Christina Applegate, who underwent a double mastectomy in 2008, says in a new interview that she suffered "a total emotional collapse" afterward.
The "Up All Night" star told More magazine in the issue published Tuesday she was unprepared for news of her operation leaking to the media even before her anesthetic had completely worn off. Her doctor, she said, required that she "start walking right away. I was walking with my little IV drip thing, in my little robe. My friend said he saw someone take a picture of me. The next day I got a call from my publicist, who said, 'It's out.' "
Applegate, 40, said she took the opportunity to speak out about breast cancer and about her own preventive procedure. "I had two lumpectomies, and I was supposed to start radiation," she said. "Then I found out I had the [BRCA1] gene [mutation that increases breast and ovarian cancer risk], and my decision was to undergo the prophylactic double mastectomy."
In the immediate aftermath, she said, "The good thing is that we got the information out, but talking about the facts of the disease, I didn't have to see what was going on with me. I think when it slowed down, all of that came crashing down." She told More she had reconstructive surgery days before her 37th birthday and that support from family, friends and her spiritual adviser helped her heal emotionally.
She also said that she misses "my exquisite breasts sometimes," referencing a line from her 2004 film "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."
In the 1970s-set movie, Applegate's Veronica Corningstone tells newsroom boss Ed Harken (Fred Willard), who does not want a female anchor, "This city needs its news. And you are going to deprive them of that because I have breasts? Exquisite breasts?" She will reprise her role in the 2013 sequel "Anchorman: The Legend Continues."