Michael J. Fox opens up about alcoholism, broken bones and ‘crazy Crispin’ Glover in new document

Again: A Michael J. Fox Movie, Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim’s latest documentary tells the whirlwind story of how a scrawny Canadian boy moves to Hollywood on his last dime, becomes “Hollywood’s male prince,” and ultimately channels his greatest struggle to a beacon of hope for millions. He suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Interspersed with animations and clever clips of his work, told through a series of interviews with the actor. still It offers a candid, reckless, and often hilarious take on Fox’s incredible life story. The actor’s trademark humor permeates even the film’s darkest moments, and his banter with the Guggenheim is a standout. Lucky man and other Fox memoirs form the backbone of storytelling, with portions of his own voice-over audiobooks being used as voice-overs. We also hear a lot from his children, and a lot from his wife, Tracy Pollan.

Still, some of the documentary’s most poignant moments occur in unscripted conversations that question Guggenheim about the bruises and abrasions that have appeared on his body, evidence of his recent fall. At one point during filming, Fox reveals that he fell and broke bones in his face that required surgery and a needle.

But in the end still It offers a hopeful and uplifting message about perseverance, hope and the power of humor in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Below, EW breaks down some of our favorite moments. Still, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday.

“I’ve Never Been Still”

Even as a little boy, Michael J. Fox was always on the go. still Fox, the then toddler, walked out the front door of his parents’ home and walked to the local candy store. Her shocked mother apologized when she received a call from the owner and said that Fox would rush with some money to pay for everything she took. The owner laughed and told Mrs. Fox that she had brought a lot of money with her child.

Initially, it was clear that Fox was smaller and looked younger than other children his age. When she went trick-or-treating with her younger sisters, adults often assumed she was the baby in the family. He endured bullying as he got older and developed a quick wit and keen sense of humor to deal with. He realized that if he could make the bullies laugh, they would be less inclined to punch him. Limited by her size, Fox found a calling for drama rather than sports and enjoyed her status as the cute kid in a mostly all-girl class.

Photograph: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Photograph: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Courtesy of the Sundance Institute Michael J. Fox

“A potential f-up

Fox had a complicated relationship with her father, William, a police officer and Canadian Forces veteran. Before starting acting, Fox told the Guggenheim that his expectations were limited and that his father saw him as a “potential failure.” But Fox’s acting expectations were rising. His stature and youthful appearance gave him a valuable edge in his burgeoning career, the source of much bullying and strife. At the age of 15, he acted as a 12-year-old boy in the Canadian TV series. Leo and Me. Instead of hiring a child actor with less experience and range, the producers were excited to work with a teenager who could play the younger part.

When Fox was 18 years old, she decided it was time to shoot in Hollywood, and it was to her great surprise that her father complied, even taking her to Los Angeles. He may not have said it, but the supportive gesture showed Fox that his father believed in him and saw something special in his acting.

Jam packs and dental floss

In the early days of his career, Fox lived in a cramped apartment, so penniless that he would take jam packets home from restaurants to eat as a snack. Callback for role ordinary people It was less than encouraging—Fox recalls director Robert Redford flossing his teeth throughout the audition. The role eventually went to Timothy Hutton, and Redford won an Oscar for his behind-the-scenes debut. Still, Fox had reason to hope: He landed small roles in the 1980s. madness at midnight and the 1982’s Class of 1984.

The life-changing role came as a penniless Fox was considering cutting his losses and leaving Hollywood. Even then, he took the role at the cost of his life and over the objections of the chiefs at NBC.

lunch box revenge

Fox was in the mix of actors being considered for a role in a new sitcom called. family ties, but lost the role to emerging star Matthew Broderick. When? Ferris Bueller The star backed out, but Fox was considered a viable replacement by a handful of the show’s crew. Unfortunately, his backers didn’t initially include series creator Gary David Goldberg and NBC big wig Brandon Tartikoff. Fortunately for Fox, co-producers and writers advocated giving him a chance, and Goldberg relented by filming the pilot with Fox as neo-conservative Alex P. Keaton. Goldberg, and the live audience in particular, topped Fox’s stage-stealing performance, but Tartikoff was still unconvinced, telling the creator that Fox might be fine, but never a face you’d see in a lunchbox.

The show became a hit with Fox as its featured star, and apparently upset her on-screen parents, Meredith Baxter-Birney, and Michael Gross, who were originally supposed to be the main attractions. Years later, Fox admits to a playful revenge on Tartikoff and sends him a letter. Return to the future with a face-on lunchbox and a message: “To Brandon: This is for you to put your crows in. Love and Kisses, Michael J.” Fox won three Emmys and a Golden Globe for her work on the show.

family ties

family ties

Everett Collection Michael J. Fox on ‘Family Ties’

“Sorry, I messed up”

Fox’s comedy continues family ties It caught the attention of Robert Zemeckis, who was working on a movie about a teenager who travels through time. Zemeckis asked Fox for the lead role of Marty McFly, but due to his work on the series family tiesGreenberg did not let the director get close to his star.

