Warning: this post includes spoilers form the Tuesday, November 21, episode of This Is Us.
“It’s a doozy!” That’s how Chrissy Metz explained the feelings behind this week’s This Is Us, which focused on Kate’s relationship with her mother in the past and present as well as Kate figuring out how to cope with her miscarriage.
“There’s so much anger and sadness that she hasn’t processed and surely, she doesn’t know how to process a miscarriage,” Metz, 37, tells Us Weekly about Kate, adding that in there’s a great deal of shame in the world when it comes to miscarrying. “Where do you bring it up? How do you bring it up?” she asked.
Read our exclusive Q&A below:
Us Weekly: Emotionally, how did you prepare for such an intense episode?
Chrissy Metz: I have to say, it was tricky. I couldn’t talk to anyone about what was going on. You can watch documentaries or ask roundabout questions but you can’t give away the storyline. So I came at it from the perspective of really truly wanting a child and then not being able to have one. One in five women will have a miscarriage and no one is talking about it. There’s so much shame around it: Where do you bring it up? How do you bring it up? I had a hard time processing it on my own, but then I thought, I’m gonna use this because Kate is really feeling like she’s doing this all on her own and no one understands. So I used it in the performance. It was emotionally draining because you spend hours in that headspace. I’d come home from work like, “I don’t want to talk to anybody, I just want to go to bed!” On a cellular level, your body does not know the difference. I had to have a pep talk: “Hey body. This didn’t really happen. We’re good.” It was definitely challenging.
Us: Kate’s specialty seems to be shutting people out.
CM: Not only does she not want to be vulnerable, but there’s also so much anger and sadness that she hasn’t processed and surely she doesn’t know how to process a miscarriage. There is shame and the underlying feelings of feeling of inadequate or too heavy or too old. You automatically think something is wrong with you. Then there’s the dynamic between her and Toby and her and her mom and finally letting that guard now and saying, “Oh I have to process this.” Luckily, her mom just shows up in such a special way. I don’t think Kate has ever felt like her mom has shown up for her — solely for her, without judgement, without pointing fingers.
Us: That Kate and Rebecca moment has been a long time coming. It was emotional to see Kate just let her mom take care of her.
CM: Kate’s always had those secret, quiet moments to herself. She never wanted to show that — whether it was that she didn’t want to get close to her home or she didn’t want her mom to see her in that state, she just couldn’t help herself this time. Kevin’s not there because he’s dealing with his stuff and she doesn’t know how to talk about it with Toby. If anyone can understand, it’s her mom. So when she falls into her arms, you see that it’s the first time she realizes she’s so broken she needs her. We’ve never seen Kate needing her mom before. Ever.
Us: Can we expect to see their relationship be a little better now?
CM: Yeah! I feel like there’s this olive branch they’ve both extended to each other and a common ground. Rebecca never told anybody about never holding Kyle. That was a huge thing that she confessed to Kate. That was her vulnerability. She let her guard down. When you can come to each other in the same way, that establishes that bond, that “I want to understand you. I love you. Let’s do this differently.” So yeah, you’ll see that shift and change moving forward.
Us: I want to talk about young Kate looking at her parents at the hospital. Can you talk about what that look meant?
CM: There’s a lot happening in that moment. Not that she feels like she’s a second fiddle — Kate loves Kevin and desperately wants him to be OK — but it was like “it seems like everything’s about Kevin.” Kevin thinks everything’s about Kate and Randall. It’s always our perception being our reality. That was a look of concern and worry, and wondering what this means for their childhood.
Us: Kate’s college choice also gets brought up this week — will that be explored?
CM: Yes, we’ll discover what’s going on with that. Rebecca’s a singer and she never quite did anything with it because of the kids. There’s a sense of guilt that Kate wants to do it and pursue it, but she doesn’t feel supported or encouraged and that’s scary. They don’t let everybody into Berklee.
Us: We didn’t see much of Kate and Kevin this week. He wasn’t there for her when she needed him and he’s going through a lot and keeping it all in. How will their relationship be changed by this?
CM: As much as they’re twins, they are two different people. I think we’re starting to show their differences and their similarities. Kate has her food addictions and Kevin is handling his addiction with pharmaceutical drugs. They’re very different and very alike, but they’ve got to sort their stuff out alone. They can only be there for each other for so much. They’ve got to start being there for themselves. Kate tried to push that boulder up, making him talk about his dad. I don’t think she realized how deeply rooted his pain had been for so long. She can only do so much as a twin, he’s got to figure that stuff out on his own. It’s difficult.
Us: How will Kate and Toby’s relationship be impacted by this? She says she wants to try again — what does that look like down the road?
CM: I think it looks like making sure that they’re in a good headspace mentally, emotionally and physically. It might have happened sooner than it expected but the good news is that they have conceived and they can do it again … just maybe not right away. They want to get more of their life and their relationship. Knowing that they’ve gone through this, they know they can go through anything and will be there for each other. They’re not in any rush to do so. Maybe she’s thinking, “How about a wedding before we actually had a baby.” That’s not because she needs to be traditional or conventional but just to get her ducks in a row. Of course she’ll be adamant about exercise and eating right because she wants to fit into a nice dress for the wedding. There’s all of these things that will line up for her to be in the best physical, mental and emotional shape, but it’s going to take some time. It’s good because they’ve come out on the other side a little more educated about what’s best for them.
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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