Michael J Fox aims to bring laughs and a dose of reality about day-to-day living with Parkinson’s disease to a new comedy series loosely based on his life, his first lead role in television in 13 years.
In The Michael J Fox Show, the actor plays a father with Parkinson’s who returns to work as a local newscaster. To his surprise, his fictional family reacts with relief that he will be getting out of the house.
The show draws from Fox’s own experience with Parkinson’s. “The reality of Parkinson’s is that sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s funny,” Fox, 52, told reporters. The show will not veer into dark humour, he said, because he did not see his disease that way. “There’s nothing horrible on the surface about someone with shaky hands,” he said. “There’s nothing horrible about someone in their life saying: ‘God, I’m really tired of this shaky hand thing’ and me saying: ‘Me, too.’ That’s our reality.”
Fox said his real-life family supported his return to a regular series role. “There is a kind of scrutiny of their stuff that won’t exist if I’m occupied doing something else,” he joked.
Parkinson’s will figure less prominently in later episodes, Fox said. His real-life wife and Family Ties co-star Tracy Pollan will make an appearance.
His wife on the show is played by the Breaking Bad actress Betsy Brandt. The show debuts on September 26 on the American network NBC. – Reuters
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