Selma Blair Gets Candid About Joining ‘DWTS’ After Multiple Sclerosis Battle

·3 min read
Photo credit: Amy Sussman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Amy Sussman - Getty Images

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  • Selma Blair will compete on season 31 of Dancing With the Stars.

  • She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2018, and went into remission last year.

  • The actress is nervous, but empowered and excited for this new journey. “I am thrilled to learn how to move my body better right now,” she said.

Selma Blair has a lot of exciting things going for her right now—she just joined the beauty brand Guide as chief creative officer, landed a GAP campaign, won first prize in an equestrian event, and now, she’s competing on season 31 of Dancing With the Stars. All of these feats were hard to imagine just a few years ago, when the 50-year-old believed she was dying of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

In a new interview with Good Morning America, she called her placement on the competition reality series a “full circle moment.” The actress is excited to be paired with partner Sasha Farber, and most of all, is grateful for the progress she’s made. Last year, she announced that her MS is in remission after undergoing chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. She was diagnosed in 2018.

“I’m beyond thrilled,” she told GMA. “I’m [here] with perspective and coming back and realizing the support of people when you try—it’s changed my life.”

She continued: “I am thrilled to learn how to move my body better right now, I am thrilled to have support, be here—have camaraderie. I cannot believe that I am ready in my life to do this. I am so excited ... this is so powerful to me.”

The mom of one is admittedly nervous to get out on stage—she told Page Six she has no dance experience and MS-related mobility issues. “The truth is when I am trying new things I get a lot of spasticity, dystonia,” which is muscle stiffness and spasms, “and I am okay,” she told GMA. “This is a process of me getting out and moving.”

The most challenging part, she thinks, will be keeping her balance if she and Farber disconnect on the floor. “I am really nervous if I lose my partner’s touch,” she explained. “I am used to having a counterbalance of my dog or a cane or at home my abilities are much more seamless than out and about, so this is a bit of a flop sweat.”

That’s likely why her team and family were hesitant about her being cast on the show. “Once I decided and convinced my team that I could do this, that it wasn’t going to be too dangerous for me, that I could do this, [it was OK],” she told Page Six. “We do these things we want to find joy in. And then I’m all in.”

In other words, she’s up for the challenge. “When you’re trying something, there is a learning curve. That is, ‘How do I not give up? How do I trust? How do I have joy still if I’m terrified?’” she explained. “And so these are all things that I am embracing with my whole heart, and I hope other people can learn to, too, because we all need to support each other in this world and find joy, because God knows there’s enough of the rest.”

Season 31 of DWTS premieres on Disney+ on September 19.

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