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‘We Didn’t Have Any of That Crap’

‘We Didn’t Have Any of That Crap’


  • In the ’80s, things were different – actors had to be talented and work hard to get famous, unlike some stars today.
  • Michael J. Fox hasn’t ruled out an acting return, but it has to be a role where he can incorporate his personal challenges.
  • Despite health challenges, Fox’s 2023 documentary,
    , showed him that the right role could still be out there for him.

Michael J. Fox has opened up about the changing face of Hollywood, and in particular how it was much harder to be famous in the 1980s than it is now. Taking aim at the way social media has impacted what is seen as “famous,” the much-loved actor candidly reflected on the difference between being famous now and being “80s famous.”

Speaking to People, Fox compared the way actors had to really work to get their breaks back when he first appeared in the likes of Family Ties and Back to the Future. Recalling something said to him when he received his honorary Oscar, Fox said:

“There’s an expression I referred to when they gave me an honorary Academy Award — somebody said to me the day before, they were talking about getting this award and being famous and they said ‘You’re ’80s famous.’ I thought, wow, that’s cool. ’80s famous. Right, we were different. We were tougher. We didn’t have social media, we didn’t have any of that crap. We were just famous. Left to our own resources. And it was an amazing time.”

back to the future

Back to the Future

Release Date
July 3, 1985


He’s the only kid ever to get into trouble before he was born.

Of course, there have been many changes in the world since the 1980s, but the incredible advances in communication technology, the rise of the internet and the introduction of social media has played an important role in the changes that Fox has seen in the world of fame. However, his most critical comments are aimed at those who find fame on apps like TikTok without needing any talent.

“Well, you had to be talented. That helped. We used to bust our ass, our acting muscles and watch other actors and sit around with other actors and talk about acting and talk about it. And now you’ve got people who just go like, who’s your sweater? What’s your sweater you’re wearing? And what’s that dance step? And you’re the most famous person in the world.”

Michael J. Fox is Open to an Acting Return in the Right Role

Michael J. Fox in Still and in as Marty in Back to the Future.
Apple TV/Universal Pictures

Despite retiring from acting, mainly due to his health battles with Parkinson’s Disease, Fox has not completely ruled out returning to screens again. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Fox admitted that he would definitely get back in front of the camera on one condition.

[I would] if something came up that I could put my realities into it – my challenges – if I could figure it out.

Originally diagnosed with the disease at the age of 29, Fox spent many years working in the industry without ever telling anyone about the ticking clock that he carried with him. However, as his health condition worsened, the actor explained that he had to be more selective about the roles he chose to take on. Previously he said:

“When I did the spinoff from [The] Good Wife, which is [The] Good Fight, I couldn’t remember the lines. I just had this blank. But what [was] really refreshing was I didn’t panic. I didn’t freak out. I just went, ‘Well, that’s that. Moving on. A key element of this process is memorizing lines, and I can’t do it.'”


Michael J. Fox Shares His Candid View On His Mortality; “I’m Not Gonna Lie, It’s Getting Hard.”

Michael J. Fox gets candid about how he sees his mortality in a clip from an upcoming CBS Sunday Morning interview.

In 2023, Fox released the Apple TV+ documentary, Still. The film allowed Fox to tell his story, warts and all, and as well as garnering great acclaim, the project allowed him to see that the right role could still be out there for him in the future.

is currently available to stream on Apple TV+.

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