‘A Work In Progress’: ‘This Is Us’ Star Chrissy Metz Is Using The Lockdown To Self-Reflect + Make Emotional New Music

Chrissy MetzPhoto Credit: Joseph Llanes

Chrissy Metz has been using the COVID-19 quarantine more productively than most—she’s been looking inward. The 39-year-old entertainer, who plays Kate Pearson on NBC’s award-winning drama This is Us, is holed up in Nashville, where she’s writing and producing her first album.  [She signed a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville following her starring role in 20th Century Fox’s Breakthrough movie and soundtrack featuring her performance of the Oscar-nominated, Diane Warren penned track, “I’m Standing with You,” which she performed live at this year’s Academy Awards; you can hear her first single, “Talking to God,” here.]

Haute Living’s Laura Schreffler chatted socially safely with Metz, who is also the author of The New York Times bestseller This Is Me, via Zoom about her upcoming album, when we can expect to see the return of This is Us‘ fifth season and why the thing she’s seeking the most is peace.

Chrissy MetzPhoto Credit: Dean Foreman

WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH CHRISSY BELOW!

 

You spent your quarantine in Nashville. [I’m assuming] it’s a lot better for you to be in Nashville than L.A. (where she’s also based) because you’re making your record.

Right. I’m not stuck in a place where I really can’t do anything. I think they started to allow four to five people into a studio with masks and with distance so I think we’re going to start getting into the studio in a couple weeks.

How have you been spending the quarantine?

A lot of meditation a lot of self-reflection, some journaling, really just feeling my feelings. I think because my life gratefully has been so busy I felt the feelings when I had a second to sort of stop but  now that I’m forced to, and there are some things that I have yet to contend with that are coming up for me… Self-care is something I have to work on and I’m grateful that I have this time to do that. It’s waves of emotions for sure.

Are you working with other artists about appearing on the album?

I’ve chatted with my label about who I’d love to appear on a song or two. I do have a bit of a bucket list of people. Fingers crossed. I love Dan + Shay, I love them, I love Chris Stapleton so much… Caylee Hammack who I’m obsessed with, Lainey Wilson who is a dear friend who wrote a song that will be on the EP. I love Hozier, I love Leon Bridges. I don’t know what’s going to happen, we’ll see.

Do you have an album name yet?

I don’t have an album name yet but I think I’m going to title the EP The Feel Good EP. There’s a song called “Feel Good” that we wrote and it’s about coming out on the other side of something and realizing what makes me feel good and what makes me feel good and what I want to do for myself. So much of my life has been about other people. Not because they beg me to but because I made it about other people.

Do you think [you’d refer to yourself as happy]?

There are so many things that I’m so grateful for and so happy about. Even in just the pursuit of happiness makes me happy. Pursuing music for the first time makes me happy because I’ve wanted to do it forever, all my life… of course there are things I’m still working on, whether it’s boundaries, whether it’s really listening to myself and saying, Do I want to do this or do I feel obligated? What is my intention in doing what is asked of me?’ Knowing that whatever I decide is OK and the right thing. So many decisions in my life have been about, ‘What are people going to think of me’ and ‘I don’t want to disappoint anyone’ and ‘What if someone is unhappy with me.’ I’ve got to feel good about myself, my decisions. Mostly yes, happy, but a work in progress.

Is [the life you’re living now] your wildest dream come true?

It really is… There’s obviously something bigger and greater  than myself working on my behalf. I can’t believe my life. It was never for the fame and fortune. I wanted to feel less alone. I wanted to feel less apart from my [friends and family members]… If you would have asked me 10 years ago would you have ever predicted you’d be singing at the Oscars? I’d be like, ‘Uh no.’ There’s so much gratitude and so much surprise about where my life is at. I pinch myself all the time. All the time.

Side question: Have you ever been to a psychic? If so, what did he/she tell you?

Yes, yes girl yes! I love psychics, mediums, healers, reiki masters, all that.

It’s funny, because so many of the people say, ‘This life is about you learning how to take care of yourself.’ I’m like, ‘Ain’t that the truth.’ It comes up every single time. I’m like ok universe I’m trying. That’ the journey I’m on now, I’m finally starting to listen to that.

What has been your biggest obstacle to overcome?

I think it’s really about never really believing in myself. A part of me did but the other part whether it was my ego, pride or my insecurities that were so loud that I couldn’t hear ‘You have abilities.. and something to say.’ I would always listen to the negative talk. We can really get in the way of ourselves.

The This is Us cast seems like family. Is that the case?

For sure… We’re all just close and we’re friends and like family. I know this probably doesn’t happen probably ever. Everything about the show is lightning in a bottle. We’re very lucky. I feel very lucky to have everybody in my life.

Have you been sending each other pick-me up messages during the quarantine?

I started a Facebook group called ‘The Dreamers.’ It’s a private group just to connect with people and chat. The cast has a group text chat… we’ve done a Zoom call; any way we can connect to our loved ones or friends, or even strangers who we’ve never met before.

Have you had a chance to shoot the upcoming season of [This Is Us] at all?

We wrapped season 4 at the beginning of March, and then we typically go back in July… I think sooner rather than later. I think it will be some time during the fall. They have to figure out how it’s going to be worked. There’s a 150 people on set at any given time and the actors are most vulnerable. We’ll see what’s going to happen.

When the series is done are you going to be focusing more on music, acting or everything?

I really hope to do everything. A couple of months ago it was released that I sold a script, intellectual property, to amazon about this incredible story of a woman who climbed Kilimanjaro at 300 pounds. It wasn’t so much about her weight as the heaviness of her mind… I was so taken aback by her story. She came to my book tour, my New York stop, and I ended up reading it and thought oh my gosh I have to tell this story… Amazon bought it. we were supposed to go to production this hiatus but potentially next now because of everything that’s going on…. I’d love to do musical theater at some point, I’d love to co-write an episode of the show before it’s done.

Is there possibilities for collaboration with anyone you work with? You and Mandy Moore are similar in that you both sing and act.

We haven’t. She just came out of with her album which is incredible. Her and Chris [Sullivan] actually have their own music. It would be really cool to do a show or a song with them but we haven’t really talked about it. I would never want to be so presumptuous to think anything but it would be cool. When you’re a creative person you just want to create. I’m sure at some point one or many of us will come back together, but we haven’t really talked about it. I haven’t anyway.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

This might sound strange but i think peace really is the greatest luxury. Peace is defined differently for everybody. The greatest thing we’re all seeking is peace, with ourselves, with the universe, and that is such a luxury.

Follow Chrissy on Instagram here!

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