Why Michael J. Fox Liked That His Good Wife Character Was A Dick

louis canning good wife

When you picture Michael J. Fox, you probably see him freaking out with Doc Brown in Back to the Future or waxing conservative on Family Ties or keeping New York afloat on Spin City. And those predisposed automations are part of the reason why the actor was so intrigued by his far different role of Louis Canning in CBS' The Good Wife. If you thought he was uncomfortable playing such a douchebag, you'd be wrong, and here's why Fox rather enjoyed Louis' bitter personality.

It's funny because whenever a show or any representation of characters with disabilities on television tend to be sentimental with soft piano music playing in the background and I wanted to prove that disabled people can be assholes too. And you want to feel sorry for him, but he's such a dick whether intentionally or not. I think he's pure-hearted, I think he just wants to win and whatever may be seen as a deficit, he'll turn into an asset in order to prevail.

In the scheme of things, Louis Canning is just about the most genuine character to ever hit TV by that description. He isn't necessarily purely evil in nature, but rather so affixed to his dedication that he'll do whatever it takes to come out ahead. That's how most people live their life, for better or worse, though TV shows often make that a one-note trait for villainous characters without offering up the chance to feel empathy.

But one does want to sympathize with Louis, largely because of his disability. He suffers from tardive dyskinesia, which shares similar traits with dyskinesia, the body-shaking side effect of Parkinson's disease, which Michael J. Fox has lived with for decades. But Louis doesn't use it as a crutch, and he'd sooner grab a real crutch and push someone out of the way with it. And I love that Fox was so interested in portraying that asshole side of a disabled character, which is so rarely seen in fiction. And it's obviously worked for him, seeing as how he has nabbed five Emmy nominations for the recurring role.

Fox, who also talked with THR about how Louis' condition came to be following his acclaimed performance on Rescue Me, also got to show off his more thorny side when he guest-starred on Curb Your Enthusiasm in Season 8. Of course, in that episode he played a more agitated version of himself up against Larry David, the king and prince of being a rude prick, so even when Fox was being a dick, he still looked better off.

Here's hoping we won't have to wait too long to see Michael J. Fox back on the small screen in whatever capacity works for him. We're not going to be jerks about it.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.