Michael J. Fox: 'I have to fake' Parkinson's on 'The Michael J. Fox Show' at times

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Michael J. Fox is about to return to the small screen full-time for the first time since he went public about his Parkinson's diagnosis when he left "Spin City." He tells "Today's" Willie Geist that it's really "come full circle," going from playing the young kid in a wacky TV family on "Family Ties" to playing the middle-aged dad on "The Michael J. Fox Show."

"It's very flattering that people are excited about it. ... I thought ['Spin City'] was the last of me," says Fox. But he adds that Parkinson's "doesn't have to be life-shattering or life-ending, it's just a new thing that pushes you to a new place."

But Fox does admit that when he got the initial diagnosis, when he was only 30, telling him he had maybe 10 more years to work, he was depressed -- "It flattened me."

And he tells Howard Stern that his first reaction "was to start drinking heavily." But eventually he got into therapy and started taking it one day at a time.

He also hilariously tells Stern that since his character on the new show has Parkinson's, there are times he has to "act" like he has Parkinson's because his character is showing symptoms but Fox himself may not be.

"There are times when I have to fake that I'm symptomatic and it's strange, it's confusing," says Fox.

"The Michael J. Fox Show" premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


Photo/Video credit: NBC