Michael J. Fox: Parkinson's made me a better actor

Michael J. Fox stars as Mike Henry in NBC's new comedy, "The Michael J. Fox Show."

Story highlights

  • Michael J. Fox returns to TV this fall on NBC
  • The actor believes that Parkinson's has helped his acting
  • He used to get really nervous, but now he doesn't worry
Parkinson's disease has changed a lot about Michael J. Fox's life -- but it's not all been for the worse, the actor tells senior writer Brian Hiatt in interviews for Rolling Stone's latest cover story.
Fox, who's returning to TV on NBC's "The Michael J. Fox show," says that in many ways, his acting has improved.
"I had a certain fluidity to my movements and rhythm of speech and a physicality that I had depended on," he says. "It served me really well, but when that was taken away, I found that there was other stuff that I could use. 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."
Fox used to be "really nervous," the actor continues, fretting "about a scene that was coming up. (I'd) 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?'"
But now, he describes, "it's just like 'Okay, what's happening?' And 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."
Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store now.