The Legendary Actor Phil Collins Was “Too Embarrassed” to Meet

phil collins

Despite his immense success in the music industry, Phil Collins is surprisingly down-to-earth. You can see how friendly he is, especially when he’s not performing for large crowds in arenas. From creating music both with Genesis and to being a solo artist who’s known to millions, Collins has always been uncomfortable with the trappings of fame.

Collins never actively pursued the idea of being a celebrity; he sort of stumbled into the spotlight. He never intended to become the lead singer of Genesis. Rather, his career took a vastly different path from what he initially envisioned. When singer Peter Gabriel left the band in a surprising move, Genesis held auditions for his replacement.

But no one quite met their expectations. That’s when Collins stepped into the role.

Before this turning point, he was content to be the drummer in the background. But then his fame soared as Genesis became a household name. His performance at Live Aid, where he played at London’s Wembley Stadium before jetting off to America for the ill-fated Led Zeppelin reunion, made him the star of both shows.

However, the notion of mingling with Hollywood’s A-listers still felt foreign to Collins. Deep down, he saw himself as the same kid from Hounslow. While many in his profession dream of the glitz and glamour, it has always been about the music for Collins.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Phil Collins expressed his admiration for Jack Nicholson, saying, “He’s such an honest actor, right down to his unruly hair.” Nicholson, in turn, was a fan of Collins’ work and attended one of his shows in Los Angeles.

Collins revealed about his celebrity fans: “When Audrey Hepburn introduced herself to me at the Academy Awards and asked for my autograph for her son, I was speechless. Kathleen Turner approached me as a big fan, and Michael Caine wanted to meet me.”

Continuing with the star encounters, Collins mentioned one actor he was initially too nervous to approach. Eventually, he mustered the courage to do so. He said, “Meryl Streep was sitting with Jessica Lange. I thought about going over and praising her performance in ‘Out of Africa,’ but I was too embarrassed.”

“Finally, my wife encouraged me, saying, ‘Go on, she’d probably love to know how you feel.’ So, I did, and she responded, ‘Well, look who’s finally come up and said hello to me.’ I don’t mean to brag when I say this because I don’t mean it that way. I’m just amazed that people I see on television, these movie stars, these people I admire, come to see me!” Collins recalled.

Although he considered Jack Nicholson his “hero,” meeting Meryl Streep left Collins feeling jittery. However, he remains proud of his decision to introduce himself. Despite being an A-lister for decades, the surreal nature of fame still hasn’t fully sunk in for him.

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