Music

Michael J Fox says Parkinson’s is affecting career as he can’t remember lines

Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox has revealed how Parkinson's disease has impacted his Hollywood career, with his decline in memory skills affecting the acting roles he chooses to take.

Speaking on Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out podcast, the 60-year-old admitted he finds it harder to memorise lines due to the condition.

He said: "When I did the spinoff from The Good Wife, which is The Good Fight, I couldn't remember the lines. I just had this blank, I couldn't remember the lines."

The Canadian actor said he didn't struggle with his lines when he was younger and spoke about his time on Family Ties, which he stared in from 1982 to 1989.

He said: "It was strange because on Family Ties, they 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."

Michael was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, in 1991 when he was just 29 years old.

The actor recalled watching Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood.

He said he identified with a scene in which Leonardo DiCaprio's character Rick Dalton, a TV Western star, struggles with forgetting his lines.

Michael said: "He went back in the dressing room, he was screaming at himself, he was like tearing into himself in the mirror, and drinking. Just a mess.

"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?'"

He added: "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."

Michael said that he and his wife Tracy Pollan have found humour to be key in helping them deal with challenges.

"We deal with what's funny in the situation at first," he said.

"We laugh about it and then we deal with it. But always humour. Humour is the filter for everything."

He also said the first step to improving your state of mind is acknowledgment.

"I think the first thing you have to do is accept if you're faced with a difficult situation," he said.

"And once I do that, that doesn't mean I can't ever change it. I can change it, but I have to accept it for what it is first, before I can change it."

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