Michael J. Fox Jokes About 'Weird' 'Back to the Future' Mother-Son Plot: 'I Realized It Was Bizarre'

"There's something about it that people still respond to because it's so weird," he said

Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock
Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

Looking back on Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox thought the mother-son plot line was "bizarre."

"There's something about it that people still respond to because it's so weird," Fox, now 61, told Variety in a new cover story interview.

The movie, in which Marty McFly travels back in time — and in the penultimate 1950s scene at the "Enchanted Under the Sea" dance can't seem to fend off the attention of the woman who turns out to be his future mother (Lea Thompson) — is a head-scratcher, Fox said.

"Not to be crude, but it's a movie about almost f---ing your mom, and she's totally ready for it," Fox joked. "Even at the time, I realized it was bizarre — plus Lea was pretty cute."

Thompson played Marty's mother in the film and its sequels and still keeps a cherished item from the dance scene, she told PEOPLE upon the movie's 30th anniversary in 2015.

"It was beautifully made, and made to order for me," she said at the time of the pink pastel dress she wore. "It's got a low-drop waist, and the way it was cut was just so beautiful. And it's still in great shape. I've still got the shoes. The shoes are even hard to get on now — my big ol' feet from having babies."

"I can't get in it any more, though," she added. "It was so tight! It was tight at the time, but now it's really, really tight."

Related:Lea Thompson Celebrated Back to the Future Day With Several Snaps of Castmates Over the Years

Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock
Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

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Yet the iconic movie itself has staying power, Thompson said she has realized over time.

"It seems like the last few years, it seems to have really taken that on," she said. "I mean, when I realized that my mother-in-law was watching the movie with her daughter, her daughter's daughter, and her daughter's daughter — like, four whole generations of people could enjoy a movie together — I was like, 'Wow! That's the coolest thing ever.' "

Related:Back to the Future Cast: Where Are They Now?

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

In October, Fox reunited with another former castmate, Christopher Lloyd (otherwise known as Doc Brown), onstage at New York Comic-Con, 37 years after the classic Robert Zemeckis film first hit theaters.

It marked their first public reunion since they did the same on Josh Gad's pandemic YouTube series, Reunited Apart, back in 2020. The pair discussed casting decisions and their first moments on set together, with Fox at one point saying he'd have to "watch my a--" because of how talented his costar was.

As Fox explained, when it came to acting alongside Lloyd, "all I had to do was react."

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