When most people think of Selma Blair, her iconic roles in Legally Blonde and Cruel Intentions probably come to mind. Or maybe it’s her quick wit and sense of humor. However, in 2018, the actress announced she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and that is who audiences will meet in her new documentary – Introducing, Selma Blair.
The documentary directed by Rachel Fleit premiered on opening day of SXSW Online 2021. While the doc opens with Blair showing off her signature sense of style putting on makeup from “little known artist” Kim Kardashian’s line, it takes a turn minutes later as you see how scary the effects of MS can be. When Blair’s adorable comfort dog leaves her lap, you see how quickly her speech begins to slur and muscle tics and other symptoms overtake her. It really sets the tone of the documentary which is very funny at times but equally heartbreaking as well.
The first half of the documentary gives a look into the discovery of her diagnosis and how her everyday life has changed. Simple things like taking out the trash or playing with her son leave her exhausted. We also get a peek into her mindset and her relationship with her mom that really shaped her attitude early on, which was often times very dark.
This all leads up to Blair heading to Chicago in 2019 to receive a stem cell transplant where she wrestles with if the treatment will work. Self filmed videos from her hospital bed are intertwined with doctors explaining the procedure as well as more information about MS.
The way Fleit is able to capture all sides of Blair’s journey and mix it with a bit of dark humor but also information for those of us not familiar with MS is a triumph. But also, a lot of it rests on Blair who is able to completely let down her guard in a situation most people would likely want to keep private and draws you in with her personality. Honestly, I’d watch a docuseries about the continuation of Blair’s journey.
One of my favorite things is seeing the journey in Blair’s attitude towards her mother, her outlook on life and wanting to now make a contribution and help people before she dies. We have a feeling this documentary is just the beginning of her contribution.
Introducing, Selma Blair will premiere later this year on Discovery+.