- Warning: Spoilers ahead for Netflix’s “Dead to Me.”
- Christina Applegate stars on the new series as Jen, a woman who just lost her husband in a car accident.
- On the show, her character Jen reveals she had a double mastectomy.
- Applegate underwent the preventative surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer 2008.
- The actress told The Hollywood Reporter she asked about including the surgery as a part of her character. “We never really see women in television or in film really being [shown] having had this surgery,” said Applegate.
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Christina Applegate has a new show on Netflix and it doesn’t shy away from a very personal aspect of her life.
On the fourth episode of “Dead to Me,” Applegate’s character, Jen, reveals she had a double mastectomy. Jen had the preventative surgery after learning she carried a gene that made her more likely to contract breast cancer.
Jen made the decision to have the surgery after losing her mother.
Applegate, herself, was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer in 2008. She decided to undergo a double mastectomy after learning she had the BRCA1 gene, which can make it more likely to contract breast cancer. Applegate’s mother, Nancy Priddy, battled and survived the same cancer, but had a recurrence years later.
In 2017, the actress had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as well as another preventative measure.
If you’ve been on Netflix in the past week, you’ve probably seen “Dead to Me” on the front page of the streaming site. The show stars Applegate as a recent widower whose husband was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle. The 10-episode first season also stars James Marsden and Linda Cardellini (“Avengers: Endgame”).
Applegate told The Hollywood Reporter it was her idea to write the double mastectomy into the show.
“Her having a mastectomy was something I brought to [showrunner] Liz [Feldman] in the middle of filming. I was trying to figure out this core pain that she has, and I thought we never really see women in television or in film really being [shown] having had this surgery,” said Applegate of wanting to be honest about the emotional and physical toll the surgery has on a person.
According to breastcancer.org, one in eight women will be affected by breast cancer over the course of their life.
“I think after I had cancer and I talked about it out there in the world, I was trying to be a champion for myself, you know, almost like, lying to myself about the great thing about it. I was trying to be positive, and that was how I was dealing with it and surviving,” said Applegate. “It’s an incredibly painful thing to go through. It’s an amputation of a part of you. It’s part of being a woman, and I wanted to be honest. So I brought it to Liz and she was like, ‘OK, let me see how we can weave this in.’ I think she did it beautifully.”
You can currently watch “Dead to Me” on Netflix.
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