Selma Blair says she hid MS symptoms on Hellboy set for fear of being ‘insurance risk’

Selma Blair says she hid MS symptoms on Hellboy set for fear of being ‘insurance risk’

Selma Blair has revealed she hid her multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms on the set of 2004’s Hellboy for fear of being labelled an “insurance risk”.

Blair played firestarter Liz Sherman in the 2004 original movie – written and directed by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro – alongside Ron Perlman in the titular role.

Blair received her MS diagnosis in 2018 after many years of illness.

In a new interview with British Vogue, she recalled being terrified that her maladies, which she didn’t realise were related to MS at the time, would “remove me from the workforce”.

“Sets were excruciating sometimes with the exhaustion and the tics,” Blair said. “I took benzos and Klonopin [a medication used to prevent seizures and anxiety disorders]. I didn’t abuse those things, just alcohol. But I was lost and sad and could hardly ever smile. Hence my roles, I imagine.”

She continued: “I remember [feeling] very, very poorly on Hellboy and was diagnosed with cat scratch fever and possible leukaemia in Prague.

“I couldn’t tell anybody. I couldn’t admit alcoholism or [access] treatment in my insurance for fear I’d be deemed an insurance risk. I fell apart once I got back to LA.”

Selma Blair (Getty)
Selma Blair (Getty)

The 50-year-old actor previously said that doctors initially thought her MS symptoms were “psychosomatic” and misdiagnosed her for years.

Once she was correctly diagnosed in 2018, Blair said she felt “unburdened”, but also felt “a little bit of panic, like how will I have the energy to ever even deal with this?”

She frequently speaks out about living with MS, which is a lifelong condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord and causes a wide range of symptoms. It can sometimes cause serious disability.

In August 2021, Blair revealed that she was in remission following a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.