Frankie Muniz is setting the record straight about his supposed memory loss — a notion, he says, that was exaggerated in a segment that played during his time on “Dancing With the Stars.”
The 36-year-old actor shed more light on the ordeal during an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, telling hosts Daniel “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter that the way that segment was cut together in 2017 made it seem as though the actor suffered from some form of amnesia and had memory loss.
“For the ‘Most Memorable Year’ episode, they told me my most memorable year was 2001,” said Muniz, the year when he earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations after “Malcolm In the Middle” aired its first season to critical acclaim. “And I go, ‘I don’t know what to say,’ and they’re like, ‘Why?’”
Muniz says the way it all got “cut together and the way they put it is I have zero memory of anything.” He added that “the press took it” and ran with it. But Muniz maintains he knew he played Malcom in the 2000s, but he also “did a lot of things.”
“I don’t remember everything,” he says. ET reached out to “DWTS” and the show had no comment.
Thanks to the success of “Malcolm in the Middle,” Muniz made the 2002 films “Deuces Wild” and “Big Fat Liar” and then starred in 2003’s “Agent Cody Banks.”
“There’s been a lot of speculation about my memory,” he said on the podcast. “A lot of it has to do with the fact that I did so much, so many episodes, so many things.”
“It’s funny ’cause I could watch it [‘Malcolm in the Middle’] as a spectator, as a fan,” he continued. “I didn’t see it as me. And also, we did so many episodes I actually don’t remember what happens in most of the episodes.”
Muniz says one of his biggest challenges is not being able to distinguish things that he dreamt, often wondering if those things actually happened. That’s all compounded by the fact that he says he spent most of his childhood pretending to be somebody else.
“You get used to being in the moment and then you go on to the next part of your life,” he added.
Muniz did, however, contribute some of his memory struggles to his health, after revealing he’s had nine concussions in his life, mainly from playing sports in his youth.
“There’s that,” he said. “I was — and this only recently figured out — wrongfully diagnosed with TIAs (Transient Ischemic Attack, or mini-strokes). I was having these episodes where, like, I’d lose my vision, I couldn’t recognize faces, couldn’t talk, all this kind of stuff. And it was happening pretty regularly. And I was told that I was having mini strokes for TIAs, which is a pretty big deal.”
Muniz said after so many tests and consultations, doctors finally figured out he was misdiagnosed, and his actual diagnosis turned out to be aura migraines.
But, the actor maintains, he’s not playing a real-life episode of “50 First Dates,” the 2004 rom-com where Drew Barrymore’s character wakes up with amnesia every morning.
“No, no,” Muniz said. “I know I was Malcolm. I did a lot of things. I don’t remember everything.”