John Cusack had to be convinced to do ‘Say Anything’

John Cusack wasn’t initially eager to film “Say Anything,” the film that would ultimately launch his career, according to director Cameron Crowe.

“It did take some doing. Because he knew about [my other movie] ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and so I think he didn’t want to do a teen movie,” Crowe revealed at a 30th-anniversary panel for the movie during the Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday. “That’s why he doesn’t wear the mortar board in the graduation scene.

“‘I’m not going to put that on anymore,’” Crowe recalled Cusack, then in his early 20s, saying while filming the 1989 movie.

Cusack, who Skyped into the panel from Chicago — he’s filming Gillian Flynn’s new series “Utopia” — wanted to set himself apart, as he was playing a 19-year-old trying to figure out his life.

“I remember I didn’t want to, yeah,” said Cusack, who was dressed in sweats and vaping during the post-screening chat.

Producer James L. Brooks also recalled Crowe’s need for Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” for the film’s iconic boombox scene and how they almost didn’t get the rights to it because of the cost.

“He wanted a ton of money,” Brooks explained. “It was tough to get but … Cameron couldn’t have any other song. Passion has a purpose. Passion does move things.”

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