Michael J. Fox Was Amazed By His Acting Skills When He Watched ‘Back To The Future’ Years Down The Line

Jan 20, 2022 by apost team

Michael J. Fox is a retired actor, who first rose to fame playing Alex Keaton on the TV series “Family Ties.” Fox starred on the show from 1982 to 1989 and became a household name during that time. In 1985, at the same time he was filming “Family Ties,” Fox filmed the hit movie “Back to the Future” at night while acting on the show during the day. 

Working twice as much in a day was exhausting and Fox said at that time he was just trying to make it through the day. In December 2021, Fox shared that he had rewatched “Back to the Future” and his performance during that hectic time in his life was surprising to him.

In 1998, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He continued to make movies and star in TV shows until 2014 when his series “The Michael J. Fox Show” ended. He officially retired from acting in 2020 due to his health issues. Throughout his career, Fox earned five Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. 

Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Fox has become an advocate for research and the development of a cure for the disease. In 2000 he founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation which funds research and therapies for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s. For his work, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Karolinska Institute in 2010.  

In 2020, Fox released a memoir called “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality.” In the book, he shared details about his life with Parkinson’s and other challenges he has faced in his life. While promoting his book, Fox shared a story about revisiting “Back to the Future.” Read on to see what he had to say about his performance.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

Michael J Fox (1985), (Universal/Getty Images)

Speaking with NPR, Fox shared how his outlook as an optimist has changed over the past three decades since his diagnosis. He said

“That's the crux of the book, is that with Parkinson's, I kind of, after 30 years, had - have established kind of a detente - like, an agreement. It takes up the space it takes up - and then allowing that it gradually was increasing overtime in its dominance or its majority over my situation. But Parkinson's itself, I had figured it out. I'd found a way to let it take up the space it took up and to use the other space to drive in and to do other things and to live my life. And although it wasn't ideal, it was working.”

Fox continued: “And in that, I gained a certain amount of optimism and comfort, and security and confidence because I was doing well. And then I had this accident with - when I had the spinal cord - I had a tumor on my spinal cord, had that operated on. And it had to - I had to do it in order to avoid paralysis, which was certain without surgery.”

After a bad fall, Fox was left with a broken arm that threw off his balance while walking. Because of this, his doctors suggested he have “around-the-clock aides.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, he said in his memoir, “Counterintuitively, Parkinson’s and the tumor on my spine were easier to accept than the broken arm. They had been there for years; stealthy and insidious, they crept up on me. The arm crisis was there in an instant, an explosion. A cataclysm.”


Michael J Fox (2021), (Noam Galai/Getty Images/The Michael J. Fox Foundation)

Even though he is retired, Fox still looks back fondly at his incredible career. One milestone is certainly “Back to the Future.” Fox shared, "Putting the lights on the tree, decorations on the tree, and my son was down and two of my daughters. I went to get something in the other room and it was on, (the) TV was on. It was ‘Back to the Future,’ it was right at the beginning, I think the car in the parking lot.”

The retired actor added, "Then, after about 20 minutes (my family) realized I was gone. It took them like 20 minutes or a half an hour to realize me and the dog had left. They said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Watching ‘Back to the Future.’’ They said, ‘Why are you watching ‘Back to the Future?’’ I said, ‘It’s really good! I’m really good in this.’ I hadn’t realized that. All that crazy stuff was good. It was just what I was doing to survive the moment."

What a gift that Fox can look back at that time in his life and feel proud of what he accomplished. He said, "My performance in that movie was just trying to be alive… I was doing ‘Family Ties’ in the daytime and ‘Back to the Future’ at night. It was just this real experience. So I had this moment, now, wham, with all this stuff I had in my life, where I could sit and look at this kid and say, ‘Wow, he did alright. He had a lot to deal with and he was dancing as fast as he could, but he fulfilled the role and did a good job.’"

Are you a fan of Michael J. Fox? What is your favorite movie of his? Let us know and be sure to send this along to your friends and loved ones. 

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