This Day in 1985: Phil Collins makes his acting debut

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
This Day in Music

32 years ago today, Phil Collins made his U.S. acting debut, an occasion made slightly less momentous by the fact that he’d made his U.K. acting debut 20+ years earlier in a little film called A Hard Day’s Night.

Actually, that’s playing up his “performance” in the Beatles’ first feature film well beyond the impact he makes: per Collins, he’s not in the film proper, only in the audience of some concert footage that can be found on the home video release. (“You can see on the making of A Hard Day’s Night, when I finally find me, I’m just sitting there, listening,” Collins told the A.V. Club. “That’s not what they wanted.”) Still, it’s a hell of a credit to have on one’s filmography. Then again, so is the project that serves as Collins’ U.S. acting debut.

Collins’ first effort as a thespian for viewers in the States was in an episode of the NBC series Miami Vice entitled “Phil the Shill,” wherein Collins plays a con man who tangles with Crockett and Tubbs. As he’s discussed in past interviews, the producers of the show simply asked Collins if he’d be interested in the role, so he took the gig, and having been fully bitten by the acting bug, he subsequently starred in the feature film Buster, about Buster Edwards, the man convicted for his part in the infamous Great Train Robbery.

It’s been a fair while since Collins has ventured in front of the camera for anything other than interviews, performances, or the odd video, but he’s still got a small but formidable filmography, and Miami Vice is definitely a highlight of the bunch.

For more information, click the buttons below: