Christina Applegate Reveals What Made Her Want to Quit Acting

Phillip Faraone
Phillip Faraone

Christina Applegate is accepting her new normal after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she’s not willing to bring it to the screen—and that’s if she even continues acting.

In the first episode of Applegate and actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s podcast MeSsy, where the two actresses discuss living with MS, Applegate shared why more acting might not be on her horizon.

“I don’t know how to deal with this and I’m supposed to be at work in six o’clock in the morning,” she said, recalling the evening she learned of her MS diagnosis and was filming the Netflix series Dead To Me.

“We were all learning together what I could do and there were days they were like ‘Do you think you can do three more takes of walking across the room?’ and because of you, I was able to say ‘Uh, no,’” she said, acknowledging her co-host’s support as a fellow actress living with MS. “It’s not because ‘I don’t care about what we’re doing,’” Applegate continued, “‘But I can’t and I’ve been pushing through this for awhile now.’”

“I keep saying that I’m gonna stop [acting],” she continued, because she fears that future acting gigs may not be “inclusive to what my needs are.”

Sigler pushed back a bit on Applegate’s comments about not wanting to act anymore, saying that she was still going through the “grieving process” of her diagnosis. “I think you’re just dealing with it now, and I will let you say that you are done acting for now,” the Sopranos actress said.

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Applegate expanded on her thoughts, admitting that she does love acting and it’d be hard to stop: “The only thing I ever had my entire life was work,” she said, “I grew up on sets, it’s all I know,” she continued, but no—she wouldn’t play a character who shared her diagnosis.

“I could not do that, it would be too sappy,” she said, explaining what her life has been like since her diagnosis. “I physically just don’t feel good and I physically just don’t look like myself,” she added. “I don’t know how to get out of this rut of self loathing and just giving up.”

That being said, she hasn’t totally given up hope on continuing the career she loves. “I've taken this last, you know, since we stopped working to implode, explode, be sad, watch a lot of crap TV, do whatever I need,” Applegate said. “I know that at some point I’m going to be like, OK, when does someone need me somewhere?” she said, adding “I do miss that.”

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