In the celebration of Almost Famous’ 20th anniversary, its director Cameron Crowe revealed Brad Pitt should’ve had played Billy Crudup’s Russell Hammond.
Angelina Jolie’s former husband auditioned for the role, and he even almost got it. However, Brad Pitt, reportedly, dropped out of the film for some unknown reason, and Crowe almost cried.
Pitt as the first choice for the movie
Fans could’ve seen Jennifer Aniston’s ex-husband, saying, “I am a golden God?” Sadly, it didn’t happen.
In the first episode of Origins: Almost Famous Turns Twenty, host James Andrew Miller revealed the film could’ve had a different cast.
In the early development of the movie, Meryl Streep should’ve played Elaine Miller’s Frances McDormand. Natalie Portman also auditioned for the role of Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane, and yes, Pitt as Hammond.
“Brad Pitt was on my mind because I had a really good meeting with him around the time of Say Anything,” Crowe revealed, per E! News. At the time, the actor just started in the business, and he already proved that he had something.
After Crowe did Jerry Maguire, Alia Shawkat’s friend expressed his desire to work with the director. So, he gave him the role of Hammond, and they spent four months working on it.
Pitt was his “first choice” for the part. However, although he was already attached to the film, he eventually dropped out.
His exit was never an easy part either for the movie or Crowe. The 62-year-old screenwriter admitted he cried when he learned about it.
“But I think in the back of my brain, I knew that he had never fully fallen in love with the character,” Crowe explained. “He had fallen in love with the idea of the character. But, maybe there just wasn’t enough on the page.”
Why did Brad Pitt decide to drop the film?
Almost Famous’ casting director, Gail Levin, believed that Pitt dropped out of the film because of the deal. However, Crowe defended the Fight Club actor, saying it was never the case.
“He told me that wasn’t the case,” Crowe said. “Some of my friends told me, ‘Don’t be a fool! Of course, it was the case.’ I think it was probably half and half.”
He then assumed that Pitt might have felt uncomfortable with the age difference between his character, Hammond, and Hudson’s Lane.
Despite what happened, Pitt and Crowe remained to be on good terms.
“I think six or seven months later, he just walked in the door one day at our office,” Crowe continued. “He was driving by, just wanted to come in and say that we’d always been on his mind and good luck.”
“And I loved him for it!” Crowe said about Brad Pitt.
Featured image used courtesy of Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock