Michael J. Fox has recalled an act of kindness shown to him by the late River Phoenix that has stuck with him for over three decades.
The moment in question took place 31 years ago as Fox, 61, filmed 1991’s Doc Hollywood in a small Florida town.
“River Phoenix and his brother [Joaquin Phoenix] had a place there, and River would take us out,” Fox - who retired from acting in 2020 - told People magazine. “He used to come and scoop us up and take us to his place and have a barbecue. It’s funny because that was an act of kindness that was built on an act of kindness.”
The Back To The Future star believes that the thoughtful gesture stemmed from his own act of kindness toward River, which occurred on the set of Fox’s former TV series Family Ties on which River - who died aged 23 in 1993 from combined drug intoxication - served as a guest star for a single episode.
Blown away by the promise that a then-teenage River was already beginning to show as an actor, Fox shared how he took him to one side when he saw that he was struggling with a particular scene.
Asking him what was wrong, River replied “I feel goofy, I feel like a d**”.
Fox then offered him some words of encouragement, saying: “Welcome to the business. That’s it. That’s the highest level of accomplishment you’ll get is to feel like a d***’ It’s stupid. It’s a stupid thing to do for a living.”
After their pep talk, Fox said that River was “phenomenal”.
“I guess that’s why he was always so nice to me when he became a huge star,” he added to the US outlet.
Elsewhere in the interview, Fox - who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease when he was 29 - also gave a health update.