Selma Blair Overcome with Emotion at Hamptons Premiere of Her New Documentary: 'It Means So Much'

The Cruel Intentions star is the subject of a new discovery+ documentary chronicling her life with MS in Introducing, Selma Blair

Selma Blair attends Hamptons International Film Festival.
Photo: Chloe Gifkins

Selma Blair powerfully debuted her documentary Introducing, Selma Blair at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Saturday.

The film, directed by Rachel Fleit, shows an intimate look at what Blair's life is like living with multiple sclerosis after being diagnosed with the chronic immune disease in Aug. 2018. For over a year, the Cruel Intentions star, 49, suffered through intense pain and physical struggles from MS, including having difficulty speaking and losing the ability to fully use her left leg. Much of Introducing, Selma Blair documents her stem cell transplant experience and use of chemotherapy to restart her immune system, in the hopes of improving her health.

At Saturday's premiere, the audience rose to their feet when Blair and Fleit were introduced, causing the actress to tear up.

"I didn't feel amazing a minute ago," Blair confessed during the Q&A. "I came in a little rough here right now, so thank you."

Blair explained her emotional reaction to the applause, saying, "I also have pseudobulbar affect [involuntary laughing and crying due to a nervous system disorder], so I can't stop crying. It's better than the alternative. The other thing that happens with the pseudobulbar is just nastiness, so tears are better. I wish I could assemble myself more carefully in front of a crowd. It means so much."

Since revealing her MS diagnosis, Blair has been open about her daily ups and downs living with the disease. The film shows how her 10-year-old son Arthur inspires her to keep pushing through, no matter her hardships.

Introducing Selma Blair

Another key figure in Blair's life also features prominently in the discovery+ film: her mother, Molly Cooke, who died at 82 over the course of making the film in May 2020. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Blair was unable to attend a burial service for her mother.

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"I'm so happy to be with people," Blair shared with PEOPLE at the afterparty for the film in East Hampton. "I didn't realize the Hamptons was my first time being out of the house since COVID. I didn't even go home to bury my mother. I realize how truly moving it is to just be out for the first time except to grab a coffee and to go visit my horse."

"I feel like I'm doing everything at once: grieving mom and being grateful for this time and hoping that [the documentary] is somehow funny, heartbreaking, and bringing comfort to all of us," she continued.

Addressing her tears at the premiere, Blair said, "In the past, I would have really not welcomed my own judgment of not being able to hold my emotions in, but I felt somewhat protected. People here are very kind and patient and I hope they liked it."

In August, Blair revealed she's in remission after years in a painful multiple sclerosis flare.

"My prognosis is great. I'm in remission," she said at a discovery+ TCA panel. "Stem cell put me in remission. It took about a year after stem cell for the inflammation and lesions to really go down."

Introducing, Selma Blair will open in select theaters on Oct. 15 and will be available to stream on discovery+ on Oct. 21.

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