Michael J. Fox Says Quentin Tarantino’s Best Movie Made Him Quit Acting

Michael J Fox says a scene in Once Upon a Time...Hollywood in which Leonardo DiCaprio's character could not remember his lines struck a nerve with him.

By Britta DeVore | Published

Michael J Fox

Legend inspired legend as Michael J Fox recently revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood gave him the final push to take a step back from his decades-long career in the industry. During a recent interview with Empire, the Back to the Future star saw a bit of himself in the Titanic star’s character Rick Dalton when he was unable to recall his lines while working on The Good Fight

During his chat with the magazine, Michael J Fox almost instantly hearkened back to a scene in the Quentin Tarantino-helmed comedy-drama that saw Rick Dalton stumped on his lines. The moment in question sees a frustrated Dalton retiring to his dressing room where “he’s screaming at himself in the mirror.” Mirroring this moment, Fox looks back on that pivotal point in his own career in which he thought to himself, “I cannot remember it anymore.”

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood

However, unlike Dalton who was unable to pack it in and retire from the biz, Michael J Fox knew that this was his sign to call a spade a spade and drop out of Hollywood. In a moment that he refers to as “peaceful,” the Doc Hollywood actor says that he simply thought to himself, “Well, let’s move on,” drawing inspiration from that big moment in Quentin Tarantino’s film. And with that, his celebrated career came to an inspiring close – that is until recently. 

Last week marked the release of Michael J Fox’s triumphant return to film with the arrival of the documentary, STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie. A close look into the notable star’s life, the film puts Fox front and center and gives him a platform to tell his story. From his early days in Family Ties and the Back to the Future franchise, the feature goes into every nook and cranny of the star’s life and his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease which would lead him to bond with the character in Quentin Tarantino’s film decades later.

Now streaming on Apple TV+, the film reveals a side of the actor that they may not have known before as he struggled to keep his diagnosis as private as possible in the days, months, and years following his onset of symptoms. Continuing to work in the movie-making industry, Michael J Fox persevered through the darkest of days that saw him down and out and unsure if he’d be able to continue on. Although the actor appeared in a slew of our favorite movies, he would never team up with Quentin Tarantino which is a tragedy all on its own.

As for Michael J Fox’s inspiration in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s look into old-fashioned showbiz starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as two down and out washed up stars with Pitt’s Cliff Booth being the stuntman to DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton. Trouble strikes when the men find themselves swept up in one of the biggest murders of the century when they come face-to-face with the Manson family. You can hear from Michael J Fox as he reflects on his ups, downs, and the people like Quentin Tarantino who inspired him in Still which is now streaming on Apple TV+.