Michael J. Fox is heading back to TV this fall with the new sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show on NBC.
But the actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 and whose last full-time small-screen gig was Spin City in 2000, is up for the challenge.
"People said, 'Are you sure you can handle this? Are you sure you can take it on? Are you sure you can deal with it?'" Fox tells Rolling Stone in the magazine's latest issue.
"And I said, 'No, I'm not sure I can, but I want to and I have an opportunity to.' And another side of it, that I don't deal with every day but is certainly present, is that on some level it might be empowering for people."
Fox added that when it comes to his symptoms, "people look at me and have fear and sadness in their eyes, which they think they're seeing reflected back at them. They wouldn't see what I'm really feeling, which is, 'I'm OK!' But people are afraid."
The 52-year-old Emmy winner recalled an interview he did once with Larry King.
"It was a little more disjointed and fractured than usual, and I realized that it was the first time I'd talked to him since my diagnosis and that he was afraid. So I had to understand that before people deal with me, they're going to deal with what they think I'm going through. Then time will pass and then they'll realize that this is just my life, the stuff I was given to deal with."
The Michael J. Fox Show premieres September 26 on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)