- Christina Applegate said she gained 40 pounds and uses a cane after her MS diagnosis.
- She refused to let changes in her health affect the ending of her Netflix series “Dead to Me.”
- “Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” Applegate told the New York Times.
Christina Applegate got candid about the ways in which her body and mobility have changed after her Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis in a recent interview with the New York Times reporter Alexis Soloski.
“This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” Applegate said, reflecting on the fact that the third and final season of her Netflix show “Dead To Me” will be released on November 17. “I put on 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”
The actor, who has been working in Hollywood since she was in kindergarten, said her self-awareness doesn’t mean she’s accepted the way her life has changed because of MS, a neurological disease that has varying symptoms but often affects vision, speech, and mobility, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). It can also cause cognitive issues, including trouble with attention, memory, and concentration, the site reported.
MS occurs when the myelin sheath — a protective covering surrounding the nerves — is damaged. This damage disrupts nervous system communication between the brain and body and can lead to some of the symptoms listed above.
“Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” Applegate told the Times.
She said that in hindsight, a clear sign of her MS presented itself in 2021 when she was having trouble with balance while filming a dance sequence for “Dead To Me.” Years prior to that, she reported experiencing tingling and numbness in her body, but was officially diagnosed while on set of the Netflix dramedy in the summer of 2021.
Production shut down for about five months after Applegate’s diagnosis so she could receive treatment and “process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me,” she said.
There was even talk of completely shutting down production of the dramedy about two friends who meet in a grief group and subsequently entangle each other in all types of murderous drama, all while sharing bottles of wine, watching “The Facts Of Life,” and laughing at themselves.
Applegate — who plays the no-nonsense widow, real estate agent, and mother of two alongside Linda Cardellini’s Judy Hale, a spacy, artistic, hippy foil — refused to end the story early. She said she had an “obligation” to Cardellini and the show’s creator Liz Feldman, to finish telling the story as it was intended.
“I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,'” Applegate recalled. She defined those terms as she needed to when filming resumed.
Some accommodations included a wheelchair transport to set and less hours working in the heat. Some days, she couldn’t come to work at all. But the Times reported that changes in the script were rarely needed as much as adaptations to the blocking of a scene.
The “Bad Moms” star told the Times that she won’t be watching the final season of “Dead To Me” because it will reportedly be “too painful.”
As for if her MS will be evident on the show or change viewers’ experience of it, Applegate said she does worry but tries not to care too much.
“If people hate it, if people love it, if all they can concentrate on is, ‘Ooh, look at the cripple,’ that’s not up to me,” she said, adding that she hopes people can just enjoy the end of the show.
The final season of “Dead To Me” airs on November 17 on Netflix.