On the hit show This Is Us, Chrissy Metz‘s character is on a weight loss journey that mirrors the actress’ own life. So she’s thrilled to try something new with her latest movie role, where her size isn’t the subject.
Metz will star in the upcoming film The Impossible, based on the true story of a mom who sticks by her 14-year-old son’s side as he miraculously recovers from falling through a frozen lake. Metz was shocked to get the role — without even auditioning — and is excited that her weight is a non-issue.
“This is not a movie about weight; this is not about being a plus-size woman,” the actress, 37, told Glamour. “It’s about this beautiful, miraculous story, and that’s exciting. It’s sort of unchartered territory for me, so I’m really grateful but also nervous. A lot nervous! I’m really thrilled and honored to have this opportunity.”
The story also resonates with Metz because just a few months earlier, she was in a similar situation as she sat at her mother’s bedside.
“[The story] was something that was really dear to my life and my heart, because my mom had a pretty severe stroke five months ago,” Metz said. “She’s doing really well now and living with my sister in Florida, but the hard part is, she has aphasia, which is where you don’t really have a vocabulary. Basically she speaks blah, blah, blahs, which we can understand because she’s our mom, but it’s kind of like playing charades. Her vocabulary could come back at any moment, so we’re really hopeful but just grateful that she’s there.”
The mother in The Impossible relies on prayer for strength, something else that Metz could understand.
“I could so relate to her convictions — this unconditional love and positivity — and her belief in her faith that her son was going to get better, just as I didn’t want to believe the prognosis that my mom’s surgeon and doctor gave her,” she said. “I totally believe in the power of positivity and collective consciousness and what you put out there.”
Metz is also excited to play a multifaceted lead female role in the movie — directed by Roxann Dawson — since the majority of films feature male leads.
“Not only are we more than [just the strong, smart female lead], but complex in that we have layers of all sorts of characteristics and emotions,” she said. “You don’t hear men described as the smart, strong lead. I don’t know how smart some of these men are anyway! But that’s besides the point. We’re all evolving, hopefully. The only thing we can do is have compassion and understanding for people who know not what they do and enlighten people to. It’s gonna take some time, but it’s happening.”