‘This Is Us’ star Chrissy Metz finds her film ‘Breakthrough’

Three years ago Chrissy Metz was perhaps the least-known of the seven original ‘This Is Us’ leads

In this April 4, 2019 file photo, Chrissy Metz poses for a portrait in promotion of her new film “Breakthrough” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. While the actress scored a few minor movie roles before finding fame on TV “This is Us.” “Breakthrough” which opened in theaters Wednesday, April 17, marks Metz feature-starring debut. (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP, File)

Chrissy Metz says she believed in miracles well before getting the call to meet producer DeVon Franklin to discuss taking the lead in director Roxann Dawson’s just-released faith-based drama “Breakthrough.”

Metz was already familiar with the film’s story of Joyce Smith, whose son, John, fell through ice on a lake in January 2015 and was drowning for 15 minutes before paramedics even started resuscitation efforts. By the time the boy was in the emergency room, he had gone so long without a pulse that doctors were ready to call time of death.

READ MORE: HBO looks beyond ‘Game of Thrones,’ maybe back to a prequel

But Smith wouldn’t accept it. She was given permission to pray at her son’s feet as a last attempt at CPR was performed — and, much to everyone’s surprise, John’s pulse returned. And, eventually, he fully recovered from the accident.

Metz recalled her first meeting about the film adaptation with producer Franklin and executives from distributor 20th Century Fox. “I thought we were just generally meeting, and then I ended up sharing the story of my mother’s medical emergency.”

In 2017, Metz’s mother, Denise, suffered a massive stroke, and even in front of her mother, doctors were openly pessimistic about a return to quality life.

Metz recalled her fury. “I told those doctors, ‘You might think you know my mom, but you don’t know my mom. And you don’t know what she’s capable of … So, if you don’t have anything nice or positive to say, you need to actually leave my mother’s room,’” she said. “And then, of course, we come to find out that Joyce said those things to John’s doctors.”

Metz’s mom is home, walking, making what Metz called “a strong recovery” — and provided inspiration for her daughter’s portrayal of Joyce.

“To play, wholeheartedly, a woman who believes in miracles, you have to believe in miracles to some degree, I think,” explained Metz, who didn’t connect with the real-life Smith until two weeks into filming.

“I felt like I already knew her,” Metz noted. “I watched her on TV. I read her book, ‘The Impossible.’” But making the one-on-one contact did inform her performance. “Meeting her, you can’t help but realize she has been through hell and back, and is better for it.”

Three years ago, the 38-year-old Metz was perhaps the least-known of the seven original “This Is Us” leads. And while each in the cast has landed extracurricular gigs since the acclaimed and popular series’ 2016 debut, Metz is the first to be top-billed in a major studio theatrical release.

“It’s mind-blowing to know that when I first stepped foot on ‘This Is Us,’ I felt like the inadequate, doesn’t have a resume, can I do this girl?” Metz said. “I learned so much from the cast collectively,” she continued, crediting her “This Is Us” co-stars for teaching her what it took to head up the “Breakthrough” cast.

Metz said movie scripts “aren’t pouring in,” but they’re coming, and the big issue is whether the movie is the right thing at the right time.

She said she connected with her “Breakthrough” character and the film’s message of hope, as well as the producers’ eagerness to let her pursue another passion: singing. Metz performs the new Diane Warren song, “I’m Standing With You,” over the film’s end titles.

“For me, it’s important for a movie to change me or change someone else,” Metz said.

Mike Cidoni Lennox, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fire claims two historic buildings in downtown Williams Lake

Several other businesses damaged by water used to fight the blaze

TRU hosts second round of public consultations

A dozen concerned lakecity locals came out to the Pioneer Complex to provide their feedback

Global Climate Strike and March a well-attended call to action

Generations of concerned citizens marched on city hall led by the youth of today

Update: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Air quality back to low risk in Williams Lake after firefighters extinguish downtown building fires

Crews continue to clean up after fire destroyed two downtown businesses

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read