When Patrick Fugit woke up Sunday morning and learned via Facebook that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died in New York, he had a surprising first thought. It wasn’t a flashback to Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical coming-of-age movie that starred Fugit as a teenage rock journalist and Hoffman as iconic critic Lester Bangs. “I started immediately thinking about Punch-Drunk Love, which is one of my favorite films that he’s in,” says Fugit, who’s currently filming Gone Girl for David Fincher. “Have you seen the Mattress Man commercial that he’s in? It’s just a deleted scene from the Punch-Drunk Love special edition where he basically jumps onto these mattresses from atop a semi truck and he misses them and falls on the ground. It looks like Philip really wrecks himself. It totally looks real, and it’s genius and hilarious. I don’t know why, but that was the first thing I thought of.”
But after that initial memory, Fugit couldn’t help but reflect on the scenes he shared with Hoffman in Almost Famous. The young actor was only 16 years old at the time and had no clue who Hoffman was when the esteemed actor arrived on the set for three days of filming. Below, as told to EW, Fugit looks back on those pivotal scenes and how they made a lasting impact on him as an actor.
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