Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For Michael J.Fox

I don't often say this about movie/TV stars, but I've always had this suspicion that there's a touch of greatness about Michael J.Fox. I once tried to get an interview with him. It was either the wrong time or his people hated me. As I don't give copy approval, trade with my sentiments ('I'll be nice about him so I can get an interview with her.') or gush, I'm regarded as high risk by big time PRs. The greatness is partly about the work. He has dazzling timing and control. On TV - in Spin City and in a guest appearance on Scrubs - he was mesmerising, ironic, quick and subtly anarchic. But there's also something great about the way he's handled Parkinson's Disease - self-deprecating, funny and, for want to a better word, cool. All of this is just to draw your attention to this interview. There's an fast, associative rapidity about this man's mind which, somehow, suits his predicament. His line on tattoos is very sound - 'My tattoo is that I don't have a tattoo.'  - and his words about Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton - 'the level of glee and the level of viciousness' - are simply superb.

15 comments:

  1. 'Cool' is the word. Even his Pepsi ads in the '80s kicked ass.

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  2. cool as in seventies cool or 21st century cool? that was a peculiarly edited interview - do you think he was given a questionnaire (or he had to do a ''meme''!)? I found it very efficient.

    I know the face but can't recall a single thing he's been in apart from that ad.

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  3. For shame, Ian. Where do you think these sprightly chaps took their name from?

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  4. what was that?! an advert for birth control? god, it was like the incestuous bastard offspring of the Partridge Family.

    No, none the wiser, johnny. McFly - all I'm getting is some blaxploitation movie with a theme song by Curtis Mayfield... no, sorry, it's gone.

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  5. Michael J Fox was a guest star in Boston Legal a couple of years back. They pretended he had cancer, in order to explain his shaking and mumbling away.

    I have nostalgia for the actor in Back To The Future but seeing him in such a state was quite sad. I cringed through several episodes and was glad when they phased his character out.

    It reminded me of Christopher Reeve starring in the re-make of Rear Window.

    I admire the courage of actors who press onward despite their condition but ultimately these are not "great" men. They are performance artists. They will never cure cancer, bring peace on earth or necessarily serve humanity. G

    "Greatness" should be a term saved for the Martin Luther King's of this world. Not actors.

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  6. I rather wish the word "cool" was retired. As Ian suggests, the heyday of cool was about thirty years ago and often involved black chaps with enormous hairdos; these days it means that something or someone isn't the moment the term is applied. That, or a person spends too much time looking in the mirror. Maybe it's preferable to think of MJF as tough, without a trace of self-pity, someone who's risen way above a seriously crap hand and so helped anyone in that situation to do so too. Genes are not destiny, always good to hear. Every reason to be grateful to him. His tattoo is a nice Zen touch, but, sigh, I think he's mistaken. Only the real article in real ink will do.

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  7. I don't have a big opinion about MJF, but I will say this. As a child my longing for his hoverboard in Back to the Future II knew no bounds...

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  8. that was that guy from Taxi, wasn't it? He plays the same character as Taxi in BTTF - I find that off-putting. I don't mind if they play themselves, in self-parody, like Norman Wisdom or Will Hay but for god sake, a character actor should be versatile!

    The film was okay up until the point when he tried to play like Jimi Hendrix. It would have been uncool in his parents' day, uncool in Hendrix's day and uncool at the time of the film's release. They got it completely buttock-clenchingly wrong and I can't watch it no more.

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  9. cool is okay, I don't mind it, it's just when older geezers use it I don't know which meaning to take. It's a shame language has to die - or retire - I quite like you get my drift, man, cool, dig? sorry, superfly won't go away.

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  11. Fox has written a very good book about dealing with his illness: "Lucky Man." I think he's an incredible guy. Not the greatest actor that ever lived, but a man with integrity, courage, and a kick-ass sense of humor.

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