Michael J. Fox Thought of Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ When He Decided to Stop Acting: ‘It Was Peaceful’

Michael J. Fox revealed to Empire magazine (via IndieWire) that Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino crossed his mind when he landed on the decision to stop acting for good amid his Parkinson’s disease. The “Back to the Future” icon was filming scenes for the television series “The Good Fight” at the time and was struggling to remember his lines.

“I thought of ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,’” Fox said. “There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines anymore. He goes back to his dressing room and he’s screaming at himself in the mirror. Just freaking insane. I had this moment where I was looking in the mirror and thought, ‘I cannot remember it anymore. Well, let’s move on.’ It was peaceful.”

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The scene Fox referenced is one of the more memorable sequences in Tarantino’s “Hollywood.” DiCaprio’s character, the actor Rick Darlton, has an over-the-top meltdown over forgetting his lines and trashes his trailer in a fit of rage. Tarantino previously revealed that DiCaprio improvised the meltdown.

“It wasn’t in the script actually, so we never rehearsed it or anything,” Tarantino said. “Leo had a whole thing. At some point it was like, ‘Look, I need to fuck up during the ‘Lancer’ sequence, all right? And when I fuck up during the ‘Lancer’ sequence, I need to have a real crisis of conscience about it and I have to come back from that.’”

Fox recently graced the cover of Variety magazine and spoke honestly about living with Parkinson’s disease. The actor said, “I’ve won more awards and had more nominations since I announced my diagnosis. It may be that people feel bad for me, but I prefer to look at it as an acknowledgment for continuing to have a legitimate career.”

When presented with the idea that he’s a hero for living so openly with his diagnosis, Fox said, “It’s just a nice way of people letting me know they are moved by my acceptance of things and by the way that I’ve tried to make a difference. But no matter how much I sit here and talk to you about how I’ve philosophically accepted it and taken its weight, Parkinson’s is still kicking my ass. I won’t win at this. I will lose. But, there’s plenty to be gained in the loss.”

Fox’s biographical documentary “Still” is now available to stream on Apple TV+.

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