Almost Famous ends with Patrick Fugit’s teenage character William living in the same city as Penny Lane. It’s hinted that they could keep in touch and maybe continue their romance. But it turns out that Cameron Crowe envisioned William ending up with another “Band Aid” in the movie’s ending. While doing press to promote the “bootleg” extended cut that’s coming out on a 4K Ultra HD limited edition boxset, Patrick Fugit revealed to IndieWire that Crowe told him William falls in love with Polexia Aphrodisia years after their time together on the road.
“[Cameron Crowe’s] like, ‘But what William will discover is Polexia a few years down the line, and they will have a relationship. They will have this amazing chemistry that they didn’t really track [before] because, obviously William was infatuated with Penny Lane and Polexia was doing her own thing,’” Fugit tells IndieWire. “The idea [with Penny] was like, ‘Nope, it’s just this thing that happened, and it’s this fond memory, and it’s the first love and all that sort of thing, but it’s never going to manifest.”
It makes sense, since Anna Paquin, who played Polexia, is the same age as Fugit. And though it’s hinted that Penny Lane’s actually 16, Kate Hudson definitely does not pass as someone who could be a high schooler, so the big age difference between the actors is very jarring onscreen (Fuguit was 15 at the time of filming, and Hudson was 19). Though we don’t actually get to see that romance with Polexia play out in the bootleg cut, Fugit does confirm he shares more screen time with Paquin in this extended edition.
This bootleg cut also features an additional scene where Stillwater and the rest of the crew are part of a disastrous radio interview with Tenacious D’s Kyle Gass as the deejay named Quince. According to IndieWire’s Kate Erbland, “Quince nods off, leaving the band alone on-air, hot mics and all. What follows is a silly sequence that soon turns much more serious, as Russell and [character] Jeff start off ribbing each other, before revealing how they really feel about each other.”