the role of Russell Hammond, singer/guitarist for the fictional band Stillwater. Pitt was also offered the role in Fight Club, which he eventually took over Almost Famous, and the rest is history.
Over the years Patrick Fugit has shared many stories about life on the set as a 16-year old. His mother remained with him throughout the shoot and there were many times his fellow actors tried to corrupt the underage star. He spoke of the many parties that he couldn’t attend, ones that Crowe even encouraged, not that the other actors didn’t try.
Patrick Fugit says the other actors on the movie would screw with him because of his young age and inexperience. He says he had huge crushes he had on his Almost Famous co-stars Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, and Bijou Phillips. His biggest crush was on Kate Hudson, who truly played with his mind.
Patrick Fugit was at a Heart concert with the crew, sitting in the VIP section when Hudson began to play. She began asking him questions about his life in Salt Lake City and if he was enjoying the concert. Then she asked if he had a girlfriend. When he answered, “No, I don’t. Not yet,” Patrick says she replied with, “Huh, what if I was your girlfriend?” At the time the actress was three years his elder and Fugit was in shock. He couldn’t believe his ears, a starlet such as Kate Hudson propositioning him. That is until she slapped him on the back and told him, “Patrick, I’m joking.”
Patrick Fugit’s relationship with actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of fear and respect. But it was ultimately learned respect for Hoffman and his craft and the advice he imparted upon Fugit. “Kid, you have a big part here. You need to show up to work. Make sure you do a good job while you’re here. Don’t just throw this away. There’s actors out there who scrape, and beg, and starve for this kind of a role,” Hoffman told him per the Vulture. Patrick took it to heart.
When Almost Famous arrived it was a huge hit, a cultural touchstone. Patrick Fugit was temporarily very famous, but when the excitement over Almost Famous died down, he quickly faded from the spotlight.
AFTER ALMOST FAMOUS
It’s not like Patrick Fugit’s career is Almost Famous and nothing else, it just happened to be the biggest thing on his resume and it came early on. After Famous, Fugit was in a slew of projects. They included the TV series’ ER and House. They also included feature films such as White Oleander, Saved!, Dead Birds, and Wristcutters: A Love Story.
As his career moved forward, Patrick Fugit found himself in smaller and smaller movies. The Good Life, Horsemen, We Bought a Zoo, Thanks For Sharing, and Queen of Earth were some of those films. He also found parts on various TV series such as Full Circle, Outcast, and Treadstone.
Patrick Fugit also has other talents. Patrick can sing and play guitar. He, along with his best friend David Fetzer, put together a band they called Mushman. They played a combination of folk and rock and actually recorded two albums, Eddie Do and Lost Like Children. Sadly, Feltzer lost his life in 2012 to an accidental drug overdose. Since that loss, the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists has been formed to help combat drugs and drug overdoses.
PATRICK FUGIT NOW
Patrick keeps his personal life pretty private, but he’s out there pushing hard to turn his almost famous into actually famous.
Hollywood can be a fickle place. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. The strong survive, as do the persistent. Count the nowe 37-year-old Patrick Fugit as a survivor. He has carved out a nice career gaining constant work.
Patrick Fugit’s next project on the books is Thirtysomething (Else) where he has been cast in a lead role. The series is a sequel to the late ‘80s series, Thirtysomething that was created by Edward Zwick and starred Ken Olin, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, and Peter Horton. This series will follow the kids of the original stars while also bringing back many from the original series.
Persistence pays off, or at least we hope it will, for Patrick Fugit.