Christina Applegate is opening up about her struggle filming “Dead to Me” with multiple sclerosis.
The actress was diagnosed in 2021 with the disease which affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, sometimes affecting coordination and mobility and causing fatigue.
While the Netflix show’s production was put on pause for a while during the pandemic, there was also concern whether Applegate would be able to return for the final season.
“I had an obligation to Liz and to Linda [Cardellini], to our story. The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together,’” she recalled in an interview to the New York Times. “I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.’”
Applegate is learning to manage her new illness, which left her struggling to walk or stand at times, but she wished she had realized something was wrong earlier.
“There was the sense of, ‘Well, let’s get her some medicine so she can get better. And there is no better,” she said.
“Dead to Me” comes to a close with the final season, but the difficult experience filming has left her with little desire to watch it.
“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,” said Applegate. “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.”
Her performance in the show has led to two Emmy nominations for the actress and a close friendship with her co-star Cardellini.
The last season of “Dead to Me” airs on Nov. 17.