While we all love Michael J. Fox, you don’t exactly think of him as a Hollywood hardman. There’s a world of difference between Michael J. Fox and, for example, Jason Statham. So the suggestion that Fox once knocked out a co-star on the set of one of his best ’90s movies is a strange one.
But it’s not as it seems. There was no fracas by the catering truck or mid-scene scuffle. The guy behind Marty McFly is too lovely for that. In fact, Fox’s only “crime” was getting a little over-enthusiastic with a bit of balsa wood during one of his best comedy movies.
The film in question was the 1991 buddy cop tale The Hard Way. It’s an underrated gem in which Fox plays a pampered Hollywood actor preparing for a role by working the beat alongside a real NYPD cop, played by James Woods.
Reluctantly (on the cop’s part) thrust ogether, they are on the hunt for a serial killer, played by future Avatar 2 cast member Stephen Lang, who loves portraying the best movie villains. It was Lang who found himself on the wrong end of Fox’s enthusiasm.
“I got knocked cold in that one,” said Lang in a recent interview with Empire Magazine. “Michael hit me with a two-by-four that was going to crack across my back. It was made of balsa, but he cracked it across the top of my head, and I don’t care if it’s balsa, I just saw stars.”
Both Fox and Lang are actors willing to push themselves for their best movies and it’s clear there was no bad blood between the pair of them after this on-set mishap. We’ve seen enough of Lang’s back catalogue to be very, very worried about getting on his bad side.
The Hard Way was a box office disappointment and has since been somewhat forgotten, but that’s a shame. Lang got hit with a big bit of wood. What’s your excuse for not remembering it?
Speaking of Lang, look ahead to the Avatar 3 release date for more on his return as Quaritch and check out our Avatar 2 review to see what we thought about his resurrection. As for Fox, find out why the star agrees with you about Back to the Future’s weirdest scene.