Selma Blair has reflected on the moving moment her 10-year-old son shaved her head ahead of a major stem cell transplant procedure.
The moment is captured in the recently-released documentary Introducing, Selma Blair, which follows the actress’ years-long battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Blair shared her reasons for letting her son, Arthur, shave her head before she underwent chemotherapy for a stem cell transplant.
“It was to have him be a part of it, help him be in control of maybe like a first image of ‘Mum looking different’,” she explained.
“That was pretty easy and a nice moment, and it makes me feel better knowing Arthur … is included.”
A clip available at the top of this article captures Arthur and Blair in the emotional moment. The Cruel Intentions star sits quietly on the floor in their living room as her son gently snips at strands of her hair.
“I said to Arthur before I came to Chicago, ‘Does anything make you feel nervous about me doing this?’,” Blair recalls in the clip.
“And he said, ‘I don’t want you to lose your hair’. And I said ‘Well then, I’ll just have you cut it, so it’s not so surprising to you’.”
The actress revealed she had been diagnosed with MS in 2018, and since allowed director Rachel Fleit to document her journey with the illness.
MS sees the immune system eat away at the protective covering of nerves in the body., resulting in nerve damage that disrupts communication between the brain and the body.
In severe cases of MS, people can experience paralysis, vision loss, and mobility problems, but many are able to overcome some of the disease’s harshest challenges.
In Blair’s case, she struggles with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that affects the larynx and results in delayed and struggled speech.
In the documentary, cameras follow Blair as she undergoes stem-cell treatment, which can hold promising results for some MS sufferers but can occasionally have fatal consequences.
In the lead-up to the process, Blair had to undergo chemotherapy, which would see all her hair fall out.
In her interview with Entertainment Tonight, Blair said many of her worries during the process were for her son.
“Having the responsibility for any creature, you know, is, it’s huge,” she said. “And so that will always fuel everything. Arthur will always be my North Star now.”
Director Rachel Fleit also spoke in the interview on some of the more emotional moments she had only just begun to process.
“It wasn’t until we were in post [production] and really editing the piece that it got to my emotional core,” Fleit said. “When I was there, we were just doing it, we had a task for the day.”
“Watching the footage of her during the 19 days of isolation, the images of her and the pain that she experienced during that time — that really hit me.”
Selma added that her struggles with MS have given her a new perspective on life, and a new message to send to her fans and followers.
“[I’ve learnt] how to be more of a cheerleader instead of a just an empathiser with people that were already down.”
“Now I have some [new] voices and, a kind of cheerleading to do for myself and others because I do think we are meant to have joy…[it’s] the only way people will move forward and get through fear and things that divide us.”
Introducing, Selma Blair is currently available in select cinemas, and streaming on Discovery+.
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