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Michael J. Fox Snuck Away At Christmas To Watch Back To The Future For The First Time In A Long Time And Was Surprised By What He Saw

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future
(Image credit: Universal)

Back to the Future is considered a classic by many moviegoers. The love and adoration for the time-traveling comedy have sustained over they years thanks to Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd’s stellar performances and incredible dynamic. Like many actors, Fox hasn't be one for oft-rewatching his work. But the Back to the Future star couldn’t resist the urge to watch the beloved film after accidentally stumbling upon a television rebroadcast years later. Fox revealed what surprised him about the film after watching the film for the first time in years during the holiday season.

The Teen Wolf star jumped from the small screen to movie superstardom after the 1985 comedy came to movie theaters. It led to Fox becoming a box office draw from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, but that was a long time ago. Michael J. Fox admitted his rewatching happened unexpectedly duringChristmas 2020 in a recent interview. He revealed on CBS Mornings what led to him watching Back to the Future over the holiday season.  

Putting the lights on the tree, decorations on the tree, and my son was down and two of my daughters. I went to get something in the other room and it was on, [the] TV was on. It was Back to the Future, it was right at the beginning, I think the car in the parking lot. Then, after about 20 minutes [my family] realized I was gone. It took them like 20 minutes or a half an hour to realize me and the dog had left. They said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Watching Back to the Future.’ They said, ‘Why are you watching Back to the Future?’ I said, ‘It’s really good! I’m really good in this.’ I hadn’t realized that. All that crazy stuff was good. It was just what I was doing to survive the moment.

The fact that Marty McFly himself became enamored by the film proved just how captivating it is. At least, Fox was able to enjoy his performance in the film without judgment. As much as viewers love The Secret of My Success star as McFly, shooting Back to the Future was a balancing act for the popular sitcom star at the time, and lots of his feelings related to making the movie are tied to that. Michael J. Fox recalled what it was like filming the blockbuster and a hit television series at the same time.  

My performance in that movie was just trying to be alive… I was doing Family Ties in the daytime and Back to the Future at night. It was just this real experience. So I had this moment, now, wham, with all this stuff I had in my life, where I could sit and look at this kid and say, ‘Wow, he did alright. He had a lot to deal with and he was dancing as fast as he could, but he fulfilled the role and did a good job.’

Knowing Fox’s workload at the time inspired a newfound appreciation for his contribution to the cult classic. But it made sense, as the Family Ties alum replaced Some Kind of Wonderful star Eric Stoltz at the last minute. Marty McFly wouldn’t be Marty McFly without the timing and effort of Michael J. Fox. Hopefully, the appreciation will continue to grow as Fox has retired from acting.

Like The American President star, fans can relive every scene and iconic line by streaming Back to the Future and its sequels on Prime Video.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).