Chrissy Metz Had 81 Cents in Her Bank Account When She Booked ‘This Is Us’

Started from the bottom. Chrissy Metz revealed in a new interview that she had only 81 cents in her bank account when she booked the part of Kate on NBC’s This Is Us.

Chatting with Glamour for their March 2017 issue, the 36-year-old actress candidly discussed the tough times she went through before her big break. After years of one-episode jobs on random TV shows and a recurring role on American Horror Story: Freak Show, Metz’s career seemed to be at a standstill — and her finances were dwindling away.

“I kept auditioning, with no savings and no money, credit card debt gaining interest,” she told Glamour, adding that her mother had to convince not to give up on Hollywood. “I went on unemployment. I bought ramen noodles at dollar stores. I never had to — God forbid — live on the streets.”

Chrissy Metz
Chrissy Metz Carissa Gallo

The Florida native told the magazine that she relied on her friends to get by when she was strapped for cash. “I moved in with a roommate who told me, ‘Stay with me until you can afford rent. Don’t give up,’” she said. “People who supported me were like, ‘If you don’t have money for food, I’ll cook you dinner. You don’t have money for acting class? Let’s get together and read lines.'”

Finally, in late 2015, Metz found out that she had been cast in the Dan Fogelman–created dramedy. “When I booked This Is Us, I had 81 cents in my bank account. I could cry right now just thinking about it,” Metz recounted.

Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Justin Hartley as Kevin on This Is Us.
Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate, and Justin Hartley as Kevin on ‘This Is Us.’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Since its September premiere, This Is Us has become one of the most buzzed-about shows on network television. The series was nominated for several Golden Globes, and Metz was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Though she didn’t take home the golden statuette, the Los Angeles resident is just happy to play a character others can relate to: a woman who struggles with her weight.

“I’ve had women — average women, older women, teenagers — who say to me, ‘Your role and this show has changed my life.’ 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,” Metz told Glamour. “Sometimes I cry on the way to the set still. There is something that happens when you are grateful: You continue to keep receiving blessings. So I will always be grateful.”

This Is Us returns to NBC on Tuesday, February 7, at 9 p.m. ET.


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