COURTENEY COX TELLS PARADE ABOUT MEETING DE PALMA & SPRINGSTEEN
In a Parade article by Amy Spencer this weekend, Courteney Cox talks a little bit about auditioning for the Dancing In The Dark music video:
Cox, the youngest of four, was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, in an area she only now appreciates for its rolling hills and beautiful countryside. When she was 10, her parents divorced, and her father moved away. And as her older brother and two older sisters began moving out, she grew even closer with her mother, who became her best friend. “Man, she was a great mom,” says Cox, who shared all the gritty details of her teenage life with her mother. “I didn’t want to sneak and go behind her back. Whatever trouble I got into, I wanted her to know so we could have a really close relationship—because when your parents get divorced, you want that.”
Her father, Richard, installed swimming pools in Florida; Cox recalls that her mother, also named Courteney, answered phones at a psychiatric office and “worked at, like, a Stein Mart, and then I think she got fired because she wanted to play bridge or something.” She was simply not a career woman, Cox says. “There was no part of her that was a go-getter. She was a Southern, sweet, sweet woman. I’m the opposite of my mom in that way. I was always really a workaholic.”
At 13, Cox got a job selling candy to raise money for a foundation. In high school, she worked at a pool store. And at summer camp, she took to the stage, once playing Anna in The King and I. But Cox didn’t realize she could build a career as an actress until she got an agent in New York. There, she modeled, booked a commercial for Tampax, played a debutante named Bunny on As the World Turns and nabbed the part that launched her career.
It was 1984 when Cox was famously cast to be pulled onstage to dance with Bruce Springsteen during a live concert for his “Dancing in the Dark” video—which, in a small sign of her scream-queen career to come, was directed by Brian De Palma, who was behind the horror hit Carrie. There were tons of girls at the audition, recalls Cox, “stretching and…dancers! And I was like, ‘Ohhh, I’m not in the right place.’” When De Palma asked her to dance in his office, “I got so embarrassed,” she says, “because I love to dance, but, like, freestyle.” She was cast with two other girls—but only one would be getting onstage in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the concert. The day or so before, she met the Boss for the first time with De Palma. “I remember they both had the flu, or had colds, and they weren’t feeling great,” she recalls. And when one of them said, ‘OK, so when Courteney goes up onstage,’ I went, ‘Oh, what?!’” And she’s remained on the world’s stage ever since.