Christina Applegate revealed to Variety just how difficult it was to film the final season of “Dead To Me” while experiencing symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (MS).
“You don’t see behind the scenes that if I’m standing in the doorway at the front door, usually Mitch [Cohn, from the show’s sound department] would be laying on the floor holding my legs,” she said.
She added that she and the crew often had to do “a ballet dance” to make sure she didn’t fall on set.
Applegate was diagnosed with MS in the summer of 2021 in the middle of filming the hit Netflix show’s third and final season.
MS is a neurological disease that has varying symptoms but often affects vision, speech, and mobility, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). It can also cause cognitive issues, including trouble with attention, memory, and concentration, the site reported. The disease occurs when the myelin sheath — a protective covering surrounding the nerves — is damaged. This damage disrupts nervous system communication between the brain and body and can lead to some of the symptoms previously listed.
The “Married…With Children” star told the New York Times that there was talk at Netflix of ending filming completely, but though Applegate took five months off, she refused to allow production to shut down early.
“I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,'” she told the Times.
In Variety, Applegate said that sometimes the blocking of scenes had to be changed because she couldn’t walk the distance a scene required, so her character Jen would sit instead.
The actor, 50, has been working in Hollywood since she was in kindergarten, but admitted to the site, “With my disease, I don’t know how capable I am.” She said Jen might be the last character she plays.
She added that it was “a gift to me” to be able to finish filming “Dead To Me” alongside her costar Linda Cardellini and execute the vision of creator Liz Feldman.
The final season of the dramedy about two women who meet in a grief group involves illness. Applegate said that Feldman was strategic about filming a specific scene in someone’s bedroom on the last day of shooting because she knew it would “make all of us hurt.”
The “Bad Moms” star called her MS diagnosis a “shit situation” and added that on set, “I used humor to kind of keep my wall up.”
She said she hasn’t watched the final season of “Dead To Me” and thinks it will be “too hard for me.”
The final season of “Dead To Me” will be available on Netflix on November 17.