Christina Applegate, 50, Updates Fans on Health Amid MS Battle in Emotional Interview

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Christina Applegate Shares MS Health UpdateLeon Bennett - Getty Images
  • Christina Applegate made her first public appearance since revealing her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in August 2021.

  • In accepting her Hollywood Walk of Fame star, she made an emotional speech thanking friends and family for their support.

  • Her latest project, season 3 of Dead to Me, which she overcame health challenges to film, hits Netflix November 17.

On November 14, Christina Applegate made her first public appearance since revealing her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis to the world, to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The ceremony was, needless to say, an emotional one. She arrived barefoot, as some with MS find that shoes hinder balance. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her daughter and fans for their support through tears, calling them “gorgeous,” per Variety.

“Every single one of you. I love you [all] so much,” she added.

It’s been a tumultuous year for the 50-year-old actress who announced her diagnosis via Twitter in August 2021. Since then, she has endured the difficult task of accepting her new reality with chronic illness.

In those with MS, the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with movement, muscle function, vision, and cognition. Applegate’s personal first signs, she recently told The New York Times, were extremity tingling, numbness, and balance issues.

“I wish I had paid attention,” she said. “But who was I to know?” She added that although her time off (which coincided with COVID-related shutdowns) was helpful in processing it all, every day is still a struggle. “It’s not like I came on the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine,’” she added. “Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed.”

Still, Applegate was determined to get back to work—on her own terms. She was mid-filming season two of Dead to Me—the story of two friends covering up the murder of one of their husbandswhen she was diagnosed. “And then it was about kind of learning—all of us learning—what I was going to be capable of doing,” she told Variety.

Adjustments were made while shooting the upcoming third and final season. Firstly, she used a wheelchair to get to set. (She also recently shared her beautiful inventory of walking sticks, another “new normal” for her.) The cast and crew aided her through blocking and long days of filming. And ironically, Applegate’s character, Jen, deals with her own illness in the new episodes, which was difficult to portray, for obvious reasons.

Overall, she told Variety that filming the new season was as “hard as you would possibly think it would be,” adding: “People are going to see me for the first time as a disabled person, and it’s very difficult.” That’s why she told The New York Times she won’t be watching it herself.

“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,” she said. “I’m sure that people are going to be, like, ‘I can’t get past it.’”

She continued: “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.”

Dead to Me season 3 is out November 17.

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