Tweet It: Star @realmikefox talks Parkinson's, TV & more in the latest issue of @AARPMag. Read the story here http://bit.ly/10l05MT
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-one years after his initial diagnosis, actor and philanthropist Michael J. Fox opens up in the April/May issue of AARP The Magazine about his battle with Parkinson's disease and the support system that gets him through it all. This fall, the Golden Globe Award® winner returns to the small screen in a new NBC comedy series, while continuing his work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Says Fox's longtime friend and Rescue Me costar, Denis Leary, "As his friend, I was a little concerned when Mike announced he was doing a network show and wondered whether he was up for all the work. But then you talk to him and hear his enthusiasm and you think, 'This man is still unstoppable.'"
The following are excerpts from the April/May issue of AARP The Magazine cover story, available in homes April 1st and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On his outlook on life
"There's an idea I came across a few years ago that I love. My happiness grows in direct proportion [to] my acceptance and in inverse proportion to my expectations."
"If I can accept the truth of: This is what I'm facing—not what can I expect but what I am experiencing now—then I have all this freedom to do other things."
"I'm always aware that there are others who don't feel so good and can't express themselves the way I can. That's no small factor in the way I've been able to deal with this."
On maintaining his sense of humor
"If I'm at events and I'm clapping, my mind will say, 'Stop clapping,' but I just keep going. Tracy says, 'You're always the last one clapping.' I swear, it's not out of appreciation—it's out of disintegration. You have to laugh at that."
"When I start pouring, I don't know what's going to happen. The next thing I know, I'm spraying All-Bran all over the kitchen."
On living with long-term conditions
"It's like your gyroscope is off. I can be shaky. I can be slow. I can wake up with festination and I'll say, 'This is going to be a struggle today.'"
"Tracy and I were talking the other day about all the people we know who since my diagnosis have died of cancer or had terrible things happen to them. If you would have told them 10 years ago you can have that or you can have what I have, they would have taken what I have. That's only to say we all get our own bag of hammers."
On early fame and appreciating success
"By 21, I was earning six figures a week, and by 23, I had a Ferrari. It was nuts. I never stopped to figure that out."
"You're not just a lottery winner. You have to respect the work you do and the work others do and how you got there."
On his star-making role in Family Ties
"I negotiated the deal from a phone booth outside of Pioneer Chicken, wishing I had $1.99 for a wing-and-biscuit combo."
On writing Parkinson's into his character roles
"It's too difficult to hide it. I could manage it for a scene or so, but it would fall apart over time. As long as I play a guy with Parkinson's, I can do anything."
On his marriage to wife, Tracy Pollan
"The more problems you solve together and the more experiences and laughs you have, the tighter you get."
Tracy Pollan on Michael's parenting
"Sometimes the kids will need their dad's help and he'll say, 'I'm not feeling great right now.' But on the flip side, the first thing he does is go back to the kids when he's feeling good. It teaches them patience and empathy."
Denis Leary, Michael's longtime friend and co-star, on Michael's humor and personality
"Even when his symptoms are most acute, it drives him crazy to be pitied. I've walked down the hall with him and he's herky-jerky and he'll go 'Watch out, Denis, you might get an elbow in the face.'"
For the complete interview, along with behind the scenes video, check out http://www.aarp.org/magazine.
About AARP The Magazine
With nearly 33 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at www.aarpmagazine.org.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Espanol, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.