- Didn't begin acting until 2005, when a friend asked if he'd appear in a student film that he was shooting. Prior to that, he was pursuing the career he'd gone to college for—marketing.
- Found an acting teacher via the Yellow Pages after deciding he wanted to give acting a go.
- Among the jobs he took while supporting his acting aspirations: bricklayer and pastry packer.
- Hyphenated his name to James-Collier to placate the acting union Equity, as there was already an actor named Rob Collier.
- Scored a supporting role in a series (Down to Earth) on one of his first auditions.
- Appeared in catalogs for Argos (a British retail chain) in 2007 and '08.
- Anointed "Sexiest Male" at the 2007 and 2008 British Soap Awards for his work on Coronation Street.