Christina Applegate is opening up about living with multiple sclerosis, and how ending her hit show “Dead to Me” was important to her.
The actress, 50, spoke to The New York Times for an article published on 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 during the summer of 2021 while filming. At the time, production was halted for about five months as he began treatment for an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.
“There was a sense of, ‘Well, let’s give her some medicine so she can get better,'” Applegate said. “And no one is better.” But it was good for me. I needed to process the loss of my life, the loss of that part of me. So I needed that time.
The actress also noted that after that time, it wasn’t like she “came out on the other side of it, like, ‘Wow, I’m totally fine.’ Acceptance? No, I will never accept it. I’m angry.”
He recalled even further back, how he began experiencing balance and mobility issues as soon as production on the first season of “Dead to Me,” premiered in May 2019.
“I wish I had paid attention,” he said. “But who did I know?”
On hiatus from production, Netflix had considered shutting down the show indefinitely in light of news of his health. But Applegate felt she “had a responsibility” to both Liz Feldman, creator of “Dead to Me,” and Linda Cardellini, her friend and costar, as well as the story.
“The powers that be are like, ‘Let’s stop it.’ We don’t need to finish it. Let’s collect some episodes. I said, “No.” We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,” he said.
And while Applegate said that finishing the series was the hardest thing she’s ever done, the crew and Cardellini, in particular, backed her up and helped her.
“She was my champion, my warrior, my voice,” Applegate said of Cardellini. “It was like a mama bear.”
But Cardellini told the Times that she “just wants the best for someone I love and care about and have the honor of working with.”
It was in keeping with his feelings on Applegate since their first meeting for the show. “I just felt right away that we were going to have each other’s backs,” Cardellini said. “Jane and Judy.” [their characters in “Dead to Me”] Help each other, love each other, help each other through things. Linda and Christina, same thing.
In addition to ensuring a final season finish, it was also important for Applegate to publicize “Dead to Me” ahead of Season 3’s premiere on November 17 on Netflix.
“This is the first time anyone is going to see me as I am,” he said. “I put on 40 pounds. I cannot walk without a stick. I want people to know that I am very aware of all these things.
As for what viewers will take away from the final season, “Samantha Who?” The star is hopeful, up to a point.
“If people hate it, if people love it, if they can all pay attention to, ‘Oh, look at the panga,’ it’s not up to me,” he said. “I’m sure people are going to be, like, ‘I can’t get past this.’
“Well, then don’t go,” he added. “But hopefully people can get through it and just enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls.”