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Michael J. Fox says Quentin Tarantino movie helped him decide to retire from acting

Bec Oakes

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| Last updated 

Michael J. Fox says Quentin Tarantino movie helped him decide to retire from acting

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Erik Pendzich/dpa picture alliance

Michael J. Fox has said that watching Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, played a part in his decision to retire from acting.

The legendary actor and star of the Back to the Future franchise was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 when he was 29-years-old.

He revealed his diagnosis to the public in 1998 and launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000. It is now the leading Parkinson's organisation in the world and has raised more than $1.5 billion to date.

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Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was just 29. Credit: YouTube/Apple TV
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was just 29. Credit: YouTube/Apple TV

In 2020, Fox, 61, announced a "second retirement" and told Empire Magazine that this decision was in part inspired by Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

He recalled watching one scene in the film, in which Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a washed-up actor in 1960s Los Angeles and Brad Pitt plays his stunt double.

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

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Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' inspired Fox's decision to retire. Credit: YouTube/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' inspired Fox's decision to retire. Credit: YouTube/Sony Pictures Entertainment

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

Fox, who'd had trouble remembering his lines whilst filming legal drama, The Good Fight, said the scene reminded him of the struggles he was facing in real life and said it helped him come to a 'peaceful' conclusion about his acting career.

“I had this moment where I was looking in the mirror and thought, ‘I cannot remember it any more. Well, let’s move on,’" he said.

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Back in April, Fox admitted that living with Parkinson's is 'getting harder' every day.

“I mean, I’m not gonna lie, it’s getting harder. It’s getting tougher. Every day it gets tougher, but that’s the way it is,” he said during an interview on CBS Mornings.

“You don’t die from Parkinson’s, you die with Parkinson’s. So I’ve been thinking of the mortality of it. I’m not going to be 80.”

Fox with daughters Aquinnah and Schuyler. Credit: Instagram/@realmikejfox
Fox with daughters Aquinnah and Schuyler. Credit: Instagram/@realmikejfox
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Parkinson's is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over time, according to the NHS. Symptoms include involuntary shaking, slow movement, muscle rigidity, changes to speech and cognitive difficulties.

Fox's experience of being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 29 is captured in the documentary "STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie," debuted at Sundance 2023.

He is set to receive the Museum of Moving Images Lifetime Achievement Award later this year.

Topics: Celebrity, Michael J Fox, Quentin Tarantino, Film and TV

Bec Oakes
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