Christina Applegate Discusses Being Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis While Filming the Final Season of ‘Dead to Me’

When Christina Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in early 2021, she knew her life was about to change. At the time, she was in the process of filming the final season of Dead to Me. After learning of the diagnosis, filming stopped for roughly five months while Applegate began treatment. 

She eventually returned to the set with one goal in mind – finishing what she started. She felt obligated to continue filming because she didn’t want to let down the show’s creator Liz Feldman and co-star Linda Cardellini. Now with filming done, the crew is preparing for the premiere, which is just two weeks away. 

In one of her first interviews since her diagnosis, Applegate spoke with The New York Times about living with MS and how important it was to finish filming Dead to Me. She mentioned how she’s “never going to accept this” and how ‘pissed’ she is – adding she wishes she would’ve “paid attention” to the signs.

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When asked about the five-month break after learning of her diagnosis, Christina Applegate said she “needed that time” to “process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me.” She detailed how difficult it was with the pain, loss of balance, and other symptoms of MS that make it hard to live a normal life.

“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together.’ I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,’” said Applegate. She tipped her hat to the Dead to Me crew – more specifically, Feldman and Cardellini – for supporting her.

Applegate referred to Cardellini as her ‘champion, warrior, my voice.’ In return, Cardellini compared the two’s relationship to that of their characters in the show. “Jen and Judy support each other, love each other, help each other through things. Linda and Christina, the same thing,” said Cardellini to the Times.

Fans haven’t seen much of Applegate during the filming process, but she’s not worried about what people think of her appearance. “This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am. 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,” said Applegate. 

Christina Applegate Excited for Premier of Final Season of ‘Dead to Me’

christina applegate discusses being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while filming the final season of ‘dead to me’
Photo Works / Shutterstock

Christina Applegate and the rest of the Dead to Me cast are excited to celebrate the premiere of season three – the final installment of the show. It’s scheduled to release on November 17 – just two weeks away! And if you ask Applegate what she hopes fans take away from it, she’s leaving it up to their imagination.

“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. I’m sure that people are going to be, like, ‘I can’t get past it.’ Fine, don’t get past it, then. But hopefully, people can get past it and just enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls,” she said. 

Applegate has already impressed us with her performances in seasons one and two – earning two Emmy nominations and nominations for a Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and more. If the third season is as good as the first two, then she’ll likely be in for even more acclaim for her portrayal.

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system – including the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. There is currently no cure for MS and symptoms include numbness, tingling in extremities, loss of balance, fatigue, and vision problems. It affects nearly 2.3 million people worldwide.

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