Michael J Fox Says Watching Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon

Michael J Fox Says Watching Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Partially Inspired Him to Retire

Receive our free weekly email with the latest cinema news from our film critic, Clarisse Loughrey

Receive our The Life Cinematic email for free

Michael J Fox said that watching Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was one of the reasons he decided to retire from acting.

Fox, 61, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 29. Symptoms include hand tremors, stiff muscles, impaired posture and balance, changes in speech, and cognitive problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

He announced his diagnosis in 1998, and in 2020 the Back to the Future star announced he was entering “second retirement.”

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Fox explained that his decision to retire from acting was partially inspired by Tarantino’s 2019 film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The ‘Teen Wolf’ star said that watching a scene in the film, which features Leonardo DiCaprio as a jaded actor and Brad Pitt as his stunt double in 1960’s Los Angeles, reminded him of the struggles he faced in 1960s Los Angeles real life faced.

Fox recalled that while he was filming The Good Fight, a spin-off of the hit series The Good Wife, he had trouble remembering the lines due to his illness.

“I thought of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Fox said. “There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


“He goes back to his dressing room and yells at himself in the mirror. Just amazing.”

Fox continued, “I had this moment where I looked in the mirror and I was like, ‘I can’t remember.’ Well, let’s continue.’ It was peaceful.”

South Park The 7 most brutal jokes about Harry and.svg

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial


In April, the actor – who founded a charity dedicated to finding a cure for the disease – said living with Parkinson’s was getting “more difficult” by the day.

“I mean, I’m not going to lie, it’s getting harder and harder. It becomes more difficult. It’s getting harder every day, but that’s the way it is,” he told Jane Pauley on CBS Mornings.

He reportedly added: “You don’t die of Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So I thought about mortality. I will not be 80. I will not be 80.

(Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Fox said he’s had a “terrible year” with the disease and revealed he broke several bones in a fall.

However, he said the research funded by his charity has led to an important discovery about the disease.

Researchers found that the presence of alpha-synuclein, which is used to diagnose Parkinson’s, can be detected by examining people’s spinal fluid. This should lead to the disease being recognized and treated much earlier.

“Everything has changed. It can be detected and treated early. It’s huge,” Fox said at the time. “That’s the thing. That’s the big reward. That’s the big trophy.”