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Michael J. Fox: Hollywood ‘Tougher’ in the 1980s, ‘You Had to Be Talented’

via CBS

Actor Michael J. Fox reflected on how the entertainment industry has changed since his rise to stardom in the 1980s.

Fox, who was known for roles in Family Ties and Back to the Future, said actors needed considerable talent back then to succeed as there was no social media or other modern avenues for promotion.

“There’s an expression I referred to when they gave me an honorary Academy Award — somebody said to me the day before, they were talking about getting this award and being famous and they said, ‘You’re ‘80s famous,’” Fox said. “I thought, wow, that’s cool. ‘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,” he added.

“Well, you had to be talented — that helped,” he said.

He stated that becoming famous in the 1980s required dedication to acting and developing one’s craft through studying other actors and discussing the profession.

Fox felt today’s celebrities focus more on superficial aspects like fashion rather than talent.

“We used to bust our [expletive], our acting muscles, and watch other actors and sit around with other actors and talk about acting — and talk about it,” Fox said. “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.’”

In the same interview, Fox also spoke optimistically about living longer than doctors predicted after his Parkinson’s diagnosis, saying people can defy expectations and make their own destiny.

“What I believed then and what I believe now, I might not put it in the same words, but you can do anything. Anything,” Fox said. “You don’t have to follow other people’s prognostications for what life is going to be. Life’s going to be what you make it.”

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