Christina Applegate mulls over end of her acting career and ‘excruciating pain’ while filming Dead to Me

The Married…with Children star has stepped away from acting due to her struggles with MS

Christina Applegate has been incredibly candid about her struggles with her health, especially after announcing in 2021 that she’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

In recent months, she’s indicated that due to her diagnosis, she would be stepping away from the screen, and elaborated on the same during Variety’s TV FYC Fest on Wednesday, June 7.

The actress, 51, opened up about her Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in November and asking her co-stars from her breakout (Married…with Children, those being co-stars Katey Sagal and David Faustino) and most recent roles (Dead to Me, being co-star Linda Cardellini and creator/writer Liz Feldman) to be by her side.

“There was no mistake as to who I asked to speak, kind of my beginning and my…,” she said, pausing for a moment before continuing: “…my possible end. That was really important to me. It was about where I came from and where I landed.”

While attending the SAG Awards in February, the star hinted at the fact that Dead to Me may be her last on-screen performance.

However, she couldn’t have been happier with her final bow, saying in her chat with Variety: “This is what I had always dreamed of doing.”

The show aired its final season last November, with Christina earning three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nod for her performance opposite Linda.

As she discussed the accommodations the cast and crew of the Netflix show made for her after her diagnosis, she continued: “We don’t know what my future as an actress is going to be.

“How can I handle it? How can I go onto a set and call the shots of what I need as far as my boundaries, physically? I don’t know who is going to be as loving and understanding as this group of people were.”

Christina, who is also a mother to daughter Sadie Grace, 12, with husband Martyn LeNoble, opened up about seeing herself struggle while filming and how it came across in the final product.

“I could see the excruciating pain I was in every day I was there and I didn’t want to relive it,” she confessed. “I had to take it in little tiny doses but I think it is a beautiful piece of work. I’m so grateful to Liz for seeing I had it in me.”

However, while we may not see more of her on-screen, she’s going to continue her run of incredible performances from off camera.

She spoke with excitement of her upcoming voice-over projects, particularly for one that she deemed “one of the coolest things I’ve ever done,” and her work as a producer, plus her intention to start a podcast with a friend also suffering from MS.

Of her symptoms, the star previously said she has experienced numbness and tingling in her extremities – hallmarks of the neurological condition – insomnia and said she is unable to move around without a walking stick, an aid she previously said is “now part of my new normal.”

Multiple sclerosis, often referred to as MS, is a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. It typically begins between the ages of 30 and 50, and it is more common in women. Once you have been diagnosed, it stays with you for life and remains debilitating, although rarely proves fatal.