Her breakthrough came with the role of a veteran groupie in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical dramedy Almost Famous (2000). She "hung in and had turned down leads in other movies just to play the part" and soon obtained it "because of her loyalty", according to Crowe. For her performance, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "This power ballad of a movie also happens to be Crowe's greatest (and most personal) film thanks to the golden gods of Stillwater and their biggest fan, Kate Hudson's incomparable Penny Lane. " She worked hard in avoiding association with her well-known parents, as she did not want to be perceived as someone who "rode on somebody's coattails".