As the story goes, Eric Stoltz got the role and filmed a few scenes. Baxter-Birney with Fox’s TV mom on family tiesShe took maternity leave, Fox was released to make a movie, and she accepted a role that she considered at the time a “B-grade wolf movie.”

Inside Still, Fox remembers hearing Return to the future working on teen Wolf, and he doesn’t realize that he is wanted for the lead role. She remembers being angry that she was cast in a great movie while she was stuck with that “crazy” Crispin Glover. Teen Wolf

TEEN WOLF, Michael J. Fox, 1985, u00A9 MGM/courtesy Everett Collection, TNW 005 FOH, Photo: Everett C

TEEN WOLF, Michael J. Fox, 1985, u00A9 MGM/courtesy Everett Collection, TNW 005 FOH, Photo: Everett C

Everett Collection Michael J. Fox in ‘Teen Wolf’

Meanwhile, Zemeckis was dissatisfied with Stoltz’s performance as McFly and felt he didn’t have the comedy timing the role required. He went after Fox again. Goldberg softened this time. Baxter-Birney had just returned from maternity leave, and the showrunner believed she could help carry more of the burden.

However, this did not mean that he abandoned his golden son. For the next two months, Fox would rehearse. family ties from 10am to 6pm, at which point a driver Return to the future where he will work until morning.

Inside stillFox admits that sometimes he can’t even remember what set he was on or what character he should have been. Believing that his fatigue was affecting his performance, Fox apologized to Zemeckis after shooting. “Sorry, I know I messed up,” he said, “but I had a really good time.”

Return to the future

Return to the future

Everett Collection Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future”

“The male prince of Hollywood”

When? teen Wolf and Return to the future Both lit up the box office in 1985, with Fox instantly becoming one of the most famous people in the world. Fox, who calls himself the “male prince of Hollywood”, admits to some suspicious behavior during this period. “I was a bit of a jerk,” he admits.

During this time, Fox met his future wife. Coming from a more serious acting background, Pollan was cast as her lover. family ties. It wasn’t love at first sight; Pollan was initially put off by him. It wasn’t until they were reunited a few years later. Bright Lights, Big City, that they are in love. They got married in 1988 and have four children together.

Michael J. Fox and Woody Woody Harrelson

Michael J. Fox and Woody Woody Harrelson

DMI/LIFE Image Collection/Shutterstock Michael J. Fox and Woody Harrelson

In sickness and in health

When Fox woke up one morning in 1991, he found himself involuntarily moving his pinky finger. At first, he shrugged, attributing it to the rough party he had with Woody Harrelson the night before. Unfortunately it didn’t stop. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he was told he had 10 years left before he was too ill to work. Inside stillHe remembers that the first thing he said when he told his wife the news was “In sickness and in health.”

Fox chose to keep the illness a secret and quickly produced several films in the ’90s, none of which were as well received as his previous work. The drugs relieved her symptoms for a period of time, so Fox specialized in timing her doses so that their effects would kick in at the time of their intake. When symptoms persisted, she disguised the tremor by holding objects in her hands and playing with them.

Fox turned to alcohol to deal with the emotional impact of the incurable degenerative disease. Inside still, immediately admits to being an alcoholic when asked directly by the Guggenheim. Fox credits his wife for helping him overcome his addiction, saying he’s been sober for 30 years.

Michael J Fox

Michael J Fox

Everett Collection Michael J. Fox in ‘Spin City’

sounds clean

When her film career seemed to stall, Fox returned to both television and Goldberg to star in the producer’s new series. Rotation City. The show became a hit and led to a resurgence in the actor’s popularity. When he left the show, he won an Emmy, three Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild awards for his performance. Working in television also allowed him to spend more time with his family, and by 1998 Fox felt ready to share his Parkinson’s diagnosis with the world.

a great sex life

After leaving the show, she continued acting and appearing on shows like Fox, FX’s. Save me and GIS’ good wife. She retired from acting in 2020 due to her health, but continues to fundraise and advocate for the Parkinson’s research organization, which has raised an incredible $1.5 billion since she founded it in 2000.

Inside stillWe see Fox working hard with a physical trainer to maintain his mobility. However, when he lost his balance, experiencing hard falls became a fact of life, which made his family very sad. He often breaks his bones and tells the Guggenheim that he regularly suffers from “intense pain.” Still, he is full of hope and can look back on his life with pride, saying that he is most proud of his family and Return to the future. “An incredible sex life,” she says.

Where does he see himself in 20 years? “Dead or pickled,” he jokes. Asked if he is comfortable with the fact that a cure for Parkinson’s can only come after its time, Fox answers without hesitation: “P…yes, finish it.”

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