Michael J. Fox: “I was kind of shocked when I saw the whole movie” | The actor talks about his life and Parkinson’s disease in the documentary “Still” on Apple TV+
it’s another day Michael J. Fox Woke up in a hotel room in Florida after a long day of shooting and a night out. He is at the height of popularity, the world is at his feet and at just twenty-nine, the possibilities for the future are endless. But an unpleasant surprise is in store for him that morning, worse than a headache caused by a hangover: his little finger begins to move uncontrollably and there is no way to stop the movements. This is the first symptom of a degenerative condition that will soon be confirmed by experts: Parkinson’s, so it begins Still: A Movie About Michael J. FoxDavis Guggenheim documentary to premiere this Friday on Apple TV+ platform, This is not a scene invented by a group of screenwriters: the condition is described in great detail by Fox herself in one of her four books, which made her condition public in 1998, seven years after she was first diagnosed. It was written after being formally recognized.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1961, Fox’s long professional and personal journey is at the center of Fox’s new feature film. Guggenheim, director of titles like an uncomfortable truthwhich focused Al Gore’s campaign to warn about global warming, and she named me malala, about Pakistani activist persecuted by the Taliban Malala Yousafzai, among other recent high-profile documentaries. Composed of a series of intimate conversations between the director and former actor, everyday moments with his wife and children, and scenes from a multitude of films and television series he has starred in throughout his career, Even then – whose ironic title can be translated as “Quito” – describes beginnings as a child actor on Canadian television, rising to fame with the sitcom family relationshollywood post boom back to the future and the beginning of the end of his career, when the disease was still manageable physically and mentally.
Guggenheim and Fox offered a virtual interview to a handful of international media, which they participated in page 12, Both shoulder to shoulder and answered the questions with great sense of humour. A humor that is also present in the film, beyond the most difficult moments in the story of the protagonist’s life. “Those who watch the documentary will find scenes from several movies and series starring Michael. We use them to depict specific moments in his life, such as when he met Tracy Pollan, his wife”, the Guggenheim opens the game. Is. Truth is this Even then He does not credit scenes for the simple fact of doing so, but rather relates Fox’s personal examples with dialogue and specific situations of his creations on screen. At the end of the story, at a particularly emotional moment, he compiles shots in which the actor attempts to disguise an increasingly apparent involuntary movement of one of his hands in various ways. They were also years in which, away from the cameras, temperance became an escape route that allowed him to confront the effects of his condition.
“Many of those ideas,” continues Guggenheim, “came from editor Michael Hurt. I was interested in the challenge of making a documentary that felt like an ’80s movie. Something big, fun, with great music. I It appears that Even then Is a wild ride, is a separate documentary that, in addition to telling Michael’s story, tries to recreate what it felt like to see those films.” There was a lot of interest in the early stage of the career, because it started not when I was eighteen, but when I was actually a child. A time in which I had no sense of boundaries, modulations or parameters to guide myself. I just went out into the world and it went on for a while with varying degrees of energy.”
What did you learn from Michael during the process of making the film and what message did you want to convey through the documentary?
DG: -I don’t like to talk about the “message” of a film. I think each viewer will decide what that means to him. When I first spoke to Michael, I realized he was an open book. But at that very moment he asked me something very important about the documentary: that there should be no violins. There are many movies about people dealing with serious and important problems, and in many cases the stories rely heavily on kindness. But he’s not Michael. The way he lives isn’t the message of his books, and it isn’t the message of this movie either. I think it’s a documentary with great pleasure. So no, no violin. It’s just that her optimism is something incredible and that’s in the movie: she’s had a lot of falls and pain, but her attitude has always been to look on the bright side of things. And that’s contagious. I also learned from him not to take myself too seriously.
Michael was always open about his condition. Was there anything that you chose not to explore in the film or that left you with any doubts?
MJF: I don’t think so, although I was kind of shocked when I saw the finished film for the first time. I really don’t know what I look like, especially when my face goes blank. Not that it bothers me. When I watch them I feel some catharsis in some scenes, especially when there are close-ups. The camera was filming all the time and I wasn’t aware of everything that was recorded until I saw the film. So that Even then Being the movie, I had to let Davis be the filmmaker to shoot whatever he wants. There is nothing made-up in the film, it is my life.
There is a constant balance of humor in a serious or sad situation.
DG: Michael is very funny, it’s true. I read your book during the pandemic, a very oppressive and depressing time. One of the first conversations we had was moments we couldn’t help but laugh. I think laughter reveals something deeper.
MJF: Usually, in any situation in life, I start thinking what the fun part is. Even in sad or sad moments. There’s something rewarding about finding that angle, which is universally human. Ever since I was young, I found it very positive to make people laugh, generate endorphins. This is something powerful.
DG: Some people confuse what is funny and what is superficial, or even ridiculous. But the funny moments of the film, the jokes tell something so deep, which cannot be said seriously.
MJF: What impresses me the most when watching a movie is not the tragedy, the struggle, the struggle, but seeing my family. They are nice and fun people who keep me alive, engaged. My relationship with him has been based on honesty about what has been happening to me for more than two decades. They only feel sorry for me when I can’t use the iPhone well.
Was the script elaborate beforehand or were some things added during the shooting of the film?
DG: -Many documentaries start filming practically without prior preparation, but here we had four books written by Michael. Two of them were particularly relevant to the film. So we already had these “scenes” of Michael’s life, beautifully written and very revealing, as a start. Even then, when he wakes up in the hotel and his little finger starts moving. Going into production, we took several scenes that Michael had written and put them on a board, in a certain order, like a storyboard. I would say that 70 or 80 percent of the film was pre-planned, but the truth is that there were changes during editing. Then Michael has scenes with his family, his physiotherapist Ryan and his doctor, all of which happen in an unexpected way. But the general map was given to us by Michael himself along with his books.
MJF: The truth is that I threw things on the table in a chaotic manner and it was Davis and Michael Hurt who found a way to order everything. Therein lies his genius. The movie is based on the books but moves in its own way.
Which of your career projects make you most proud?
MJF: – It’s a little hard to say. it would be foolish not to accept back to the future This is an important moment in my life and my career. But I think the most important thing is to highlight the amazing people I’ve worked with. Even the ones whose importance I didn’t recognize at the time. For example, in John Leguizamo war sin, I realized this when I re-watched the film after a long time. full cast of dr hollywood, Cinematographer. As one of Kubrick’s collaborators said: I consider myself a film worker, one who works in cinema. I wish I could remember the name of that colleague (laughs,