Chrissy Metz is a name you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
On NBC’s heartwarming family drama, This Is Us, premiering Tuesday, Metz endearingly plays Kate, a woman struggling with her weight, eating habits and body image. In just one episode, she tugs at your heartstrings and steals every scene; it’s hard not to fall in love with the actress.
ET named Metz one of fall TV’s breakout stars, and we were with the actress recently when we surprised her with the special award. “Oh my god, guys, thank you. That makes me feel super special!” Metz said after receiving the honor on the set of a This Is Us photo shoot. “This is, like, the best!”
There may be more celebrations in Metz’s future.
As part of a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley and newly minted Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, she knows just how extraordinary her situation is. “They’re very personal stories,” Metz told ET. “It’s not glossy. It’s real life and it’s relatable and it’s just super special.”
The emotional trailer immediately resonated with audiences, drawing more than 8.6 million views on YouTube alone since May. Metz had a thoughtful take on why This Is Us has been gaining buzz.
“I think everyone has shame about something, whether it’s a lack of a relationship with a child or maybe their weight or a lack of communication within their marriage,” she said. “Everyone can relate to that because we all have something that we’re like, ‘God, I can work on that or I wish I was better at doing this.’”
Metz, who previously starred on FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show, hopes her character , Kate, strikes a chord with everyday women who don’t look like runway models.
“Aside from the fact that I could relate to being a plus-size girl in the business, you don’t see women like this on television,” she said. “And I think it’s so important for women to see themselves in television and not these beautiful size zeroes.”
Romance is also on the horizon for Metz’s alter ego, who, in the premiere episode, has a chance meeting with Toby (played by Chris Sullivan) at a weight-loss support group.
“We are instantly smitten,” Metz said of the potential romance. “But of course, you’re a little afraid, you’re a little timid because you don’t know why this person is talking to you, and when he confesses that he wants to lose weight, to date Kate, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that’s what every woman and every person wants to hear.’ That you’re willing to sacrifice something that you really want for someone you might not even know yet.”
As for what makes Metz feel sexy? It’s all about Beyonce.
“When I’m listening to music, something I’m really vibing, like Beyonce,” she said. “She makes everybody feel sexy!”
This Is Us premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.