Selma Blair Was "Told to Make Plans for Dying" While Battling Multiple Sclerosis

Introducing, Selma Blair gives a look into the actress' life and her battle with multiple sclerosis. The documentary will be available to stream on Discovery+ starting Oct. 21.

By Elyse Dupre Aug 12, 2021 7:05 PMTags
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Over the course of her career, Selma Blair has acted in fan favorites like Legally Blonde and Cruel Intentions. But now, as she put it to Vanity Fair, she's appearing in her "first real starring 'role'" for a new film—a documentary about her life and her battle with multiple sclerosis.

"I had the conviction of thinking I had something to share," she explained to the magazine. "You keep opening windows or closing doors and finding tools. I hope my little life gives someone who needs it some hope or a laugh or more awareness of ourselves. I hope the film shows that MS varies. That people's strengths and weaknesses vary. All the emotions of life make healing variable too. For all of us." 

Introducing, Selma Blair follows the 49-year-old actress' "journey of personal acceptance and resilience," streamer Discovery+ writes, "as she reckons with the next chapter of her life" following her 2018 diagnosis.

"The film explores complex issues ranging from dissecting deep-rooted myths about beauty, and the collective fear around disability and mortality," the description states. "Complete with her trademark wit and humor, the film follows Blair as she reconciles a journey of monumental transition."

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Blair underwent a stem cell transplant in Chicago in 2019. "The options ran out," she said in a sneak peek at the documentary. "A stem cell transplant is the thing that's going to help me if anything will."

As Vanity Fair noted, the process required her to stop taking her multiple sclerosis medication, undergo chemotherapy and isolate in the hospital for weeks after the transplant. Through video diaries and filming by director Rachel Fleit, her entire experience was captured.

"I was told to make plans for dying," Blair said in the trailer. "Not because I have MS, because I'm fighting MS."

The film premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling in the Documentary Feature Competition.

"She has felt like a supporting actress," Fleit told Vanity Fair about Blair. "But she becomes a leading lady. She finds a whole new purpose in her life; she fully embraces herself. Now she inspires millions. She has an enormous platform on social media…. We see it [in the film] so clearly—she's just such a star."

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Introducing, Selma Blair will open in select theaters on Oct. 15 and be available to stream on Discovery+ starting Oct. 21.

"I may be the subject of this film," Blair wrote in a March Instagram post, "but my hope is that everyone sees themselves in it and finds some strength and joy they may not have known they had."

 

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