Fox tells Howard Stern that he 'felt helpless' after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991, adding, 'My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily.'
Michael J. Fox opened up about his days after receiving Parkinson's disease diagnosis in an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, September 25. The actor, who left entertainment world after being diagnosed with the disease in 1991, said that he felt "helpless" at that time.
"Was that torture for you? Because you love acting," Stern asked. "I just felt helpless. It felt unfair in a way... it's hard to explain," Fox said. "My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily. I used to drink to party, but then I was drinking alone... Every day," he admitted.
Fox, who will appear on NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show", added that it lasted for a year before he went to therapy. Everything got better since then. "My marriage got great. And my career started to [take off again]," he explained.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Fox said that Parkinson's disease made him a better actor. "That hesitation, that Parkinsonian affect, is an opportunity to just pause in a moment and collect as a character and respond to what's happening and just gave me this kind of gravitas. It really gave me a new view of things," he said.
"I used to be really nervous, and sit in my dressing room and fret about a scene that was coming up and sweat it out and say, 'What am I going to do? You say action and I have to do something. What am I going to do? And what's that actor going to do? And how do I respond to that?' " he explained further.
"And now it's just like 'Okay, what's happening?' And if something happens, I react to it, and if nothing happens, I don't react. I don't worry about that bit I was going to do or the look I was gonna give because when I get there I may not be able to give that look or do that thing or move that glass," he concluded.