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​​Martin Scorsese Praises Wife Helen's 'Fortitude' During Her 30-Year Journey with Parkinson's: 'Never Seen Such Strength'

The celebrated director said he wonders if each new film project will be his last as he enters his "golden years"

<p>Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/WireImage</p> Martin Scorcese and wife Helen Morris

Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Martin Scorcese and wife Helen Morris


Martin Scorsese shared why his wife of 25 years, Helen Morris, is “the most remarkable person,” during an intimate moment on the SiriusXM podcast, This Life of Mine with James Corden.

On the show, Corden has notable guests pick the places, music, memories, and people that make them who they are, and Scorsese picked his wife, Helen, as his person.

“Tell me a bit about Helen and why she was the person that you picked for this show,” Corden asked Scorsese, 81.

“She's had Parkinson's disease for about 30 years now,” the Killers of the Flower Moon director said. “My complaining is part of my creating and it's usually self-deprecating. Make it funny. Doesn't mean it ain't serious, but it is funny at the same time. My complaining, I find, is nothing compared to what the suffering that a condition like that does, and so we live with it and it changes how you perceive life and everything around you.”

<p>Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic</p> Martin Scorsese with wife Helen Morris in 2013

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Martin Scorsese with wife Helen Morris in 2013

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nerve disorder that impacts movement and speech. While symptoms can be managed, there is no cure, the Mayo Clinic explains.

Scorsese explained that as his wife’s condition progresses, it may impact the film projects he chooses — and admitted that his own age is starting to become a factor as well.

“You know, do I still say I'm gonna make a film and go out there and you're gonna come on location? Yes. As much as possible. Can I at a certain point say, ‘Marty, you know, this picture at your age now, this and that. They can't travel. Do you want to do a film that's only based near the house?' I may have to.”

Related: Michael J. Fox Says 'Parkinson's Is a Gift' While Accepting Award for Best Documentary at National Board of Review Gala

But Scorsese brushed it off as “that sort of thing” that we all deal with, going on to praise Helen, a book editor whom he met when they worked on a companion book to his 1997 movie Kundun, about Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

“I find that her strength is something ... I've never seen such strength like that in a person and such a fortitude and a positive way of approaching life under the worst of circumstances. Very bad circumstance,” said Scorsese about his wife, with whom he shares a daughter, Francesca. (The director also has two older daughters from previous marriages.)

<p>Jim Spellman/WireImage</p> Martin Scorsese and wife Helen Morris in 2002

Jim Spellman/WireImage

Martin Scorsese and wife Helen Morris in 2002


“I should say, that's what happens. It's been 30 years, 35 years or whatever with the illness, and so when I think I, you know, I'm not feeling well or something, I look over there and see her rally herself together.”

The director — whose recent film is nominated in ten categories at the upcoming Academy Awards — said that “we have help” to assist his wife, adding, “I have nurses in the house, that sort of thing, so look, it helps, but it's not that simple.”

And as he told Cordon, “We've entered that part of life now. That section of that last, as they say now, 'The golden years,’” although he admitted ‘I don't feel like it, but apparently we are [in it].”

Related: Parkinson’s Patient Able to Walk Again After Spinal Implant: ‘A Rebirth’

“But it doesn't mean we have to stop,” Scorsese said. And although he just hit a milestone as the most-nominated director in Academy Awards history, he said that every time he signs on for a new project, he realizes it “could be your last picture. You don't know. You don't know what's gonna happen to you in life when the time comes and if Killers of the Flower Moon is that last one, okay. I'll sign that.”

“I hope I have plans for a bunch more if I can get there and pull it all together. I think I'd love to continue as much as possible.”

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