When reflecting on the iconic movies of the 1980s, Back to the Future invariably finds its way onto countless “best of” lists. This timeless film, along with its subsequent sequels, continues to captivate audiences and holds a special place in the hearts of movie enthusiasts worldwide. However, it has taken several decades for its star, Michael J. Fox, to truly recognize the brilliance of his own performance in these films.
During a recent interview with Empire, where Fox was promoting his new documentary titled Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, the actor opened up about the challenges he faced while juggling his role in the popular television series Family Ties and filming Back to the Future simultaneously. Fox acknowledged that the demanding workload had a detrimental impact on his performance in the film.
“I saw it back when it came out, at the Cinerama Dome, which was insanity, then I hadn’t seen it in its entirety until a couple of years ago. It was Christmas. We were decorating the tree… I went to go get something from the kitchen and I was gone quite a while. Tracy came and found me and I was watching TV. I said, ‘Look, Back To The Future’s on TV! You know what, I’m really good in this!’ She said, ‘Yeah, we know.’ ‘Well, why didn’t you tell me?!’”
He went on to talk about how he didn’t know the movie would be a success:
“I thought this would all soon be over. I thought they’d see what I’d done, I’d go back to the back of the pack and start again.” When it came out, he was in London – and soon got wind that Back To The Future was a massive hit. “My agent said, ‘You don’t understand. This is the biggest thing in the world.’ My first instinct was, ‘I have to get back to America! There are girls to meet!’”
And the rest is history. Fox also described in the interview his take on two of his other films, saying:
“Casualties Of War, I felt that movie was really misunderstood,” he says of Brian De Palma’s Vietnam war movie. “It never got a fair shake.” Meanwhile, the success of some he remains baffled by. “There is a cult of Teen Wolf out there. That needs to be checked,” he jokes. “It needs to be monitored.”