Christina Applegate is opening up about living with MS and how important it was for her to finish her acclaimed show ‘Dead to Me’.
The actress, 50, spoke to the New York Times for an article published Tuesday, ahead of the premiere of the third and final season of her Netflix series later this month. Applegate reflected on what it was like to receive her MS diagnosis in the summer of 2021 while filming. At that time, production stopped for approx. five months when she started treatment for the autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.
“It was a feeling of, ‘Okay, let’s get her some medicine so she can get better,'” Applegate said. “And there is nothing better. But it was good for me. I had to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me. So I needed that time.”
The performer also noted that after that time, it’s not like she’s “coming out the other side of it, like, ‘Ugh, I’m totally fine.'” Approval? No, I will never accept this. I’m angry.”
She recalled even further back in time, how she began experiencing balance and mobility issues right during production of the first season of “Dead to Me,” which premiered in May 2019.
“I wish I had paid attention,” she said. – But who was I supposed to know?
During the production hiatus, Netflix had considered shutting down the show indefinitely in light of her health news. But Applegate felt she “had an obligation” to both “Dead to Me” creator Liz Feldman and her friend and partner Linda Cardellini, as well as the story.
“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop.’ We don’t have to finish it. Let’s put some elements together.’ I said no. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,” she said.
And while Applegate said that finishing the series was the hardest thing she’s ever done, the crew and Cardellini, in particular, had her back and supported her throughout.
“She was my champion, my champion, my voice,” Applegate said of Cardellini. “It was like having a mama bear.”
But Cardellini told the Times that she “just wants the best for the person I love and care about and have the honor of working with.”
It was consistent with her feelings on Applegate right from their first meeting for the show. “I had the feeling right away that we were going to have each other’s backs,” Cardellini said. “Jen and Judy [their characters in “Dead to Me”] support each other, love each other, help each other through things. Linda and Christina, the same.”
In addition to making sure to wrap up the final season, it was also important for Applegate to promote “Dead to Me” before Season 3 premieres on Netflix on November 17.
“This is the first time anyone is going to see me for who I am,” she said. “I gained 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all this.”
As for what viewers are taking away from the last season, “Samantha Who?” a star is hopeful, to a certain extent.
“If people hate it, if people love it, if all they can focus on is, ‘Ooh, look at the cripple,’ that’s not up to me,” she said. “I’m sure people are going to be like, ‘I can’t get past that’.”
“Well, don’t pass it up,” she added. “But hopefully people will get past that and enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls.”