10 Questions with Tracy Phillips

Tracy Phillips, the perfect woman.
She's beautiful, she's talented, and she's the daughter of an NFL head coach... That's right, you are about to meet the perfect woman.

Tracy Phillips is an actress, dancer (particularly burlesque), and choreographer living in Southern California. Tracy has appeared in numerous music videos. Her role as the deceased Helena in My Chemical Romance's "Helena" music video is arguably her most well-known role. She has made notable appearances in No Doubt's "Bathwater" and The Offspring's "The Kids Aren't Alright". Other music video appearances include the Goo Goo Dolls and Ricky Martin. She choreographed a scene for Evanescence's "Call Me When You're Sober" in which four dancers, dressed in black, trail down the flight of stairs. She has done commercials for Pepsi, and the famed GAP television advertising campaign featuring Lenny Kravitz and Sarah Jessica Parker. She has worked in a handful of movies, including Wreckless + Wild (aka: Desperate but not Serious, worked on by SH's Rodney and Jeff), What Women Want, Clerks II, Jackass Number Two, and most recently Dark Streets. Tracy is also one of the pioneering performer's at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce in Los Angeles (and was featured in the reality series on Bravo). In addition to her performances at Forty Deuce, Tracy is currently recording with her band, 'Mr. Lovely.'"

NOTE: The following interview took place a few years ago, when Tracy's dad was the head coach and Vice President of Football Operations for the Buffalo Bills.)

Usually it's more than enough to be extremely attractive, funny, and athletic in order to get an interview with SportsHollywood. But there's much more to Tracy than that...

Tracy's dad, NFL head coach Wade Phillips.
... Because Tracy has an interesting pedigree. She is the daughter of Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips. She's also the granddaughter of the great O.A. "Bum" Phillips, who was the head coach of the Houston Oilers (the winningest coach in that franchise's history, in fact).

Tracy and her brother, Wesley (now a quarterback for the University of Texas, El Paso), have lived in a lot of cities, seen a lot of football, suffered and rejoiced with their father's teams, and now have a unique perspective on the dominant professional sport in the United States.

When the Broncos (Wade's previous team) or Bills won, they celebrated with the players. But when they lost, they heard the taunts and jeers, too. (How would you handle it if you had to hear your dad get booed at work?)

Today, Tracy still follows her dad's team every week, but now has to watch the games on TV in the pro-football-barren land of Los Angeles.

She can be seen in the films What Women Want, Desperate but not Serious, The March of Ides, and Lucky Numbers. She has appeared in videos for No Doubt, Goo-Goo Dolls, the Offspring, Will Smith, and Ricky Martin. You can also see her in commercials for Pepsi and The Gap.

SportsHollywood interviewed Tracy over breakfast at the Teasers sports bar in Santa Monica. Tracy seemed a little tense, but that was because her dad's Buffalo Bills were playing the Indianapolis Colts on the big screen TV in front of us. We spoke during commercials and over halftime.


Tracy's dad, Wade, in his playing days, with his father, the legendary "Bum" Phillips.
SportsHollywood: What's your favorite sports movie?


SportsHollywood: How did you decide to go into show business while living in a sports-dominated household?

(Tracy thinks back, trying to ignore the Colts fan sitting directly behind her as he badmouths the Bills.)

TRACY PHILLIPS: Well, I've been dancing since I was three. It was actually a natural progression (and besides, I couldn't get onto a football team).

SportsHollywood: Do you ever think about helping your dad's team by choreographing some sexier moves for the Buffalo Jills?

TRACY PHILLIPS: (Laughs) Actually, when my dad was in Denver I did fly out and choreograph some moves for the Broncos cheerleaders!

SportsHollywood: Are you still a big football fan?

TRACY PHILLIPS: Yes! Absolutely... Although close games like this are hard to watch...

(The Bills score three successive field goals, but can't seem to cross the goal line. They lead, 9-0.)

belt buckle
He produces high-powered offenses and vicious defenses that drive opposing fans crazy, but he also produced this! Speaking for male football fans everywhere, God bless you, Wade Phillips!
SportsHollywood: Did your parents ever consider naming you "Bum-ette," or "Bum-ina," in honor of your grandfather?

