Before there was Scream, Friends, or Cougar Town, there was Springsteen. In case you forgot, Courteney Cox was once so unknown that she was cast as an unnamed fan in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video.
The then-20-year-old actress is virtually unrecognizable with her cropped hair and a muscle tee and denim combo that screams 1984. Despite an impressive list of accolades since then, this soft glam glow memory still makes Cox cringe.
The now-58-year-old Cox recently spoke with Howard Stern about her first film appearance, and she did not mince her words.
A Star-Studded Start To A Long Career
Cox’s brief feature in Springsteen’s music video was her first highly public role. In the video, Cox lives out the dream of every red-blooded woman alive in 1984: to be pulled onstage by a singing, open-shirt Springsteen.
As the saxophonist cuts a solo, Springsteen and Cox dance together on stage. Sure, it’s an awkward Carlton-from-Fresh-Prince type of dance, but they’re dancing!
Cox recalled going into the audition with little to no dance experience on a recent episode of the Howard Stern Show. When she walked in and saw professional dancers warming up, “I thought I was in the wrong place. I was like, I don’t know what they’re doing, but I can’t even bend my leg.”
“So, I went into Brian de Palma’s office. He put on music and said, ‘will you dance?” And I thought, ‘right now, here in front of you, just the two of us?’ It was so embarrassing. I think that’s why I got it. I think that’s what they wanted—a fan who just couldn’t believe it.”
‘It Was Pathetic’
“I get a little embarrassed because I do feel like when I watch the video, when I see it, I mean, god—did you see my dance? It was pathetic. I’m not a bad dancer, but that was horrible. I was so nervous.”
Indeed, this distant memory might still make Cox cringe with embarrassment, but that didn’t dampen her love for the Boss. “Bruce Springsteen—I mean, my god, he’s just incredible. I love that song,” she gushed to Stern.
And really, if dancing like a dork with Bruce Springsteen as your first acting gig is one of your more embarrassing moments, then I’d say you’re still doing pretty good.
So, chin up, Courteney! At least the song is about dancing in the dark?