Hollywood actor Selma Blair talks honestly and with refreshing humour about how her life has changed, her groundbreaking documentary – and the comfort of famous friends

Selma Blair is telling me a joke about three tampons walking down the road: heavy flow, medium flow, and light flow, only I’ve been warned by her representatives that she can only do these video chats in half-hour bursts, and we’re heading for minute 40 if I don’t make her stop. “No, let me finish this joke!” she insists, heading into a wildly funny and absolutely unprintable punchline.

It is morning in Los Angeles and Blair needs to conserve energy for the doctor: five hours of plasma treatment at home will follow this interview – part of her regular procedures since having stem-cell treatment for the multiple sclerosis that was diagnosed in 2018. I first interviewed her shortly before then, when she was working on the Netflix sci-fi series Another Life, with no idea what lay ahead of her (or the world.) We had lunch at the glamorous Chateau Marmont and cackled about being single mothers with the same bleak sense of humour. Soon after, she went into isolation, and then the world followed – something she found almost comforting, as if we all got diagnosed together.

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