Michael J. Fox Recalls Being a "Fake Yawn and Arm Stretch Away From Being on a Date" With Princess Diana

The actor says it was one the most "surreal" moments of his Hollywood career.

Michael J. Fox Recalls Being a "Fake Yawn and Arm Stretch Away" From Princess Diana
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's one moment in his impressive Hollywood career that actor Michael J. Fox will never forget.

In an interview with People in celebration of the publication's 50th anniversary, the Back to the Future actor recalled the time he was oh-so close to the late, great Princess Diana.

"It all got so crazy. There's nothing I could think of that wouldn't happen," Fox said, in reference to his rise to fame and the London premiere of Back to the Future in December 1985.

"With the royal premiere of Back to the Future, I sat next to Princess Diana," he continued. "I realized if I was like a fake yawn and an arm stretch away from being on a date with her. That one, and just moments like that, were so surreal."

Sometimes celebrities are just like us, and other times... well, they have encounters with bonafide royalty.

Michael J Fox walking across the street in a scene from the film 'Back To The Future', 1985.

Michael J Fox walking across the street in a scene from the film 'Back To The Future', 1985.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The late Princess Diana, who tragically died in a car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi, wore a velvet evening gown with a low-cut back created by Catherine Walker to the film premiere. The princess paired the look with a knotted pearl necklace.

According to Fox, Princess Diana enjoyed the film.

"She seemed to laugh a couple of times—she wasn’t booing it," Fox told Jimmy Fallon during a 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While Fox was able to entertain a literal princess, the night wasn't without its difficulties.

"The movie started and also I had to go pee,” he told Fallon at the time. “So for the rest of the movie, I'm sitting there, like, dying."

Princess Diana In Argentina.

Princess Diana In Argentina.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I can't say anything to her and I can't walk away from her because I can't turn my back on her," he continued. "So it was just agony it could have been the greatest night of my life but it was just a nightmare. A pee-holding nightmare.”

According to The Daily Mail, Princess Diana was a big rom-com fan (can you imagine what she would think of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce dating?!). Apparently, her favorite movie was the classic 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.

Just like she did during the Back to the Future premiere, the princess wore another Catherine Walker dress for the 1989 London premiere of When Harry Met Sally. She was reportedly such a fan of the film that she arranged a private screening for her friends at Buckingham Palace.

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.