'The Michael J. Fox Show' will address star's Parkinson's disease forthrightly
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Stricken with Parkinson's disease, actor Michael J. Fox, the star of the "Back to the Future" film series is returning to the small screen after years of semi-retirement. The NBC comedy, based loosely on his life, "The Michael J. Fox Show" centers on a local Manhattan television anchor that has spent five years at home with his family after being diagnosed with the disease.
The NBC comedy, based loosely on his life, "The Michael J. Fox Show" centers on a local Manhattan television anchor that has spent five years at home with his family after being diagnosed with the disease.
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
7/29/2013 (6 years ago)
Published in TV
span style="line-height: 1.22;">LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The pilot focuses on Fox's character, called Mike Henry on the show and how he interacts with his family. The pilot pulls no punches in addressing the disease. When asked by journalists that if the subject may not be appropriate for comedy, Fox says that subsequent episodes are more focused on the family's general life.
"This is a reflection of my experience," Fox said. "The way I look at life, the way I look at the reality of Parkinson's, is that sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes it's funny. I need to look at it that way and I think other people need to look at it that way. But beyond that, I think we all get our own Parkinson's, we all get our own thing. And I think that we'll look at it from the filter of that experience: I need to laugh at my stuff too."
The 52-year-old Fox was says that he was diagnosed with the condition in the early Nineties. Although he's had short guest acting stints on television shows, like "The Good Wife" and "Rescue Me," Fox has not held a full-time job since he semi-retired in 2000 after his symptoms worsened.
"A lot of times when you have a disability, one of the things you deal with are other people's projections of what your experience is and people projecting what they think it is, and their fear about it, and not seeing the experience you're having," Fox said.
"Parkinson's itself, there's nothing horrifying about it to me. It is what I deal with. It is my reality and it is my life. But it's not horrifying. It's not gothic nastiness."
Six episodes of the single-camera comedy have been produced so far. Fox says that he is more comfortable with the long hours of a television production schedule. Betsy Brandt of "Breaking Bad" plays Annie, his wife, and the Henrys are raising three children.
"I'm really happy with how it feels to be back at work," Fox says. When asked if he might also star in a movie now that he's working again, Fox replied: "I can't imagine doing 22 episodes of this thing and then spend my summer doing a movie...That's crazy, that's how I got in this mess!"
His guest-star work, Fox says, helped him reach the conclusion that he needed to return to the job he was born to do. During his semi-hiatus from performing, he spent time with his children during their formative years and experimented with medications and treatments.
Fox is adamant that he will continue acting. "This is what I do," he said. "This is what I was built and programmed to do. This is what I enjoy . why can't I? There's no reason not to do it."
"The Michael J. Fox Show" premieres on September 26th.
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