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Michael J. Fox says Hollywood was 'tougher' in the '80s: 'You had to be talented'

Michael J. Fox is sharing the one characteristic celebrities had to exhibit as actors in the '80s that made it "harder" to be famous than it is now.

Michael J. Fox says being a Hollywood star in his prime required some grit.

Fox spoke candidly when asked if fame in the 1980s was "harder" to achieve than modern fame, admitting to People magazine, "You had to be talented. That helped."

"We used to bust our a--, our acting muscles, and watch other actors and sit around with other actors and talk about acting and talk about it," he shared.

MICHAEL J. FOX'S WIFE CALLED HIM A 'F---ING A--HOLE' BUT HE LOVED IT

"And now you've got people who just go like, 'Who's your sweater? What's your sweater you're wearing? And what's that dance step?' And you're the most famous person in the world."

Fox starred on the sitcom "Family Ties" for much of the '80s, becoming a household name for his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton. His celebrity grew when he fronted the "Back to the Future" film trilogy with Christopher Lloyd.

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"It's a funny feel[ing] when you're that famous," he told the outlet. "And it's beyond just being on the cover of magazines. It's like you go to a restaurant and, like, they pull the best table out of their butts."

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Earning five Emmy Awards throughout his career, Fox was honored with an honorary Oscar in 2022 for his Parkinson's disease advocacy and research

"There’s an expression I referred to when they gave me an honorary Academy Award. Somebody said to me the day before … they were talking about getting this award and being famous, and they say, ‘You’re ‘80s famous,’" Fox recalled. "I thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool. Eighties famous.’ Right? We were different."

"We were tougher. We didn’t have social media. We didn’t have any of that crap," he said. "We were just famous. Left to our own resources. And it was [an] amazing time." 

In 2020, Fox retired from acting due to his progressing Parkinson's. Recently, he admitted to Entertainment Tonight he'd be willing to return "if something came up that I could put my realities into, my challenges into."

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