Michael J. Fox says one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances gave him the “peaceful” nudge to stop acting.
The star — who officially retired from acting in 2020 — revealed in a recent interview with Empire that watching DiCaprio’s role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” helped him commit to the decision.
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at the age of 29, but admitted he lived with “seven years of denial” before revealing his diagnosis to fans in 1998.
The “Back to the Future” star told the outlet that watching one of DiCaprio’s scenes in the 2019 film, which stars the 48-year-old Oscar winner as a fading Hollywood leading man struggling with the realization that his career is ending, gave him the extra push to step away.
“I thought of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ [and] there’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can’t remember his lines anymore,” Fox said. “He goes back to his dressing room and he’s screaming at himself in the mirror. Just freaking insane.”
He then said the actor’s role reminded him of his own real-life struggles, adding: “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.”
Last month, the beloved actor opened up about his shortened life expectancy, noting that “every day is tougher.”
“You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s,” he said in a “CBS Sunday Morning” interview.
“I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it. … I’m not gonna be 80,” he added. “Every day is tougher.”
Fox’s documentary “Still” about his journey with the incurable disease is now streaming on Apple TV+.