The Health Crisis That Pushed Chrissy Metz Into Acting


The universe works in mysterious ways. Were it not for a health crisis, Chrissy Metz may never have pursued acting. The This Is Us star credits a life-altering event for edging her toward the silver screen. Here’s what she has to say.

The Early Days Of Chrissy Metz

Born in 1980, Metz grew up a military brat. Her father was stationed in Japan in her early years before moving to Florida. Metz quickly learned how to work hard and be kind. She got her start in an episode of Entourage in 2005 and kicked around television and movies in bit roles for a few years, but stopped acting altogether from 2010-2014.

RELATED: Chrissy Metz’s First Role On ‘Entourage’ Was Almost Unrecognizable (And Hilarious)

Her big break came in a recurring role on American Horror Story: Freak Show, which was followed swiftly by her career-defining role as Kate Pearson on This is Us. To call This is Us life-changing would be an understatement. The series became NBC’s biggest hit in a long time and turned Metz into a household name.

What Got Her Acting Again?

During those lost years from 2010 to 2014, Metz was working as an agent. In an interview with verywellmind, Metz was customarily open about her experience. “I was doing something I knew ultimately in my heart wasn’t meant for me—I was being an agent. My body was starting to tell my mind, ‘You’re unhappy, something’s wrong.’ And then my mind started telling my body, ‘Yeah, something is wrong.’”

The 70-hour work weeks took a severe toll on Metz’s health, and she had a panic attack around her 30th birthday. In 2012, she felt like she was going to die. She said she could see a film reel playing in her head on repeat: “actor who never made it dies in the ArcLight. This is literally what’s running through my head,” she says. The incident caused her to re-examine her relationship with food as well.

She’s Glad That It Happened

To help herself, Metz joined a 12-step program. It helped her realize how she and her husband were unhappily married and had grown apart. They got divorced in 2014, and Metz started taking acting lessons again. She rekindled her first love, and the rest is history.

While panic attacks are exclusively terrible, Metz is thankful. She says, “I wasn’t doing what I knew I needed to do to get to that other place in my life…I needed to understand why I’ve been hurting my body with food, and all the things that come with that, which means all the past trauma, all my parents’ unresolved issues, all of that came bubbling to the surface at 30 years old.” Metz’s experience is inspiring for anyone experiencing anxiety. It’s never too late to get back to what you love.

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