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Like most people who carve their own path, actress, author and singer Chrissy Metz realized early on that she wasn’t seeing anyone who looked like her on TV or film. So she decided to do something about it.
The self-proclaimed “army brat,” who was born in Florida, spent nine years in Japan, and then moved back to Florida with her family, says she learned how to entertain herself starting at a young age. “But I never really saw myself on a screen,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I never felt like I could relate to anyone and they surely couldn’t relate to me because I wasn’t seeing myself and my story wasn’t being told.”
So right before she turned 21 years old, Metz decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting. But, as countless would-be actors have found, her career choice was far from easy. “I felt like giving up often,” she shares. “And actually, probably two weeks before ‘This Is Us,’ the audition, even came about, I was like, ‘You know what, maybe...it’s been 12 years,’” she says, referring to how long she’d been trying to make it as an actress, revealing she was considering quitting the industry. “That’s a long time.”
Metz adds: “And I, gratefully, held on just a couple more weeks and this opportunity came about and changed my life, of course, completely.”
She understands why her visibility as an actress is so important since it can help inspire others. “I think we’re all looking for someone to relate to,” she says. “So when they see a woman who is plus-size or different or someone who found success later in life, you know, I think and I hope that it inspires them to know that it’s not always in our time, it’s in the right time.”
Metz continues: “And if you want something bad enough and you stand in line long enough, you’ll get it. I think that I’m a prime example of that.”
Metz is also keenly aware of the many women who came before her and paved the way, women whose “talent supersedes what they look like or what weight they are or where they come from or how much training they’ve had because the talent speaks for itself.” She continues: “I’m so grateful to those women.”
She also calls out the fact that it’s “socially acceptable for men to be overweight,” saying they’re often seen as “cuddly teddy bears.” But that the reaction is often different when it comes to plus-size women. “We all deserve our stories to be told,” says Metz, who has authored the book, “This Is Me” in which she shares her personal stories and inspiring life lessons.
It’s one of the reasons she was happy to play Joyce Smith in the new movie, “Breakthrough” — out April 17 — noting that her casting had “nothing to do” with her weight. “How refreshing,” she says.
Along with making her big screen debut, Metz also made her live TV singing debut with country stars Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, and Mickey Guyton at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards. She sang “I’m Standing With You” from the soundtrack to her upcoming movie Breakthrough. “The universe just sort of gifted us this awesome experience,” she shares, saying it was “very exciting” to sing “with these awesome, fierce women of country music.”
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