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Michael J. Fox: 'People look at me and have fear and sadness in their eyes'

Rolling Stone

For the first time in 26 years, Michael J. Fox is on the cover of Rolling Stone. The story, by senior writer Brian Hiatt, offers an in-depth, intimate look at the star's life and career as he prepares for one of the most remarkable comebacks in showbiz history: Twenty-two years after Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease -- when his doctor warned that he had no more than 10 years left of his acting career -- he's returning to TV full-time with NBC's "The Michael J. Fox Show."

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"People said, 'Are you sure you can handle this?'" Fox recalls. "'Are you sure you can take it on? Are you sure you can deal with it?' And I said, 'No. I'm not sure I can, but I want to, and I have an opportunity to.' And another side of it that I don't deal with every day, but is certainly present, is that on some level it might be empowering for people."

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In the story, Fox explains that he doesn't find his symptoms upsetting, but he's well aware that other people do. "People look at me," he says, "and have fear and sadness in their eyes, which they think they're seeing reflected back at them. They wouldn't see what I'm really feeling, which is, 'I'm OK!' But people are afraid. I did an interview with Larry King, and it was a little more disjointed and fractured than usual, and I realized that it was the first time I'd talked to him since my diagnosis and that he was afraid. So I had to understand that before people deal with me, they're going to deal with what they think I'm going through. Then time will pass, and then they'll realize that this is just my life, the stuff I was given to deal with."

Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store this Friday, September 13th.

More from Rollingstone.com:
Flashback: Michael J. Fox and the Complete Rolling Stone Covers from 1986
Rolling Stone's List of The Best Upcoming Fall Movies
Rolling Stone's List of the Most Awesomely '80s Music Videos