The 'Dead to Me' actress explained her daily struggles with the illness and the uncertainty of its effects on her health in a recent interview.
Christina Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis less than two years ago. She recently revealed that she does not intend to continue acting following the conclusion of her role in the series "Dead To Me." During an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Vacation" actor discussed her plans for the future once filming for the series wraps up.
"I can’t even imagine going to set right now. This is a progressive disease. I don’t know if I’m going to get worse. I can do voiceover stuff because I have to support my family and keep my brain working," she said.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. MS can have a significant impact on a person's daily life, including their ability to work, participate in social activities and care for themselves. While there is no cure for MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, treatments can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Speaking about her connection with co-star Linda Cardellini—who plays Judy Hale in "Dead to Me"—Applegate mentioned that although she "probably is not going to work on-camera again," she is "so glad that I went out with someone who is by far the greatest actress I’ve ever worked with in my entire life if not the greatest human I’ve ever known."
The actor went on to talk about how was it to play a character who was battling a disease when she herself has MS. "It was bizarre. Especially since the season was written over a year before this all was shot. So it was almost like a portent. None of us knew I was going to be sick and gain 40 pounds from medication and have immobility," she added.
Applegate continued, "It was really difficult to not have my own personal feelings shadow what Jen was feeling. A lot of the words were really difficult to say and a lot of the scenes were really difficult to do. I had to keep 'remembering that this was Judy’s disease. It was really hard to not take that on, especially when the words were so cathartic and so right to the bone."
The actor said of her battle with the illness: "It's never a good day. You just have little shi**y days. People are like, 'Well, why don’t you take more showers?' Well, because getting in the shower is frightening. You can fall, you can slip, your legs can buckle. Especially because I have a glass shower. It’s frightening to me to get in there. There are just certain things that people take for granted in their lives that I took for granted."
It was in August 2022 that Applegate announced her MS diagnosis on Twitter. She wrote, "Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a-----e blocks it."
Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.— christina applegate (@1capplegate) August 10, 2021
In a follow-up tweet, Applegate said, “As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action’. And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing. Thank you xo.”
Last month, the actor shared that she was diagnosed with MS at an early stage because of Selma Blair, who suggested getting tested based on a single symptom. “I was sitting in Selma’s living room, our children playing, and I told Selma I’d been having this weird tingling in my feet,” the "Married with Children" actor told British Vogue. “She said, ‘You must get tested for MS.’ (Even my doctor doubted it), but there it was. In essence, because of her, I’m going to have a better quality of life.”
Christina Applegate gets brutally honest about what her day-to-day is like since MS diagnosis— RHReese (@RHREESE14) May 5, 2023
God bless her. No one should have to go through MS.
She spoke about the impact of having friends like Jamie Lynn and Blair on her life. "It’s impossible for anyone else to understand. And we know that. And we’re not trying to make people understand because they never will understand," Applegate said. "But yes, it is imperative for me to have people who say, 'It’s 80 degrees. What the f--k are we gonna do?' People don’t understand that heat makes us sicker. And the disease attacks different parts of our bodies. It can attack your organs, it can attack your digestive system. Hence why I sometimes have to end up in the hospital."