The importance of stillness. As Michael J. Fox reflects on his enormously successful career and his 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, the Back to the Future star finds crucial moments of quiet contemplation in his new documentary, Still.
The Apple TV+ film, which premiered on the streaming service on Friday, May 12, features candid interviews with the Spin City alum, 61, as he reflects on his superstardom life’s curveballs and how his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease at age 29 has impacted his life — and the world at large.
Interspersed with archival footage, personal moments at home with his family — Fox shares four adult children with wife Tracy Pollan — and crucial time spent with his physical therapist and doctor, the Teen Wolf star holds nothing back while showing the full scope of his day-to-day life while reflecting on his onscreen stardom.
After growing up in Canada — being “stuffed into lockers” due to his small stature — it was Fox’s small stature and boyish good looks that lead to his Hollywood stardom, which kicked off with his breakout role as Alex P. Keaton on the ‘80s sitcom Family Ties and later as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future franchise. Recalling his rise to stardom, Fox remembers being on the cover of every magazine, including Us Weekly, with a jam-packed schedule and an on-set love. After Pollan portrayed his love interest on Family Ties in 1985, the pair tied the knot three years later, going on to welcome four children.
At the peak of his career, however, Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, a devastating blow that left him lost and turning to alcohol for comfort before getting sober and going public with the illness seven years later.
Per the Michael J. Fox Foundation website, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs when brain cells that make dopamine, a chemical that coordinates movement, stop working or die. Because PD can cause tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems, it is called a ‘movement disorder.’”
However, it is this “movement disorder” that led Fox to embrace a period of “stillness” in his own life.
“The thing about motion with me is that I’ve always been moving. Maybe that’s because I’m small. I’ve always been moving and I’ve always counted on movement to not only express myself as I propelled from place to place, but to be who I am,” Fox explains at the conclusion of the documentary.
“But the thing that I learned is that I couldn’t be still in my life. I couldn’t be present in my life,” he shares. “Until I found this — this thing that happened to me that made me present in every moment of my life.”
Keep scrolling for the most powerful revelations from Fox’s Still documentary: