Michael J. Fox to Rolling Stone: Parkinson's Improved My Acting

Former Family Ties man reveals his condition won't be hampering his ability to do his day job when he makes his highly vaunted comeback

By Josh Grossberg Sep 16, 2013 8:53 PMTags

If you ask Michael J. Fox, Parkinson's disease has forced him to become a much more resourceful actor.

Gracing the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone in advance of his celebrated return to network television this fall with The Michael J. Fox Show on NBC, the Emmy and Golden Globe winner told the magazine that his two decade-plus illness hasn't been all bad, as it's made him approach his craft in a new—and perhaps more satisfying—way.

"I had a certain fluidity to my movements and rhythm of speech and a physicality that I had depended on," said Fox, now 52. "It served me really well, but when that was taken away, I found that there was other stuff that I could use. That hesitation, that Parkinsonian affect, is an opportunity to just pause in a moment and collect as a character and respond to what's happening and just gave me this kind of gravitas."

Noting Parkinson's gave him a "new view of things," the Back to the Future star added that that he no longer worries about whether or not he can handle the rigors of acting and even though he wasn't 100 percent sure initially that he could take on the gig, he believed it "might be empowering for people."

"I used to be really nervous and sit in my dressing room and fret about a scene that was coming up and sweat it out and say, 'What am I going to do?" You say action and I have to do something. What am I going to do?" Fox wondered. "And what's the actor going to do? And how do I respond to that?"

He continued: "And now it's just like, 'Okay, what's happening?' And something happens, I react to it and if nothing happens, I don't react. I don't worry about that bit I was going to do or the look I was gonna give because when I get there I may not be able to give that look or do that thing or move that glass."

Fox's Rolling Stone interview is now on newsstands while The Michael J. Fox Show is slated to premiere Sept. 26 on NBC.

(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Latest News