Christina Applegate Calls Filming ‘Dead To Me’ With MS “Like Torture”


Across 11 seasons, audiences saw Christina Applegate as the flirty Kelly Bundy in Married… with Children. The series ended in ’97 but Applegate has been very busy in the years since, amassing Primetime Awards and Tony nominations. Her latest project is the Netflix series Dead to Me, which has received several nominations of its own, but was very difficult experience for Applegate as she filmed it while battling MS.

Applegate revealed she has multiple sclerosis, or MS, last summer, and has had to undergo treatment and use a cane. Her work experience on Dead to Me became difficult as a result but the actress insisted on continuing the show’s second season. Here is what she experienced and why she likened it to torture.


Christina Applegate says filming ‘Dead to Me’ was torture

DEAD TO ME, Christina Applegagte, Its Not You, Its Me, (Season 2, ep. 209, aired May 8, 2020). photo: ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Speaking to Variety, Applegate explained that she had been diagnosed with MS right in the middle of filming Dead to Me. Season one kicked off in 2019 and it was renewed for season two and a final season three, but production was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic; so, they could not work on it in earnest until the middle of 2021. That was right when Applegate’s condition worsened.


RELATED: Christina Applegate Talks About Her First Signs Of MS

“I didn’t know what was happening to me,” she revealed. “That January, my toes got numb, and I ignored it. The balls of my foot got numb, and I ignored it. All of a sudden, I’d be, like, falling over. People were like, ‘Oh, it’s just neuropathy.’ At this point, they had to take me with a wheelchair to set because I couldn’t walk if the set was far. I was sleeping all the time, and I gained 40 pounds — a lot of things happened.” She said working under those conditions was “like torture.”

Applegate fought hard to continue the show

Applegate and Linda Cardellini / Saeed Adyani / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Applegate fought a tough battle not just with her own body but against Netflix’s readiness to stop Dead to Me production altogether with her diagnosis. “But I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no: We have to finish this story,” said Applegate. “It’s too important to our hearts; too important to our souls. And we have to give this gift, not only to ourselves — there are people that love these characters, and we’ve got to let them have their closure too. So, if that meant me having to take break in the middle of the day so I could go sleep — or me just leaving because I couldn’t do anymore — then that’s what we had to do.”

Applegate has been busy working since Married… with Children / Eddie Chen / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Dead to Me is a black comedy that stars Applegate as Jen Harding opposite Linda Cardellini as Judy Hale; they are two widows who form a friendship after meeting at a grief support group. Dead to Me received four Primetime Emmy nominations at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards back in 2020; even this ceremony was impacted by the pandemic and had to be celebrated virtually.

Check out some secrets from Applegate’s Married… with Children days in the video below.

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