Michael J. Fox, the superstar of the Back to the Future films, explains in a new stills documentary how he managed to hide the hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease even on the sets of his films at the height of his career.
10.5. half past seven
In the 1990s, superstar of the legendary Back to the Future movies, actor Michael J. Fox had a big secret that he hid for seven years – from movie and TV audiences.
In 1990, he noticed that the little finger of his left hand was vibrating automatically. The following year, the 29-year-old star was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease. Its symptoms include slowness of movements, resting tremor, muscle stiffness and balance difficulties. None of this was good news for the actor.
Suggest a solution to a clever person. During the filming, for example, of the comedies Concierge – Love or Money (1993) and Uncle Joe’s Heirs (1994), as well as the TV sitcom series Spin City, which debuted in 1996, he would often use a pen, paper, or journal. Or used to keep other things. For hours at a time I tremble in my arms to keep his fingers occupied in his left hand.
Michael J. Fox’s 1990s films delight in these moments.
– I never even thought about telling anyone my diagnosis. After all, I had work to do, Fox says in the new biographical documentary, which premieres Friday on the streaming service Apple TV+.
Heartwarming Documentary Stills: A Michael J. In the Fox movie, the struggling star is seen in front of the camera and has retained her positive energy and boyish features. Despite Parkinson’s and a gray bed on her chin, it’s hard to believe that Fox turned 61 last June.
A lot has fit in over the decades, and Fox hasn’t often stuck to its fields, but has always gone full speed ahead. The title of the Davis Guggenheim-directed documentary Still – which doubles as “In Place” and “Still” – comes from Fox’s own ironic humorous observation that he often repeats.
– I couldn’t stand still until I really couldn’t stand still anymore, Fox says in the documentary.
During the successful years of the 1980s and 1990s, Fox hopped from movie to movie, forcing actress wife Tracy Pollan to give up her most ambitious career dreams and practically stay home to take care of the kids. was forced to.
For the past 30 years, Fox’s body has been immobilized by Parkinson’s symptoms. Finding, covering up, and adapting to the symptoms of illness is a big part of Fox’s captivating story.
Read More: Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with terminal illness at the height of his career – reveals he kept it a secret for years
In addition to hiding symptoms, Fox’s own treatments in the 1990s included prescribed pills for Parkinson’s disease to prevent tremors in the left hand, and before long, too much alcohol. He was able to keep his secret for seven years.
– I carried pills with me in my shirt and pants pockets as if they were candy.
“I became adept at taking the drug so that I could control my body at the right time,” Fox says.
Guggenheim interspersed his interviews with scenes taken from Fox’s TV series and movies, as well as additional footage filmed for the documentary. They make a strange impression, as if Fox was conveying his thoughts at the time through his roles.
In the early 1990s, the pain and the desire not to think about the whole disease made the star drink heavily.
– I hid the bottles. I made a jam for him in the garage. I opened two bottles, and Tracy thought we only drank one, but I drank the other myself, Fox narrates.
I was definitely an alcoholic, he confirms to the Guggenheim.
Now we look at a star who has been cool in front of the camera for three decades, who has had her good times and bad times even while being interviewed for a documentary. At times he appears collapsed and self-destructive in interviews: during the making of the documentary, he broke his cheekbone, hand and arm, among other things.
As a youngster, Michael was always the shortest in his Canadian class and looked several years younger than his peers. He got his first TV role at the age of 16 in the Canadian TV series Leo & Me because he looked exactly 12 years old.
More TV roles awaited in Hollywood, but getting there meant dropping out of high school. For three years, Fox got small roles in TV series, but when the money ran out, he sometimes had to sell his furniture.
Saved by Fox’s hit series Family Is Best, in which Fox played Alex Keaton, an aging, conservative teen of liberal parents. The character became so popular that the emphasis of entire sitcoms changed and began to be molded around Fox.
TV popularity also nearly stalled Fox’s film career: Gary David Goldberg, creator of the Family Is Best series, did not at first reveal to his biggest star that Steven Spielberg himself had cast him as the lead in Back to Back. Was asked to borrow for the part. The futuristic adventure he did.
In the end, Fox worked around the clock for three and a half months, sleeping only a few hours a night. During the day he made Pehe on the Paras series and at night he shot for the film Back to the Future.
Met wife Tracy Pollan on the job: Pollan, who studied theater acting in New York, played Fox’s girlfriend in the fourth season of Family Is Best, when Fox was already a superstar. When Fox behaved like a star on set, Pollan forcefully retorted.
– I was a little crazy on the set. He made fun of me, but I didn’t realize it because no one joked at my expense. He revealed that I was originally a scared little boy. I fell in love with him at that very moment, Fox says in the documentary.
Today, the family also includes four adult children. Despite Fox’s difficult years, Pollan has supported her husband.
– I told Tracy about Parkinson’s disease. I remember her whispering: In both the good times and the bad, Fox says in the documentary.
Documentary Still: A Michael J. The Fox movie premieres Friday at 12.5. Streaming service on Apple TV+.
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