Chrissy Metz almost didn’t make it to This Is Us. The actress, who plays Kate Pearson on the NBC hit drama, told Glamour magazine that she almost gave up on acting and moved back to her Florida hometown after a lengthy dry spell had her rethinking her career.
Chrissy Metz seemingly got her big break in 2014 when she was hired to play circus sideshow act Ima Wiggles on FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show.
“I’d wanted the role of Ima [Barbara] Wiggles desperately, and after I got it, I thought, ‘OK, awesome, this is a jumping board for my career!'” Chrissy told Glamour. “But when it wrapped, there was…nothing.”
Metz credits her mom with encouraging her to keep at it after her short stint on Ryan Murphy’s anthology series ended.
“I almost moved back to Florida,” Chrissy admitted. “But my mom said, ‘You can either be miserable here and not pursue your dreams, or you can be miserable in L.A. and at least pursue what you want.’ So I stayed.”
Metz continued to audition but admits she was broke, “with no savings and no money, [and] credit card debt gaining interest.”
Chrissy revealed that she lived on ramen noodles purchased at dollar stores and that by the time she landed the life-changing role on This Is Us, she was at rock bottom financially.
“When I booked This Is Us, I had 81 cents in my bank account,” Metz said. “I could cry right now just thinking about it.”
Chrissy Metz came from humble beginnings. The 36-year-old This Is Us star said after her parents divorced when she was 8-years-old, money was tight, food was scarce, and there were times she worried that the electricity in her family’s house would be shut off. Once the acting bug bit, Chrissy had more struggles.
“After high school I really wanted to act, but I didn’t even know how to begin,” Metz admitted.
“I didn’t know anybody with connections, I didn’t come from money, I didn’t go to Juilliard. But I never was afraid of the odds, even though they were seriously stacked against me.”
Metz and a group of friends eventually made their way to Los Angeles, and they shacked up three in a room in a two-bedroom apartment. Chrissy had to rely on her stepfather to pay for her car insurance while she worked odd jobs to make ends meet. When an audition for Dan Fogelman’s This Is Us came up, Metz knew it was special.
“Getting the role of Kate has changed everything,” Metz said. “It’s crazy to go from not having enough money to buy food to getting free dinners…Meeting my car payment on time? That’s new. I paid my friends and my stepdad back. And three months ago I finally paid my credit cards off!”
Metz also said she is grateful for fans who tell her that the role of Kate has changed their lives.
“That makes all the struggle, all the ramen noodles, all the times when I couldn’t pay my bills, all the times where I was like, ‘I can’t do this,’ worth it,” Chrissy said.
Of course, Chrissy Metz has even more to be grateful for now. Not only is This Is Us a bona fide fide hit, but the freshman NBC drama series has already been renewed for two more seasons. In an interview with Elle, Chrissy said her life has changed forever thanks to This Is Us.
“I cannot go anywhere without somebody complimenting the show or the cast or telling us how we changed their lives,” Chrissy said.
“And it’s so wonderful, because as an actor you always hope to book a show and have it be popular and relatable, but for strangers to literally cry and want to hug and kiss you, it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ I don’t think my life is ever going to be the same again. It’s been really fun and I got to develop this amazing character that Dan created and the network took a risk on, and I’m just really grateful.”
Take a look at the video below to see Chrissy Metz talking about the tough road that led her to This Is Us.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]