Christina Applegate Gives Career Update Following MS Diagnosis

The Critics' Choice Awards in January marked Christina Applegate's first awards show since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021, and it might be one of her last. In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, the Dead to Me star said the upcoming 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards will be her last as an actor. Applegate earned a nomination for the third and final season of Dead to Me and has been a SAG member since 1975.

"It's my last awards show as an actor probably, so it's kind of a big deal," Applegate told the Los Angeles Times. "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." She is now considering producing, developing, and "doing a s— ton of voice-overs to make some cash to make sure that my daughter's fed and we're homed" in the future.

This is the Married... With Children star's seventh SAG nomination. She was nominated for all three seasons of Netflix's Dead to Me, and the show's cast earned an Outstanding Ensemble nomination in 2021. Applegate picked up three solo nominations for her beloved short-lived ABC series Samantha Who? (2007-2009). Applegate's competition for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series are Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel); Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary); Jenna Ortega (Wednesday); and Jean Smart (Hacks).

Applegate was diagnosed with MS while filming Dead to Me Season 3 after she began having leg pain and tremors. After a break in filming, Applegate insisted on finishing the show. She had to rely on others for the first time in her career. It was the hardest work she has ever done. It would have been impossible to get through without the support of the cast and crew, particularly from co-star Linda Cardellini.

"She literally pulled me under her wing and protected me, and took care of me every single day," Applegate said of Cardellini. "Also the tables were turned: [Applegate's character] Jen is taking care of her friend who's dying, yet Linda was taking care of me as I was saying goodbye to the person that I'd always known – so part of me was dying."

It took Applegate some time to watch Dead to Me Season 3 herself. She doesn't "like seeing myself struggle," but she eventually put her ego aside. "At some point, I was able to distance myself from my own ego, and realize what a beautiful piece of television it was," Applegate told the Times. "All the scenes I wasn't in were so much fun to see and experience for the very first time."

This was not the first time Applegate suggested she might retire from acting onscreen after Dead to Me. In a November interview with Variety, published before Applegate's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony, she said Jen Harding was "quite possibly" the last part she will play. "With my disease, I don't know how capable I am. But this was a gift. This was a gift to me. Because – Linda [Cardellini]," Applegate said. "Oh God, I'm gonna cry. It was a gift. It was a gift."

All three seasons of Dead to Me are now streaming on Netflix. The show earned five Emmy nominations during its run, including two for Applegate and one for Cardellini. The 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards are scheduled for Feb. 26 and will stream live on Netflix's YouTube channel, starting at 8 p.m. ET.