TRACY PHILLIPS: (Laughs) No. His real first name is "Owell," so that wasn't really an option... Yup, "Owell" -- now you know why he prefers "Bum."

SportsHollywood: How did your grandfather get that name?

TRACY PHILLIPS: I've heard a couple of different explanations. One was that his sister couldn't pronounce the word "brother," and it came out "bum." The other was something about a bumblebee. (Laughs) The truth may never be known.

SportsHollywood: Was Wade a disciplinarian as a father, and if so, did it help you in becoming a dancer and actress?

TRACY PHILLIPS: I wouldn't call him a disciplinarian at all! He's old-fashioned, but in the best way possible. At home he's more laid back.

(The Colts score on a pass. Bills lead, 9-7. Tracy is tense.)

SportsHollywood: Did you ever get to know any of your dad's players, like John Elway or Doug Flutie?

TRACY PHILLIPS: Well, you meet most of the players when you go to games every Sunday. I don't know as many of the Bills because I live in California, now.

SportsHollywood: Did any of them ever dare to hit on the coach's daughter?


SportsHollywood: Who has faster hands, an NFL wide receiver or a Hollywood casting executive?

TRACY PHILLIPS: Oh God...(thinks it over)... since I like to work, I'll say the NFL wide receiver.

> SportsHollywood: (Watching the Bills drive down the field) What they need to do here is score and run out the clock until halftime.

(Tracy looks at the interview as if to say, "No kidding, you dork." The Bills drive down to the ten, then penalties knock them out of field goal range. At halftime, the Bills lead, 9-7.)

belt buckle
Order Bum's belt buckle here. Just 5 grand!
SportsHollywood: Your grandfather once said, "There are two types of coaches. Them that have just been fired and them that are going to be fired." Does that affect his children? What was it like in school when your dad was a coach on the local NFL team?

TRACY PHILLIPS: That's my favorite quote of his! Actually you never heard much criticism in school. It was mainly in the newspapers. An 8-8 season had to be a bigger catastrophe than the earthquake on page one in order to sell papers. Then the fans would pick up on it. I try not to read Sports sections.

(The Colts score again, then add a two point conversion. They lead, 15-9, with two minutes and five seconds to go. Tracy is tense as the Bills take over possession.)

SportsHollywood: We know who your favorite coach is, so who is your favorite player?

(Magically, the Bills score on a 40-yard pass play to none other than... Eric Moulds! They lead 16-15 with a minute and eight seconds to go. Tracy jumps out of her seat, screaming and applauding. Even the Colts fans enjoy watching her do this.)

SportsHollywood: What athlete would you like to play onscreen?

TRACY PHILLIPS: I only know football players, and I don't think they'll cast me as one of them...

(Indianapolis kicks a 45-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. The Bills lose by two, 16-18. Tracy is silent. Her hands cover her mouth, bottling a scream. The sports bar erupts. I wonder, "How can she handle this every week?")

SportsHollywood: Unbelievable... That's too bad. It was a good game...TRACY PHILLIPS:

(Tracy watches the face of her father onscreen as they replay his reaction to the loss. His face tightens as the ball flies between the goal posts. He grimaces, teeth bared, then turns away from the camera.)

SportsHollywood: He is so composed. He seems so cool -- never too up, never too down...

(Tracy leaves, saddened by the game's outcome, but deeply proud of her football heritage. She's thinking about calling her father later. Until then, she plans to enjoy a sunny day on the Santa Monica Promenade, thousands of miles away from gloomy Buffalo. But even if Tracy can only see her dad on TV today, she'll always be close to him -- inside, where the cameras can't see. Because even if people like Tracy can be perfect, life can't be.)

Interview by Jeff Hause


Photo #1

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Photo #6

My Chemical Romance's "Helena" (Warner Bros. Records)

Tracy Phillips
Birthday: March 27th; Zodiac Sign: Aries; Height: 5'6"; Haircolor: Black; Eyecolor: Grey-blue.

Tracy is an actress and dancer, and has appeared in many music videos and stage shows. Her film credits include Desperate but not Serious, The March of Ides, Lucky Numbers, and What Women Want. She has appeared in videos for No Doubt, Goo-Goo Dolls, the Offspring, Will Smith, and Ricky Martin. You can also see her in commercials for Pepsi and The Gap. We would gladly pay five thousand dollars for her belt buckle.

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