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Michael J Fox says watching Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino film inspired him to retire

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Michael J Fox has said that watching Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood inspired him to retire from acting for good.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 29. He revealed the diagnosis in 1998 and in 2020, the Back To The Future actor said that he was beginning a “second retirement” after initially returning to work with the disease.

In a new interview with Empire, Fox said his decision to step away was inspired by Tarantino’s 2019 film after once scene in the film reminded him of the issues he faced on a daily basis.


Fox said when filming The Good Fight, a spin-off to The Good Wife, he struggled to remember his lines due to the disease.

“I thought of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” Fox recalled in the interview. “There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines any more.

“He goes back to his dressing room and he’s screaming at himself in the mirror. Just freaking insane.”

Fox continued: “I had this moment where I was looking in the mirror and thought, ‘I cannot remember it any more. Well, let’s move on.’ It was peaceful.”

Once Upon A Time
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood’

Recently, Fox opened up about living with Parkinson’s disease, saying in a new interview that it’s becoming “harder” to live with the condition.


Speaking on CBS Sunday Morning, Fox told anchor Jane Pauley that Parkinson’s was “banging on the door”.

“I’m not gonna lie. It’s getting harder. Every day, it’s tougher but that’s the way it is,” he said.

“I’ve had spinal surgery. I’ve had a tumour on my spine, it was benign, but it messed up my walking and then I started to break stuff. I broke this arm, and I broke this arm. I broke this elbow. I broke my face. I broke my hand.”

“Falling is a big killer with Parkinson’s, [so is] aspirating food and getting pneumonia,” he continued before saying it was “all these subtle ways it gets you”.

“You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s,” said the 61-year-old. “I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it. I’m not gonna be 80.”

A documentary about Fox’s life was released this week. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie premiered on May 12 on Apple TV+ and is directed by An Inconvenient Truth filmmaker Davis Guggenheim.

The film explores Fox’s career including his breakthrough role in Back To The Future, and includes rare interviews and clips looking back at his huge rise to fame in the 1980s. The film also covers his Parkinson’s diagnosis and how he persevered and went on to raise over $2billion (£1.7billion) towards research for the condition.

In a four star review of the film, NME said: “Hinting that he wants to tell his story now because he suspects he won’t be around for much longer, the sadness of the film runs as deep as it does because Fox seems like such a genuinely decent person.

“By opening up to show us what life with Parkinson’s looks like (as embarrassing and painful as it often is funny and unpredictable), it’s hard to think of a better spokesperson for the condition – and harder still to think of anyone who deserves it less.”

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