Michael J. Fox is one of the most beloved Hollywood stars. After all, he has starred in classics like Back to the Future and Back to the Future 2 among others. In 1991, at just the age of 29, he came to know that he had an early onset of Parkinson’s disease. He took his time and shared the news with the public and his fans in 1998.
The same year he opted for Thalamotomy to relieve some of his tremors. The actor continued working, but it was rumored that he wasn’t all too well during shoots. Recently, the Teen Wolf star announced that he is retiring from Hollywood and coincidentally it was a film with Hollywood in its title that finally allowed him to stop fighting and move on from the film industry.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Film That Encouraged Michael J. Fox To Stop Acting
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Michael J. Fox revealed that it was Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that gave him the courage to stop acting and embrace his situation. The Doc Hollywood actor said that he saw a scene in the $374 million grossing film where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Rick Dalton, struggled to remember his lines and a meltdown that led him to destroy his trailer in a fit of rage.
Fox said that he too was facing a similar situation when he was filming The Good Fight. He couldn’t remember his lines and that was making the situation more difficult. This is why that particular scene of DiCaprio hit him hard. Michael J. Fox said:
“I thought of ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.’ There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines anymore. 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. Well, let’s move on.’ It was peaceful.”
It’s interesting that this was the scene that inspired Fox to finally lay down the script and get a break from the work he has been doing all his life. This is because Quentin Tarantino revealed that DiCaprio actually improvised the entire over-the-top meltdown.
Leonardo DiCaprio Improvised The Scene That Inspired Michael J. Fox
Variety reported Quentin Tarantino saying that the scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where Leonardo DiCaprio trashes his trailer after forgetting his lines wasn’t originally in the script and as a result, it wasn’t rehearsed as well. The ace director said:
“It wasn’t in the script actually, so we never rehearsed it or anything. Leo had a whole thing. At some point, it was like, ‘Look, I need to f*ck up during the ‘Lancer’ sequence, all right? And when I f*ck up during the ‘Lancer’ sequence, I need to have a real crisis of conscience about it and I have to come back from that.'”
As for Michael J. Fox, the scene brought him a sense of realization that he won’t be able to win from Parkinson’s disease. He said, “I’ve philosophically accepted it and taken its weight, Parkinson’s is still kicking my ass. I won’t win at this. I will lose. But, there’s plenty to be gained in the loss.” He will tell his story and more in STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie.
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie is streaming on Apple TV+.