Christina Applegate credits her friend and former co-star Selma Blair for significantly impacting her life after urging her to get tested for multiple sclerosis (MS) due to a peculiar symptom.
Applegate, known for her role in “Dead to Me,” opened up about the moment Blair encouraged her to seek medical attention during a conversation in Blair’s living room.
Applegate mentioned experiencing tingling sensations in her feet, to which Blair responded, “You must get tested for MS.” Despite initial doubts from her doctor, Applegate received a diagnosis that confirmed Blair’s suspicions.
Reflecting on the incident, Applegate expressed gratitude towards Blair, stating, “In essence, because of her, I’m going to have a better quality of life.” Applegate publicly shared her MS diagnosis in 2021, approximately three years after Blair had disclosed her own experience with the disease. The pair, who starred together in the 2002 comedy “The Sweetest Thing,” have since become vocal advocates for individuals living with MS.
Blair also shared her journey of concealing MS symptoms before receiving a formal diagnosis. As her acting career flourished with notable performances in films such as “Cruel Intentions” and “Hellboy,” she privately struggled with feelings of being “lost and sad,” wrestling with self-hatred behind the scenes. Blair revealed concerns about being hindered by her condition, fearing it would remove her from the industry. Symptoms such as incoordination, weakness, sickness, baldness, rashes, and even vomiting added to her apprehension.
The turning point for Blair came after completing her role on the short-lived sitcom “Kath & Kim.” At that point, her autoimmune system was misfiring, resulting in hair loss and a significant decline in energy, making it challenging for her to pursue acting opportunities. She described moments of calculating how many naps she could fit in during drives to auditions. Following her decision to step away from acting, Blair found herself spending days in bed, often consumed by tears and resorting to binge drinking, reading, and sleeping. She sought medical advice and explored alternative healing methods but nearly gave up hope until her diagnosis. The fear of being deemed incapable or mentally unsound in her career haunted her, influenced by her mother’s teachings on the potential consequences.
Today, Blair has become an influential figure in Hollywood’s disabled community. She documented her daily experiences with MS in the 2021 documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair” and received global recognition for using her cane as a fashion statement. While her acting pursuits have been put on hold, Blair hasn’t ruled out a return to the big screen. She stated that although she hasn’t actively pursued acting roles recently, she believes it is entirely possible and expressed a willingness to take the leap when the timing is right.
Blair’s resilience, advocacy, and positive influence on Applegate’s health journey highlight the profound impact that genuine friendship and support can have in navigating challenging circumstances.