It’s been more than 30 years since Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29. In a new interview airing soon on “CBS Sunday Morning,” the 61-year-old actor said living with the disease is “getting tougher.”

“I mean, I’m not gonna lie. It’s getting hard, it’s getting harder,” the “Back to the Future” star told CBS News’ Jane Pauley in an interview airing on April 30. “It’s getting tougher. Every day it’s tougher. But, but that’s – that’s the way it is.”

Fox said he’s been reflecting on his mortality lately, and doesn’t believe he’ll make it to 80.

“It’s falling … and aspirating food and getting pneumonia. All these subtle ways that get ya,” he said, according to excerpts from the interview sent to the Deseret News. “You don’t die from Parkinson’s. You die with Parkinson’s. So I’ve been thinking about the mortality of it ... I’m not gonna be 80. I’m not gonna be 80.”

In the interview — which airs 8 a.m. MST on CBS and will be available for streaming on Paramount+ — Fox discusses his life today, a recent breakthrough in Parkinson’s research, and how he maintains a spirit of optimism through his daily struggles, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.

‘It’s been an amazing life’: Michael J. Fox tells his story at Sundance

‘Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie’ will hit Apple TV+

Fox’s new interview comes just a few months after he appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, for the premiere of “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” which hits Apple TV+ on May 12.

“‘Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie’ is not a film about a movie star, nor is it a film about a man grappling with a debilitating disease,” I wrote for the Deseret News. “At its core, ‘Still’ is about the people who support you and lift you up, the ones who can cheer you up on even your hardest of days. Nowhere in the film does Fox smile wider and laugh louder than he does when he’s with his family.”

After the premiere screening at Sundance, an audience member, who said he has a relative with Parkinson’s disease, lauded Fox and his foundation for all of the efforts to help find a cure for Parkinson’s, including raising $2 billion for Parkinson’s research. 

“That number, as impressive as it is, kind of in a way pisses me off, because I’d hope that we’d be done with it by now. But science is hard,” Fox responded during the post-screening Q&A, noting that progress has been made toward finding a cure, including the possibility of a prophylactic injection to prevent Parkinson’s disease. 

“People say to me, ‘But that will be after your time, are you OK with that?’” Fox continued. “And I’m like, … that would be great. Just get it done. I don’t care if I’m on the bus or way down the road, get this done.”

During the Q&A, the actor said he’s had sobering conversations with himself about the different directions his life could go. And sometimes, he said, optimism feels a bit out of reach. But then he thinks of a line he wrote in his most recent book.

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“With gratitude, optimism is sustainable, and that’s the way I feel about life,” he told his audience. “This rocks. I’ll take this. I love my life. I love my family. I love what I do. I love that people react to what I do. I love that I can be an example to other people and help them deal with their issues. … I’m enjoying it and I’m glad you’re with me.” 

Michael J. Fox and two assistants make their way into the premiere of “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie” at the Eccles Theatre in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Michael J. Fox will attend FanX in Salt Lake City

Fox and other cast members from “Back to the Future” will attend FanX in Salt Lake City Sept. 22-24, the Deseret News reported.

“For the first time ever, we’re having Michael J. Fox as a confirmed guest,” Ro Malaga, marketing manager and spokesperson for FanX, recently told the Deseret News. “Some of those other actors from the ‘Back to the Future’ cast have been with us before, such as Christopher Lloyd who plays Doc Emmett Brown and Thomas Wilson who plays Biff Tannen.”

Michael J. Fox and the ‘Back to the Future’ cast are coming to Utah: here’s what you should know

Malaga talked about the “cult following” of the film — “It’s got the hot A-list actor of the time with Michael J. Fox,” he said. “And it’s just a feel-good movie that everyone in the family can go ahead and enjoy. That’s why we love being able to bring that ‘Back to the Future’ experience of FanX because we also pride ourselves as a family-friendly event.”

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