Michael J. Fox Slams Younger Generation For Not Needing Talent

By Brian Myers | Published

In a recent interview with People Magazine, actor Michael J. Fox didn’t pull any punches when he answered a question about whether or not it was harder to be an actor in the 1980s. He quipped that “you had to be talented,” then opined that some of the “stars” in today’s world are famous for doing nothing other than filming themselves doing dance steps. The reference to influencers and fly-by-night performers on TikTok didn’t go unnoticed as the actor doubled down and said that actors in his day were made of tougher stuff than the ones we see today.

“We used to bust our a**, 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

They Don’t Make Them Like The Used To

Michael J Fox

In the interview, Michael J. Fox recalled the day before he was given an honorary Academy Award in 2023. He spoke of how someone said to him that he was “80’s famous,” a descriptive title that the actor wears like a badge of honor. He relished being able to grow to fame in a time without social media and boasted about how much of an amazing time it was then to be a star.

Michael J. Fox also related in the interview how young actors in the 1980s worked hard to learn from each other, conversations about the craft dominating their day-to-day lives.

‘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.”

Michael J. Fox

Social Media Is Redefining What Makes A Celebrity

The actor doesn’t seem to be too far off the mark. The growing number of people getting TikTok famous for what some might consider ridiculous reasons is certainly a far cry from what an actor or actress puts into their roles. The sheer volume of TikTok, Instagram, and other social media influencers and commentators dominate much of the content that audiences absorb each day, with some people watching substantially more online content from these platforms than from traditional forms of media.

Michael J. Fox Landed His Big Break In Family Ties

Michael J. Fox is a rare example of a child or teen sitcom star who was able to avoid the curse of typecasting and launch a successful film career as a young adult. Fox’s breakthrough role was Alex P. Keaton on the popular NBC show Family Ties, which ran from 1982-1989. On the series, Fox portrayed a teenage Republican raised in a home with liberal, ex-hippie parents.

The series led to Michael J. Fox being nominated for five Prime Time Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, of which he won three. In the middle of the show’s storied run, Fox began a successful movie career. His portrayal of time-traveling Marty McFly in the 1985 sci-fi comedy Back to the Future spawned two sequels, and put the actor well ahead on a path to Hollywood stardom.

After A Successful Movie Career, Fox Returnd To TV

Michael J. Fox made a return to television, starring in the 1999-2002 comedy series Spin City, where he played Deputy Mayor of New York City. Complications from Parkinson’s Disease led to Fox departing the show before the end of its run, but not before he racked up three more Emmy nominations and one additional Emmy win.

Michael J. Fox Ready To Act Again?

Michael J. Fox might one day make a return to acting, though he has stated in several interviews that his advanced Parkinson’s Disease has left him with difficulty remembering lines. But he assured the public in an interview in early April that if the right opportunity came along, he’d consider stepping out of retirement if it felt right.

Sources: People