Christina Applegate on Changing Her Workstyle for the Final Season of ‘Dead to Me’ After Being Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
“‘No,’ I said. We’re going to do it, but only on my terms,’ she says “the Netflix series’ star revealed.
Christina Applegate says she was adamant about returning to Dead to Me to finish the final season after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but the experience was a learning experience for both her and the show.
In an interview published Tuesday by the New York Times, the actress discussed the Netflix series’ five-month hiatus following her diagnosis (which she announced in August 2021), as well as her desire to be open about the changes in her physical appearance and elements of the show as a result of her body.
“This is the first time anyone is going to see me the way I am,” she said of promoting the show’s final season to the New York Times. “I gained 40 pounds.” I can’t walk without the aid of a cane. I want people to know that I am well aware of everything.”
While she expressed a desire to have “paid attention” to the signs more in the years preceding her official diagnosis, she did pay attention after the show returned from its hiatus and had the production follow her lead.
“I had an obligation to Liz and Linda, to our story,” she explained about her decision to complete the series. “The powers that be said, ‘Let’s just stop.'” We don’t have to complete it. Let’s put together a few episodes.’ ‘No,’ I said. We’re going to do it, but only on my terms.'”
Discovering and navigating new boundaries and limits around how hard or long she could work, not only in the elements like heat but also within the basic infrastructure of the set.
Because of the stairs on her trailer, she was forced to use a wheelchair to get to the set. In some scenes, sound technician and longtime friend Mitch B. Cohn supported her legs while she filmed, and in others, she entered rooms with doors onscreen first so she could lean on them to help her stand.
Another on-set supporter was co-star and friend Linda Cardellini, who Applegate described as “my champion, my warrior, my voice,” standing by her and speaking up on her behalf.
The break was also crucial in preparing Applegate for her return to the series. “There isn’t anything better. But it was beneficial to me. “I needed to process the loss of my life, the loss of that part of myself,” she said. “As a result, I needed that time.”
In terms of what fans will see on screen, the Dead to Me star says it is up to them whether they choose to focus on her condition. She just wanted the chance to send these characters off.
“I’m sure people will be like, ‘I can’t get past it,'” she told the publication. “Fine, don’t get past it.” But hopefully, people will be able to move past it and just enjoy the ride while saying goodbye to these two girls.”