In 2000 Cameron Crowe released a biographical film titled “Almost Famous.” Since its release, this story that follows William Miller, based on Crowe’s real life, has become a cult classic. The movie has music for anyone from the iconic, but completely fictional, band Stillwater to the fictional depictions of everyone from David Bowie to Black Sabbath. Regardless who you are, everyone wishes they had the life of 15-year-old Miller. While watching this movie, pay close attention for your favorite television stars! Yes, that’s correct. Though the roles are small and the stars were nothing more than actors looking for two minutes of screen time, some of the biggest names have minor (and a few major) roles in “Almost Famous.”
We’ll start with the obvious. Jason Lee made a name for himself working under the wing of director Kevin Smith. He’s known as Brody or Banky depending on your favorite Jay and Silent Bob movie, but in the 2000s Lee made the jump to small screen. He first played the Earl in NBC’s “My Name Is Earl,” and soon appeared in “Memphis Beat,” and most recently NBC’s “Up All Night” as Kevin. In 2000 he was part of Stillwater, the lead singer Jeff Bebe. Remember the guy always thinking he should be the star of the band because he is the lead singer? Yes, that’s Jason Lee.
New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel had one of her first major roles in “Almost Famous.” Of course we all love her as quirky Jess on “New Girl,” but in 2000 she played Anita Miller, William’s older sister. She was rebellious and never listened to her strict mother. Anita snuck records into the house and gave them to William when she left to be a stewardess. These records are what lead William to his career as a rock journalist.
Today most of America knows Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse on “True Blood,” but in “Almost Famous” she was Penny Lane’s loyal sidekick Polexia Aphrodisia. This character is most noted as one of the girls who help “turn William into a man.”
Late night host, and former Saturday Night Live cast member, Jimmy Fallon also appears in the Crow flick. Fallon plays Dennis Hope, a manager who wants to take Stillwater from it’s small spot in rock music to the top of the world.
We all love Cameron Tucker, played by Eric Stonestreet, on ABC’s “Modern Family,” but in 2000 he was an actor looking for his break. Though it’s the tiniest role, Stonestreet’s part in “Almost Famous” is one of the most memorable scenes. When Stillwater roles into town, Sheldon the Desk Clerk is waiting for the band with a message for William from his crazy mother. With a stone face he says, “She freaked me out.” The effect she has on most who encounter her.
Finally, Pauley Perrette is one of the most lovable character’s on CBS’ “NCIS,” but in “Almost Famous” she was one of Sacramento’s most loved DJs, Alice Wisdom. She is responsible for William meeting the first editor he’d work with and guide him through his career at Rolling Stone magazine.
“Almost Famous” is available on Blu Ray and DVD.