JEN, Netflix, Christina Applegate discussed on Fresh Air
In the sitcom married with children, she started with will Ferrell in the comedy film anchorman, from all of us here at channel four news. I'm Veronica Corning stone and TV critic David in Cooley, reviews, the new season of black mirror, that's coming up on fresh air. My guest, Christina Applegate, was a teenager when she became famous for her role as Kelly Bundy, the daughter in the hit sitcom married with children. She went on to star and other TV shows and to start with will Ferrell in the movie comedy anchorman, the legend of Ron burgundy now Applegate stars in the new Netflix series dead to me, which the people behind the series describe, as a trauma to accommodate drama that deals with trauma, and with guilt Applegate plays gen a grieving widow raising two children. Her husband was recently killed in a car accident. She's expressing her grief through anger, like in the opening scene when a well intention neighbor knocks on jen's door offering dish. She's prepared for Jen and her children. So you just heated up at three hundred and leave it in for thirty five minutes. Thanks, karen. You really don't have. It's my take on Mexican lasagna, gray. It's nothing we just don't you think you're. Own Jeff and I are here for you if you ever want to talk. Thanks. Just can't imagine what you're going through. Well, it's like, if Jeff got hit by a car and died suddenly and violently like that. Jen starts going to grief support group where she is befriended by Judy played by Linda Cartolini who explained she's there, because her fiance died of a heart attack. But nothing is as it seems in this series, which is filled with surprising plot. Twists and character. Revelations all of season, one is streaming on Netflix. This week the series was renewed for a second season Christina Applegate, welcome to fresh air. Thank you very much. It's really hard to talk about the storyline of the series because there are so many reveal so many kind of surprising, twists and turns that I feel like almost anything I can say is a spoiler. How do you deal with that? Oh, well, I was really hard and we are promoting the show before it had aired or dropped or whatever they say it Netflix trying to talk about what the premise of the show was because we really couldn't say anything, there were like eighteen different spoilers that we weren't allowed to talk about. So that was really difficult now that most people have seen it. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you. It's yeah, it was it's, it's been hard to, to not let anyone know because it is, like the every episode has its cliffhanger. And it's reveals and it secrets what we can say, for sure. Is that the two main characters yours and Linda Cartolini's characters are both dealing with grief. And what did you think of the idea of dealing with grief comedic -ly? Well, as Liz, always says, she's the yes, she's a creator dead to me. There is always in that darkest parts of your life. You trying to find the humor in life because you need some repose. And I think that the way it's written is not jokes. It's people just trying to like, have a minute of away from all the pain that they're feeling. And, you know, and also people, you know, I always think that people crying is pretty funny. Anyway. But I, I love the idea of, of this grief being so completely messy, an unexpected an unapologetic, especially for my character Jen who's operating in the world. Not from any kind of like thought she's really just trying to survive. She's trying to keep her head above water. And there's a lot of shame in that their shame in, like not stopping your grief. When everyone wants you to stop your grief. I mean, I've been there I've, I've, I've had times in my life that were so incredibly painful, and I in other people's eyes wasn't dealing with it the way, I should have dealt with it, and, and that's really hard because you don't know how how else to deal with it. But then, but the way that you are feeling we're you grieving for a person when you went through the or the loss of something else. I've, I've lost people and, you know, health issues and. Things like that all kind of around the same time a few years ago. So that was that was really, really dark dark time. So I really related to that when I got the script, and it's not something I had to really pull from it just lives there. It lives in, in the fibers of your being in, in your spirit in your soul. It stays there. You mentioned grieving for health reasons, for body reasons. I'm thinking you're probably referring, at least in part to your double mastectomy. Well, yes that was a really tricky time. Yeah, this was in two thousand eight yes. So like can I ask you, if you questions about that as on? All right, you've been public about it. A lot of women go through this, and I think it's helpful to hear people talk about it. There's nothing nothing shameful about it. There's nothing shameful about it. But that there, there is that feeling that's there. And I think that's, that's one of the reasons I wanted it to be in the show. Yeah, I haven't mentioned that yet it's it's in the show. And, and we, we find out about it a little deeper in, but it's one of the things that has kind of interfered with intimate relations between your character and her her late husband. So was it your DEA to put that in the show? Yeah. And I think they'd beautifully put it in there that it wasn't something that we harped