SAG Awards spotlight: It’s time to celebrate Christina Applegate (‘Dead to Me’)

In the midst of shooting the final season of the hit Netflix series “Dead to Me,” Christina Applegate fully embraced the unexpected circumstances of her acting journey when she got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her obvious connection to the role and the show that explores ‌ways of dealing with life’s endless obstacles allowed the actress to shine brighter than ever. Applegate’s nuanced performance ‌could very possibly (and deservedly) bring the Emmy winner her first SAG Awards victory after six losses.

The “Dead to Me” star’s competitors for Best TV Comedy Actress are SAG Award winners Jean Smart (“Hacks”) and Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), as well as first-time nominees Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”) and Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”). Applegate is currently ranked third in our combined odds behind Brunson and her “Samantha Who?” co-star, Smart, with 4/1 odds.

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Throughout her acting career, Applegate has created numerous memorable characters like Kelly Bundy in “Married…with Children” and Jesse Warner in “Jesse,” a role for which the actress received her first Golden Globe nomination. In 2003 she won a Primetime Emmy for guest-starring in “Friends” as Rachel Green’s (Jennifer Aniston) sister Amy. Applegate received her first three SAG Awards nominations from 2008 to 2010 for the comedy series “Samantha Who?”. Her natural upbeat energy and masterful comedic timing continued to grab viewers’ attention, leading to her role in Netflix’s “Dead to Me” in 2019 with Linda Cordellini as a co-star. Her performance got due recognition with three SAG Award nominations for Best TV Comedy Actress (2020, 2021, 2023) and one bid for Best TV Comedy Ensemble (2021).

In “Dead to Me” Applegate plays a complex, smart, and funny real estate agent, Jen Harding. The mother of two sons is grieving her husband’s death while befriending Judy Hale (Cardellini), the woman that killed him in a hit-and-run. Jen is naturally quite pessimistic and unfriendly, forced to discover compassion, kindness, and positivity within herself.

SEE Linda Cardellini (‘Dead to Me’) on sharing ‘honesty and humor’ with Christina Applegate [Exclusive Video Interview]

Besides COVID-19 pandemic, Applegate was faced with another obstacle while filming the final season of the show – an MS diagnosis in 2021. Despite intense physical challenges like severe fatigue and movement restrictions, the actress was determined to finish the show on her own terms with endless support from “Dead to Me” creator Liz Feldman and co-star Cardellini. Season 3 did not take it easy on the star, who had to recover from a recent hit-and-run caused by her lover, reconnect with her sons, deal with an unexpected pregnancy, and help her best friend through her cancer journey.

Not only did the actress nail the emotionally heavy parts of her character’s path, but she ‌also nailed Jen’s straightforward dark sense of humor and snappy sarcastic attitude. It seems like filming the final chapter of “Dead to Me” was a necessary form of therapy for Applegate, with the show exploring themes of grieving, healing, and ultimately finding beauty in a world that’s constantly going to throw rocks at you.

No doubt, Applegate deserves to finally add “The Actor” to her collection. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actress stated that the SAG Awards might be the last awards show she will attend. And that’s just one more reason why it would be a great opportunity to honor this actress’s incredible acting and celebrate her career.

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