Renee Zellweger will never forget the moment Cameron Crowe told her she had won a part in Jerry Maguire.
The actress, who played Dorothy Boyd in the 1996 drama, opened up about the movie during a recent SAG-AFTRA Conversations event, and recalled how she was attending a film premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah with her parents and brother when director Crowe called with the surprise job offer.
“It didn’t really seem like a possibility for me. I wanted to do a good job for Cameron when I met him. He just felt kindred to me right away… We loved the same things,” she shared.
“The fact that I was on the list (for the role) was hilarious to me. It had been a while since my audition, and I was at Sundance Film Festival for The Whole Wide World premiere. My mom and dad came. The phone rang and Cameron said, ‘Hey Z, it was really great to hang out and get to meet you. I mean, thank you’.
“I’m like, ‘Hurry up and break my heart already!’ Then he said, ‘I was just wondering… maybe you want the part?’ The next day there was an announcement in Variety and my brother, who was at Sundance with us, came back with a stack of them (magazines). I could cry just thinking about it.”
And to top it all off, Crowe gave her one of the most famous lines in romantic comedy history – “You had me at hello” – which she says to her on-screen love interest, Tom Cruise.
“When people say to me, ‘You had me at hello’, to me it still touches me,” the 50-year-old smiled. “What a cool thing that somebody gives you a line like that.”
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