Michael J. Fox, the beloved actor from the “Back to the Future” franchise has had a life that has been far from a movie script.
In a new documentary, “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” Fox opens up about his battle with Parkinson’s disease and how he used alcohol to cope with his diagnosis.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, but he kept his health struggles a secret from the public for the next seven years. During this difficult period, Fox turned to alcohol to cope with his diagnosis.
“I didn’t know what was happening,” Fox said in the documentary. “I didn’t know what was coming. So what if I could just have four glasses of wine and maybe a shot? I was definitely an alcoholic. But I’ve gone 30 years without having a drink.”
Fox credits his wife, Tracy Pollan, and his four children for inspiring him to get sober. But his first few years without alcohol were a struggle.
“As low as alcohol had brought me, abstinence would bring me lower,” Fox said. “I could no longer escape myself.”
Fox eventually came forward about his diagnosis in 1998, and the documentary follows him as he navigates his life with Parkinson’s. He speaks frankly about his fears and frustrations around the disease, and how it impacts his day-to-day life.
“The worst thing is restraint,” Fox said. “The worst thing is to be confined and to not be able to have a way out.”
Despite his struggles, Fox has found a way to turn his diagnosis into something positive. In 2000, he started the Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund Parkinson’s research.
“Some people would view the news of my disease as an ending,” Fox said. “But I was starting to sense it was really a beginning.”
“Still” will be released by Apple TV+ this year.