Almost Famous Music Writer Nancy Wilson Put Billy Crudup And Jason Lee Through Rock School

Obviously, because Nancy Wilson is a rock goddess herself — she’s the guitarist for the rock band Heart — she’s an expert on the rock-and-roll lifestyle. This is probably why, alongside writing the music for “Almost Famous,” Wilson was also tasked with making sure Billy Crudup and Jason Lee not only looked the part but knew how to behave like their characters, as well. In order to achieve this, she set up her very own personal Rock Star Bootcamp where she put Crudup and Lee through rigorous training in order to teach them the ways of true rock and rollers. 

In a 2021 interview for Uproxx, Wilson explained, “We took a couple of weeks in a rehearsal space, we called it Rock School and watched a million Who videos and Zeppelin videos.” Rock School was especially crucial for Crudup who, according to Wilson, did not have any experience playing guitar. “The other guys were players already,” she explains, “But he was the one who really needed to perfect.” 

In the film, Russell is known for his guitar playing, so it was absolutely critical that Crudup be able to convincingly portray a talented guitarist on screen. The actor told Entertainment Weekly, “I had never played guitar before so it was really difficult for me to fake it well and this character, Russell, wasn’t meant to be just okay, he was meant to be great, so one of the primary challenges for me was just finding some flexibility and relaxation in a very uncomfortable and new environment.” In order to do this, Wilson and the “Almost Famous” crew pulled out all the stops. 

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