Michael J. Fox Opens Up About Parkinson’s Journey in New Documentary ‘Still’ (Exclusive)
Michael J. Fox, an Emmy winner and one of the most beloved stars in the world, gives viewers an in-depth look at his life in the new documentary “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie.”
Michael sat down with “Extra’s” Tommy DiDario to talk about the doc, which chronicles his childhood in Canada, his rise to stardom on “Family Ties,” his Parkinson’s diagnosis, and what his life is like today.
“It’s actually funny as hell… and it’s a great ride,” said Michael, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 29. “And I’m just really happy that that people are open to seeing good things where they might have wanted to see bad things.”
The film reveals Michael and his wife Tracy Pollan’s never-before-seen journey following his diagnosis.
“Life is just one opportunity after another. And that doesn’t stop how old you get,” Fox told “Extra,” adding how his family and laughter are the sources of his joy.
“My family made me very happy. And there’s a lot of stuff in the movie about them making me laugh. In the early part of the movie, I talk about the gift of being able to make other people laugh,” he explained.
“It was a really powerful thing for me when I started doing ‘Family Ties’ and telling jokes, [with] people laughing, even more laughing. I made them even make a sound I didn’t even know was laughter.”
The 61-year-old went on to clarify that Parkinson’s itself isn’t fatal, saying, “You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So that’s the key thing to know. And there’s things like aspirating food that gives you pneumonia. I’ve fallen. I’ve broken both my arms, my elbow, my shoulder is replaced. Broke my face. Broke my hand… Disaster rained on me by this disease.”
Even so, Michael just made a rare public appearance sitting courtside with Tracy at the NBA playoffs in New York. Explaining how he stays positive, Fox said gratitude is the key.
“Just to be grateful for what you have — for you, for your family, for your work, for your opportunities,” he explained.
“There’s something that I kind of stumbled across when I was writing the [my] book, which is… gratitude. With gratitude, optimism is sustainable. And it’s all about finding optimism that’s sustainable and that sustains you to find a way to run it through the shoot every day and it’ll come at the same place. And which is you understanding how great life is. There isn’t a better deal.”