on. It was something that, Jen, like very flippantly kind of mentioned that, you know, like want wants to sort of dismiss it at first, but then come episode nine when she talks about the pain of it, I think it was important for women who have gone through this to, to be heard because so often, we're told like, you know, people would constantly say to me, well, you know what? I mean, the good point is, is that you save your life and this button, God man, when you're going through it, those kinds of reactions are. Are really disturbing because no one really understands how you actually feel and I think I did a disservice to myself at the time in a way by kind of being a champion for it, and not being really honest with my own self about how I felt and I think that's why I wanted I wanted to sort of live that out and let women who have gone through it know that it's that we all feel in jen's words, disgusting sometimes, yes, a what were some of the things you felt you weren't being totally honest about 'cause you were trying to be like a, a role model. I was trying to be a role model but it was also lifting trying to lift myself up, you know, and and, and denying myself sort of those feelings, because feelings were are there. It's been many years for me. So I'm I'm much more used to, you know, my, my life my body now. You know, but it's, it's. You know, it's an it's an amputation, and, and you physically and emotionally go through so much when you lose a part of you, especially a part of you, that is defines you as a female, and then all of those other things, and it gives you know, it feeds baby. He's. There's a lot of a lot of reasons that, that some very personal surgery. Were you already a mother, when you had the double mastectomy now I was not? So you became a mother afterwards, I did. Which means you did not breastfeed, and guess what? She's completely healthy, right? Smart and brilliant and rightly attached to her. Mommy, so you must have really kind of missed the idea of having breasts when you came a mother. Yeah, that was difficult. I really I, I that was sad because I really, I would hold her and be feeding her and really had wanted to have that experience something that I will never be able to have an it was, you know, it was I went through a lot with that. But I you know, had I not had the surgery, I wouldn't have had a child, because I would not be alive, so it, it all kind of was okay. Yeah. So you had breast cancer in one breast. But then you got the genetic test your mother had had breast cancer, too. She's she survived, and you got the, the test, the genetic tests, and found that you were positive for the brecca one, gene. Which is the gene, that is believed to be connected to breast cancer. And that's what made you decide to. Yeah. And ovarian. Oh, I didn't know about the ovarian. Really? Yeah. My mom had both breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and she's Bracha my cousin passed away right after my surgery of from ovarian cancer. She was Bracha so, yeah, there's, there's definitely, you know, apparently at tie between those two things are the chances of getting ovarian cancer. When you're Brock are fifty percent and your chances of recurrence of breast cancer is somewhere between seventy five and eighty percent was this a hard decision to make or were you confident that you had to do it. I was very against the idea of it for a long time. My doctors were trying to convince me and I was very against the idea. And then it hit me. One day, just do I want to be having this hanging over my head for the rest of my life. And no, I didn't want to be living in that kind of fear for ever, you know. I mean, we still get checked up. I'm checked up all the time, but it was just it just was the right thing for me to do. Did you say goodbye to your breasts before before I love hearing people talk about the rituals? They go through right before that, because it's, it's, it's interesting that women come up with ways of like saying goodbye to that part of their body. I took pictures. I don't know where they are. That's helpful. That was a long time ago. I have no idea where they are. But there. Yeah. They were good. So I was pretty bummed. They were good set. So just one other thing, I want to say about the mistake to me is that you went public with it, but I would suspect in the back of your mind, you're wondering, not only how will will affect your life and relationships, but will it affect your work. Will it affected a roles and I love that you cloud and sitting I don't show my boobs anywhere like a concern for me at all. And I didn't want to go public. I had actually I had actually kept it a secret for many, many, many, many months. And then I had two surgeries before my mystic me to lumpectomy is months before, and it wasn't until I was in the hospital for more than a few days, that someone saw me and called the, the tabloids are whatever is like if thing to they still exist, you, they do unfortunately and had called. So they had outed me, basically that I was in the hospital and we had to make a statement. But I wasn't like my plan really wasn't to talk about it because it didn't really matter. It was my personal story. But then at the same time, you know, an MRI saved my life and because of that, I started my foundation right action for women, which we provide funding for women of high risk for their annual Emory's and also a website that can educate you to know what it means to be high risk..