Kate Hudson was not Crowe’s first choice to play "band aid" Penny Lane. She was initially cast as William’s rebellious sister, Anita (Zooey Deschanel).  But, when Sarah Polley dropped out, Crowe recast Hudson as the forlorn William Miller’s love interest.  Crowe even admits that the scene where Penny dances by herself, in the Cleveland auditorium underscored by Cat Stevens’ placidly fantastic “The Wind,” is his favorite scene in the film.