Christina Applegate Opens Up About Her Decision to End ‘Dead To Me’ Final Season Amid Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis



CNN

Christina Applegate is opening up about living with multiple sclerosis and how ending her acclaimed show “Dead to Me” was important to her.

The 50-year-old actress 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 during filming. At the time, production was shut down for about five months as he began treatment for the autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.

“There was a sense of, ‘Well, let’s give him some medicine so he can get better,”’ Applegate said. “And there’s no better. But I was fine. I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of this part of me. So I needed that time.”

The performer also noted that after that time, it wasn’t like she “came to the other side, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine.’ Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept that. I’m angry.”

He recalled even further back, how he began experiencing balance and mobility issues as early as production of the first season of “Dead to Me,” which premiered in May 2019.

“I wish I had paid attention,” he said. “But who was I to know?”

During the production hiatus, Netflix had considered shutting down the show indefinitely in light of his health news. But Applegate felt she “had an obligation” to both Liz Feldman, the creator of “Dead to Me,” and Linda Cardellini, her friend and co-star, as well as to the story.

“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s stop. We don’t have to finish it. Let’s put together a few episodes.’ I said no. We will do it, but we will do it on my terms,’” he said.

And while Applegate said ending the series was the hardest thing she’s ever done, the crew and Cardellini, especially, stood by and supported her throughout.

“She was my champion, my warrior, my voice,” Applegate said of Cardellini. “It was like having a mother bear.”

But Cardellini told the Times that “I just wanted the best for the person I love and care about and have the honor of working with.”

She agreed with his feelings about Applegate from their first meeting for the show. “I just had an immediate feeling that we were going to have each other’s backs,” Cardellini said. “Jen and Judy.” [their characters in “Dead to Me”] support each other, love each other, help each other through things. Linda and Christina, same.”

In addition to making sure to wrap up the final season, it was also important for Applegate to promote “Dead to Me” before Season 3 premieres on Netflix on November 17.

“This is the first time anyone will see me as I am,” he said. “I gained 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I’m very aware of all of this.”

As for what viewers are taking away from the final season, the “Samantha Who?” The star is hopeful, to an extent.

“If people hate it, if people love it, if all they can focus on is, ‘Oh, look at the pillow,’ that’s not up to me,” he said. “I’m sure people will say, ‘I can’t get over it.'”

“Okay, don’t miss it, then,” he added. “But hopefully people can get over it and enjoy the ride and say goodbye to these two girls.”

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