Christina Applegate hints at retirement following multiple sclerosis diagnosis

February 9, 2023 11:05 am

Sadie Grace LeNoble and her mum Christina Applegate.

Dead To Me star Christina Applegate continues to hint that she may be retiring from acting, giving a sad quote ahead of the Screen Actors Guild awards about why her role as Jen Harding in the hit show may be her last.

In a recent interview, Applegate opened up about how difficult it was to film the final season of the Netflix series after a troubling health diagnosis a little over a year ago, and her reluctance to return to another set.

“Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5am and spending 12 to 14 hours on a set,” Applegate told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t have that in me at this moment.”

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Applegate is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in Dead To Me, and while speaking about the show, she revealed: “It’s my last awards show as an actor probably, so it’s kind of a big deal.”

Applegate announced in August 2021 that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), as she took some time off work to receive treatment and to “grieve”.

“Shooting the show was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life because I was diagnosed during shooting, and I didn’t know it was happening to me,” Applegate told The Kelly Clarkson Show in December 2022.

“I couldn’t walk. They had to use a wheelchair to get me to set. I was freaking out until someone was like, ‘You need an MRI.’”

Applegate recalled calling her colleagues to let them know about the diagnosis and commended them for the way her illness was handled.

“If I called them in the morning and was like, ‘Guys, I can’t get down the stairs,’ they were like, ‘OK! We won’t do today. We’ll do other stuff.’ Netflix even let us take a break for a couple of months so that I could mourn and find treatment,” Applegate told Variety in November 2022.

While her role on the show earned her Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild award nominations this year, Applegate revealed to the Los Angeles Times she wasn’t able to enjoy watching the final season.

“I don’t like seeing myself struggling. I gained 40 pounds because of inactivity and medications, and I didn’t look like myself, and I didn’t feel like myself,” she said.

“At some point, I was able to distance myself from my own ego and realise what a beautiful piece of television it was. All the scenes I wasn’t in were so much fun to see and experience for the very first time.”

Earlier this year, Applegate spectacularly slammed down a troll who accused her of getting “bad” plastic surgery, after her appearance changed with treatment.

“MS didn’t make you look that way,” the hater wrote.

“A plastic surgeon did,” the message continued. “And you are a scammer and not [Christina] Applegate.”

Applegate, who shared a screenshot of the message to Twitter, replied that it “wasn’t nice”.

“What is wrong with people. By the way, I laughed,” she wrote.

The interaction came after Applegate opened up to the Kelly Clarkson Show, saying she used humour to “deflect” from her “incredibly hard” MS battle.

“When people see me now as a disabled person, I want them to feel comfortable. That we can laugh about it,” Applegate explained in the December 2022 interview.

She noted that she has been doing “her best” to “get through it”.

Although she doesn’t see herself working on-screen anymore, the Married With Children star said she wasn’t ready to leave the business entirely — noting to the Los Angeles Times she may want to step into producing or “(do) a s**t-ton of voice-overs to make some cash to make sure that (her) daughter’s fed, and (they’re) homed”.

Her daughter, Sadie — who has supported her mum through awards shows and events since the diagnosis — was by her side.

During Applegate’s acceptance speech at the Walk of Fame ceremony — where she was seen sporting a manicure that read “F U MS” — the actor called her daughter “the most important” person, adding “thank you for standing beside me for all of this”.