Chrissy Metz on how ‘This is Us’ took her from being ‘basically broke’ and ‘desperate’ to telling ‘groundbreaking’ stories [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I’m already getting teary thinking about it,” admits Chrissy Metz as she ponders how “This is Us” has changed her life. “I was basically broke. I just wanted to act and I wanted to tell stories. I was desperate. I had a handful of auditions in 12 years that I lived in L.A. When my friend even asked about auditioning for this show I was like, ‘If you can get me the audition, of course I’ll go.’ Having a woman that looks like me on a network television show was groundbreaking. Now we see women of varying sizes, and men, who are just getting to tell their story and it has nothing to do with their weight.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“This is Us” is ending its run after six seasons on NBC. The family drama created by Dan Fogelman has earned 38 Emmy nominations with four wins to date, including a Best Supporting Actress bid for Metz in 2017. The series follows the lives and families of two parents, and their three children, in several different time frames. Metz plays Kate Pearson, the sister of Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and the daughter of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore).

SEE Chris Sullivan on final season of ‘This is Us’ and transforming ‘clownish’ Toby into ‘somebody with real responsibility’ 

Heading into this final season, Metz was prepared to show the dissolution of Kate and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) marriage. “I trust the writers and I knew that this was an important part of a relationship to tell,” she explains. “If you go back to the pilot, she told him, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for a relationship.’ He was so charming and funny and she was like, ‘okay.’ So what you discover through this entire six year journey is that Kate is a woman who always puts everybody else first. To find a man who is as wonderful as Toby, even though it wasn’t perfect, it was cool to see how the relationship was going to go. We don’t always get to see how a relationship unravels. They love each other, but they know that they’re growing apart. It doesn’t come without the truth bombs! It was really emotionally challenging.”

The actress also stepped behind the camera this season to co-write the episode “The Hill,” which was directed by Moore. “I’ve been writing music and poetry for a while, I’ve always wanted to tell stories, but it’s not easy,” she explains. “You really have to set your ego aside. It’s a collective consciousness that sits in a writers’ room. You have to understand that so many things that you want to bring to the table will fall away.You can’t be precious about it because it’s really about the greater good for the show, or the character or the story. David Windsor and Casey Johnson, who I got to write with, were so open and encouraging and supportive. They were like, ‘Chrissy, you’re good,’ and I’m like, ‘Stop!'”

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