Christina Applegate felt she “had an obligation” to see through her role as Jen Harding on the acclaimed Netflix series “Dead to Me” ― and she wasn’t going to let her recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis get in the way.
“The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together,’” Applegate told The New York Times in an interview published Tuesday. “I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms.’”
Production on the show shut down as Applegate began treatment for her diagnosis, and she said that for some people, “there was the sense of, ‘Well, let’s get her some medicine so she can get better.’”
“And there is no better. But it was good for me,” she added. “I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me. So I needed that time.”
The actor told the Times that finishing the series was hardest thing she’s ever done, especially as the disease meant that she had to get used to a growing number of physical limitations.
“This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” Applegate said of her presence in the show’s third and final season, which arrives Nov. 17. “I put on 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”
Applegate publicly revealed her MS diagnosis last August, telling fans on Twitter that “it’s been a strange journey.”
“But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” she wrote. “It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, and its symptoms can include weakness in the legs and body, fatigue, slurred speech, loss of vision and dizziness.