Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Michael J. Fox Would Return To Acting - But He Has A Few Conditions

Legendary actor Michael J. Fox has largely stepped away from the craft over the years due to his struggles with Parkinson's disease and officially "retired" from acting in 2020. As he recently told Entertainment Tonight, though, Fox might come back for a truly excellent role.

During an event raising money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the "Back to the Future" star told ET correspondent Rachel Smith that he's not completely closed off to acting opportunities. "If someone offers me a part and I do it and I have a good time, great," Fox said. "I mean, the documentary was a big thrill."

Fox is, of course, referring to his 2023 AppleTV+ documentary "Still," directed by David Guggenheim, which chronicles the performer's life with Parkinson's. Fox was diagnosed in 1991 but didn't go public with the information until 1998. According to Fox, the process of making Still was fairly organic and he quite enjoyed the experience: "It was fun. I never would have set that as a goal. It just happened."

When pressed by Smith, though, Fox said that if a role presented itself that felt true to his real-life experience, he would be excited to take it on. "I would do acting if something came up that I could put my realities into it, my challenges, if I could figure it out," Fox revealed.

Michael J. Fox initially stepped away from acting to be with his family

Michael J. Fox is no stranger to the entertainment industry — he's been acting since he was a child in the 1970s — so he knows it's a demanding field that can take a lot out of a person. Still, he said that these days, you can wear so many different hats, expressing excitement over the idea of possibly producing or directing. As he told Rachel Smith, he wanted to "do it all" when he was younger but couldn't quite make that work. "22-year-olds are obnoxious," he joked.

Still, Fox was open about the fact that he prioritizes other things now, including his family, his wife (actress Tracy Pollan and Fox have been married since 1988), and the work he does regarding Parkinson's disease. "My biggest goal, I think, was to raise a family," he said. "We have four amazing kids and that's been the big thing. And then the other is with the foundation."

Fox has opened up previously about his retirement, telling Empire Magazine in 2023 that a specific Quentin Tarantino film shook him to his very core. After having trouble remembering his lines on the acclaimed series "The Good Fight," Fox told the magazine he was struck by a scene in "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" that felt eerily similar. "There's a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's character can't remember his lines anymore," Fox said. "He goes back to his dressing room and he's screaming at himself in the mirror. Just freaking insane. I had this moment where I was looking in the mirror and thought, 'I cannot remember it anymore.'"

Parkinson's disease has affected Michael J. Fox's life — and career

Michael J. Fox is unquestionably one of the most famous people on the planet struggling with the effects of Parkinson's disease — a central nervous system disorder which causes slow moment, tremors, and trouble walking — and since revealing his diagnosis, he's been remarkably honest and open about living with the illness. Recently, the actor also spoke to People Magazine for its 50th anniversary issue, bringing the narrative full circle; Fox did an exclusive interview with the same outlet in 1998 to reveal that he had Parkinson's in the first place.

Speaking to his initial prognosis of roughly 10 years, Fox told the magazine that he lives life to the absolute fullest no matter what: "What I believed then and what I believe now, I might not put it in the same words, but you can do anything. Anything. You don't have to follow other people's prognostications for what life is going to be. Life's going to be what you make it."

Plus, Fox was able to address the fact that, through the Michael J. Fox foundation, enough money has been raised for medical research that there was a major breakthrough in 2023 — specifically, that the foundatipn's funding helped researchers find a biomarker that could cause Parkinson's. "It was one of the few times I cried about what we were doing," Fox revealed. "We wanted to find a way that we can diagnose the disease before the symptoms are there. Because then we could treat it, and you'd never have it. It was a big break — and a great moment."