We sometimes forget that those celebrities we fawn over appearing on our TV screens usually come from humbled beginnings, like most of us. Many worked as servers and waitresses before hitting it big, while others struggled for years taking menial acting roles, playing bit parts, hoping that lightning would strike. Hoping one day they would achieve the fame and fortune that comes with being a star.
One such celebrity is Actress Chrissy Metz, who acknowledged several years ago while being interviewed by Glamour Magazine, just how destitute she was before her life was suddenly transformed. With just 81 cents left in her bank account and nothing on the immediate horizon, the young Christian actress was about to give up and go back home to Florida.
However, her mother convinced Metz that coming home was a bad idea. “You can either be miserable here or not pursue your dreams, or you can be miserable in LA and at least pursue what you want.”
Hardship was nothing new to the Metz clan. In fact, poverty was the reason Chrissy left the “sunshine state” and headed to California in the first place.
She plays Kate Pearson on the hit drama This Is Us, but some of what Chrissy Metz brings to her beloved character is relatable to her own real-life Chrissy Metz’s road to success a hard one. The Tragic Story Of The Girl Who Plays Kate https://t.co/OVO2FHornM via @YouTube pic.twitter.com/WWDbcbF0Sd— Julie Parker (@JulieParker144) June 5, 2021
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According to excerpts from her interview with Glamour, Chrissy acknowledged just how dysfunctional and poor her family was. “I was born in Homestead, Florida. My parents divorced when I was eight; I never really knew my dad, and my mom raised my older sister and brother and me alone. It was challenging. There were times I’d be nervous walking home from elementary school, thinking, if that red tag from the power company saying our lights are turned off is on the door handle, I don’t know what I’ll do. And there were nights my mom wouldn’t eat dinner. She’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m not hungry.’ I knew she was giving up food to make sure we could eat, but when you’re 9 or 10 years old, you can’t help. It was devastating. In retrospect I think that’s why food equals love in my family. It’s the way we showed love, my grandmother would make me a grilled cheese sandwich every time she’d pick me up from school. I really valued that attention. As I got older, that turned into, ‘Oh, I’m happy, let’s celebrate and eat. I’m sad? Let me eat my feelings’.”
Turning to humor as an escape from poverty, Chrissy developed impressive acting skills and dreamed of a career as a performer. However, how to achieve that dream was something she needed to figure out.
“I didn’t know anybody with connections, I didn’t come from money, I didn’t go to Juilliard,” she explained.
One thing she did have was determination to succeed. “But I never was afraid of the odds, even though they were seriously stacked against me.”
“My step-dad helped me with my car insurance, but I couldn’t ask him for anything more; they didn’t have anything extra,” she said. “So I paid my own way by nannying or finding odd jobs.”
Months passed without any luck of landing a decent acting role. She had maxed out her credit cards, past due bills pilling up, and only 81 cents left within her bank account. Finally, she got a call from one of the producers she had interviewed with, who offered her the role of “Kate” on the NBC hit show “This Is Us”.
“I could cry right now just thinking about it,” Metz said.
The show was a huge success. In a seemingly overnight transformation, Chrissy Metz went from a down and out actress to a mega TV star.
“It’s definitely a lot more than I was making, but I still live with my roommate-though I pay my proper share of the rent now,” she says. “Meeting my car payment on time? That’s new. I paid my friends and my step-dad back. And three months ago I finally paid my credit cards off!”
Chrissy added, “Mainly, I hope I can be successful enough to provide for those who supported me when I thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ This may sound silly, but what I really wanted was my grandmother to have a washer and dryer in her apartment before she passed away. I never got to give it to her. It’s heartbreaking. When you’ve been down on your luck, you can really see that [need] in other people. Now that I’m living more comfortably, how do I share with others? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”