Michael J. Fox is known for the Back To The Future series, Teen Wolf, and many more. In recent memory, the Doc Hollywood star opened up about the struggles that he faces because of his Parkinson’s.
Fox appeared on Mike Birbiglia’s podcast Working It Out where he shared that his memory that was once superb has now become quite challenging for him, which is negatively affecting the roles he’s taking on.
He recalled a scene from Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character keeps forgetting his lines and said, “[DiCaprio] was doing a scene of [a] western show and he couldn’t remember his lines. He went back in the dressing room, he was screaming at himself, he was like tearing into himself in the mirror, and drinking.”
MJF went on to say, “Just a mess. And I thought about that, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to feel that. Am I wrong to feel that? Am I right to feel that?'”
“But here’s what it tells me,” the voice of Stewart Little continued, “I don’t take on something with a lot of lines because I can’t do it. And for whatever reason, it just is what it is. I can’t remember five pages of dialogue. I can’t do it. It can’t be done. So I go to the beach.”
Fox also shared that memorizing scripts is not an easy task for him anymore. “When I did the spin-off from Good Wife, which is Good Fight, I couldn’t remember the lines. I just had this blank … I couldn’t remember the lines. And it was strange because on Family Ties, [producers] used to give me the script and I’d go, ‘I’m in. Mallory, get off the phone.’ And I knew it, like an instant. And it continued to be that way for me,” he explained.
“I have 70 pages of dialogue on a De Palma movie. And knowing that a hugely expensive steadicam shot depends on me knowing the lines; not a trickle of sweat on my brown. It used to be like that. And I get to this point. I’m on a soundstage in Culver City, and I can’t get this line together. It was this legal stuff and I just couldn’t get it. But what’s really refreshing was I didn’t panic. I didn’t freak out. I just went, ‘Well that’s that. Moving on. A key element of this process is memorizing lines, and I can’t do it.’ And I had done Kiefer’s show in Canada, [Designated Survivor]. I had the same problem.”
Fox was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder back in 1991. It has been over three decades that he has been battling Parkinson’s and he has drastically cut back on acting.
Michael J Fox continues to manage The Michael J, Fox Foundation, which is the Parkinson’s research and advocacy organization that has raised more than $1 billion to find a cure for the disease.
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