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Portrait Selma Blair: "I should make plans for my death"
Portrait Selma Blair: "I should make plans for my death"

In 2018 the actress was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. A moving documentary now shows the fight against the disease. The story of a woman who faces her fate with courage and dignity.

Selma Blair, red carpet, red carpet, multiple sclerosis, MS
Selma Blair, red carpet, red carpet, multiple sclerosis, MS

It was her role as Cecile Caldwell in the hit movie "Eiskalte Engel" that made actress Selma Blair, 49, her breakthrough in 1999. Who doesn't remember the legendary kissing scene with colleague Sarah Michelle Gellar? For this they both received the award for the best film cuddling a year later. Many other engagements followed, including in "Naturally Blond", "Super Sweet and Super Sexy", "Hellboy" and a guest appearance in the ninth season of the cult series "Friends". Mostly she played the young, naive, innocent girl. A Hollywood career that can be booked under "okay" - not unexciting, but not super spectacular either. As a friend of Blair put it, "She's famous enough to get the wrong kind of attention at the wrong time." For example, when the actress made headlines in 2016 with a breakaway on a plane.

“I have multiple sclerosis. I am disabled. Sometimes I fall, drop things and have amnesia."

It's a tale from an interview for the documentary "Introducing Selma Blair", which can be seen in selected cinemas from October 15, 2022 and from October 21 on the streaming provider Discovery +. A film that gets under your skin. A camera accompanies the American in her fight against the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS). She was diagnosed on August 16, 2018. On October 20, 2018, the actress made this public in a moving post on Instagram. At that time she wrote: "(…) I have multiple sclerosis (…) I am disabled. Sometimes I fall, drop things and have memory lapses. (…) But we can do it. I laugh and don't know exactly what I'm going to do, but I'll do my best (…) ".

About personal lows and why Selma Blair keeps fighting

Since then, Blair has shown impressions from her everyday life: from her hospital stays, with a walking stick, at public appearances ("These evenings make me feel alive.") And privately with her son Arthur Saint, 10 ("There is nothing that I am not for." would do him. I may not be the best mother, but I'll be there for as long as I can! "). Sometimes she seems self-confident and invulnerable, then again fragile and powerless. And to each of these moments - laughing, crying, pensive - she shows incredible strength, dignity and pride with the way she faces her fate.

She honestly talks about personal low points after treatments and how difficult it is for her not even to be able to lead her old life. From riding and turning the wheels with her son - things that she has not been able to do since the outbreak of the disease. She writes on social media: "When my son wasn't with me, I often drank when I was in pain because otherwise I couldn't take it anymore." Above all, it is he who gives her the strength to carry on in hopeless moments.

With the documentary Blair wants to give others "hope or a laugh or more awareness" - and create even more awareness for the disease."We're shooting the last days of my life," she says into the camera. And: "I was told to make plans for my death." The 49-year-old is now doing better again. Her illness is so well under control that she can even ride again: "It's a big deal for me. I am very proud that I can get back on a horse and train my body and my self-confidence. " She feels good again: "I like my body and my life because I build a deeper and deeper, positive connection to both of them."

Sexual harassment: your contribution to the #metoo debate

Selma Blair is a woman who always shows courage in the most important moments in life. This was also the case in 2017 when she publicly stood up against filmmaker James Toback, 76, as part of the #metoo debate. At the beginning of her career, in the late 90s, he is said to have sexually molested her. In an interview with "The Guardian" she tells what happened back then: "He met me in the hotel room for a 'casting'. When he wanted to have sex with me, I refused and he said, 'You can't go until you gave me relief. ' Then he pushed me on the bed and said, 'I'm just rubbing my legs and coming in my pants. You just have to touch my nipples and look at me.' I felt dirty and ashamed. His whole aura was so scary. " Then he threatened her: "If I ever got the idea to tell about this, he would have me kidnapped and I would be thrown into the Hudson River with blocks of cement on my legs."

Over 300 women reported similar experiences with the scriptwriter and director. He vehemently denied the allegations. The lawsuit against Toback was finally dropped in 2018 because the alleged acts were either statute-barred or insufficiently verifiable for an indictment.

She is a role model for many

As a public figure, Blair is aware of its impact. She has long been more than an actress. She is an activist and takes on social issues - loud, unpretentious and unmistakable. "I am humble and I am happy to be an inspiration to people," she says in an interview with journalist Keah Brown, who was sick with polio. She describes Blair as "particularly human": "Thanks to their commitment and courage, many people with disabilities like me have the feeling that they are finally being seen and understood."

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