Michael J. Fox Says Parkinson’s Disease ‘Sucks’ but He Has ‘A Great Life’

Michael J. Fox has opened up about what it’s been like to live with Parkinsons.

The actor, 61, was diagnosed with the disease in 1991 and went public with his diagnosis in 1998, and has offered an insight into what his life has been like since.

After a screening of his documentary, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival on Tuesday, the actor took part in a Q&A alongside director Davis Guggenheim.

When asked how he “mobilized” people to care about Parkinson’s, he responded, “I didn’t have a choice. This is it. I have to give everything I have, and it’s not lip service. I show up and do the best I can.”

He continued, “Pity is a benign form of abuse. I can feel sorry for myself, but I don’t have time for that. There is stuff to be learned from this, so let’s do that and move on.”

Fox explained that the purpose of the movie is not only to share his story, but to give back to his fans.

He wanted to showcase that despite his diagnosis, he’s still been able to have a wonderful life. – Offering a message of hope, perseverance, and the power of gratitude.

“My fans have basically given me my life,” he explained. “I wanted to give these people who have done so much for me my time and gratitude. It was great for me to hear from all of you.”

“Parkinson’s sucks,” he admits. ”But it’s a great life, so thank you for it.”

“I have no regrets,” he said of his period working after his diagnosis. “You do what you have to do, but you do not want to kill your self. And that’s when I stopped.”

“David said early on, ‘I want to cover Parkinson’s, but I don’t want to make a movie about Parkinson’s.’ He made a movie about life,” explained Fox.

“He made a conscientious decision not to make a movie about Parkinson’s.”

The documentary has been described as ”an impeccable, beautiful, emotional, funny and mostly well-told documentary,” by critics.

In a 2021 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Fox opening up about his decision to go public with his diagnosis in 1998.

“It was seven or eight years after I had been diagnosed … [and] the paparazzi and stuff, they would stand outside my apartment and heckle at me, like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ” Fox recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t be making my neighbors deal with this,’ so I came out, and it was great. It was a great thing.”

“It was a great surprise to me that people responded the way they responded,” he added. “They responded with interest, in the desire to find an answer to the disease, and then I saw that as a great opportunity. I didn’t get put in this position to squander it.”

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie is in select theaters in North America and the U.K. and available to stream globally on Apple TV+ now.

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