These difficulties persisted into adulthood: The pain got worse, particularly after the birth of her son, Arthur, in 2011; she had problems with her vision and experienced involuntary muscle contractions in her neck.
Until she received her diagnosis, Blair said, she couldn’t understand why her symptoms varied from setting to setting. “I can walk better in my house, but outside it’s like a sand pit,” she said. “With certain light, my speech becomes intermittent even though my larynx is fine.”
“It never occurred to me that there’s a traffic jam that happens in my brain,” she said.
In the flurry of attention that followed Blair’s disclosure of her diagnosis, she was introduced to Fleit, and they agreed to start shooting the documentary in the days just before Blair traveled to Chicago for her stem-cell transplant.
Fleit said that Blair exercised no editorial control over the film, adding that the endeavor would succeed only if the actress “was willing to show the world what really happened — that brutal intimacy and honesty that you just don’t see — and she was totally open to that.”
Fleit, who has alopecia universalis, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, said she felt a particular connection to Blair as filming proceeded.
“Being a bald lady in the world has given me unique access to a certain kind of emotional pain,” Fleit said. “It does not frighten me anymore, and I feel uniquely qualified to hold the space for another person who’s experiencing that.”