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Christina Applegate says SAG Awards likely her ‘last awards show’ due to ongoing battle with MS

Christina Applegate arrives at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on Jan. 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Christina Applegate is planning to take her final bow at this month’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

The “Dead to Me” star was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the summer of 2021, while filming the third and final season of the Netflix series.

She’s nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for that role in the category of outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series. Due to her health, Applegate acknowledges this may be her last acting nod.

It’s my last awards show as an actor probably, so it’s kind of a big deal,” Applegate told The Los Angeles Times in an interview on Tuesday. “Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5 a.m. and spending 12 to 14 hours on a set; I don’t have that in me at this moment.”

It’s been a long, arduous road for Applegate since her diagnosis. After a five-month pause in filming to begin treatment, she resumed production, despite her physical limitations.

She told The New York Times that she struggled through everyday tasks such as walking down the steps of her trailer. A wheelchair would bring her to set. Many days Mitch B. Cohn, a sound technician with the production crew, would be on the floor, helping to support her legs as Applegate struggled to stand for extended periods of time. She said finishing the season was “the hardest thing she’s ever done.”

MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that affects around 1 million people in the United States and is often outwardly invisible. There’s currently no cure for MS, but medications and treatment can help to control the condition and ease some symptoms. For Applegate, who was new to the diagnosis, it took a great mental toll to continue filming.

“I was a wreck every day,” she shared with the Los Angeles Times, “but most of that wreck would take place in my trailer by myself. But there were times I’d break down on set and be like, ‘I can’t, we have to take a break, I need a half-hour,’ and everyone was so loving that it was OK.”

Applegate also spoke about how difficult it was to watch the show after it was released.

“I don’t like seeing myself struggling,” she explained. “Also, I gained 40 pounds because of inactivity and medications, and I didn’t look like myself, and I didn’t feel like myself.” At some point I was able to distance myself from my own ego, and realize 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.”

Looking to the future, Applegate says her focus is now on her family, but she also plans on “doing a s ton” of voiceover roles and developing and producing her own original content.

The 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live on Netflix’s Youtube channel, Sunday, Feb. 26.


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