“Nothing was off-limits” when capturing Selma Blair’s battle with multiple sclerosis in an upcoming documentary, says director Rachel Fleit.
Fleet says the “Cruel Intentions” star, 49, was at a place of “true vulnerability” for “Introducing, Selma Blair,” premiering Oct. 15 in select theaters and streaming Oct. 21 on Discovery+.
“She was ready at this moment in her life to just tell the truth of this experience,” Fleit told reporters Monday, alongside Blair, during a virtual panel for the streaming platform. “I think honesty is extremely inspiring, and I’m just so happy with the way it all turned out.”
Blair, known for her comedic roles in films like “Legally Blonde” and “The Sweetest Thing,” went public with her MS diagnosis in October 2018 and has documented her fight on social media. With MS, “the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
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“A lot of people don’t feel safe ever really getting off their shoulders, what they’re going through and it, and it creates a real rigidity and fear in a lot of people,” she says during Monday’s virtual panel. “To hear that even just me showing up with a cane, or willing to talk about something that might be embarrassing, or oversharing to people, was a key for a lot of people in finding comfort in themselves that I’ve heard of, and that means everything to me. So, I’m thrilled that I have some platform.
Fleit says Blair experienced “a few medical emergencies” during filming, but didn’t shy away from the cameras. “If she told me to cut the cameras, I would have. But she didn’t, and so we kept going. And what we get is magic because it’s real life.”
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Blair uses humor to deal with her health ordeal. “I always like humor because like Carrie Fisher said, ‘If it wasn’t funny, then it would just be true,’ ” she explains. And she shares that she never had a “Why me?” moment following her diagnosis.
“I used to have terrible menstrual cramps, and I honestly did scream, ‘Why me?’ every month. I am not joking,” she says. But with MS, “I never did feel ‘Why me?’ and I always felt like I could rise to this. … But never ‘Why me?’ It’s absolutely a lesson.”