It’s been nearly three months since “This Is Us” aired its final episode, but the Pearsons’ real-life counterparts have remained tight.
“We text pretty much every other day, if not on the daily, just checking in or congratulating somebody on something,” Chrissy Metz told TODAY. “A new project or an award or, you know, anything — a cute picture on Instagram. We really try to stay in contact. I wish that I could see everybody more often. You know, not many people are in Nashville. That’s where I’ve been posted up for a bit. So yeah, it’s really lovely to have friendships that last.”
Metz said what she misses most about filming the emotional drama, which ran on NBC for six seasons, is “just the fun we had.”
“There was a lot of levity in between the scenes, and as heavy as the show got, it was written so beautifully that we just enjoyed spending time with each other,” Metz said. “But also pushing yourself as an actor and trying new things and literally just suiting up and showing up and hoping that it all works out. It’s that adrenaline kind of excitement. But I think it’s just spending time with everybody and watching people really sort of take their performance to the next level. I mean, I definitely am a fan of every single person on the show.”
The series’ last season saw the Pearsons losing their family matriarch, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and Metz said her character, Kate, making it to Rebecca’s bedside in the penultimate episode was one of the scenes that sticks with her the most.
“So many people have expressed that exact experience with me, about making it to their loved one’s bedside before they passed on and it’s just so touching,” she said.
As for other memorable moments from the family’s final chapter, Metz mentioned Randall (Sterling K. Brown) learning that daughter Deja was expecting a son.
“That was really sweet and special and fun and just infectious to watch and just so much joy,” she said. “But also the Big Three, you know, after the funeral and coming together, that was a very hard scene to shoot because it was the last scene that I shot together and the last scene of my time on the show. So it was very emotional. Had to keep it together. And it was not easy. But honestly, I mean, all of those things are etched in my mind or my heart.”
If a future “This Is Us” reboot were to happen, Metz said she’d like to see the next generation of Pearson kids grow up, with the adult characters in the background, a la the “Black-ish” spinoff “Grown-ish.”
And where would Kate be 10 years from now?
“Well, I hope that she’s happy,” Metz said. “I hope that she is continuing to work on her stuff, you know, and discarding it and uncovering it and discovering it and discarding it. And I believe that she will still be working in music in some capacity. Someone’s like, ‘Is she going to be (son) Jack’s music manager?’ I said, ‘Oh, no, no.’ That’s not going to be a good idea. But I do think that she would have some great ideas about bringing music to and making it accessible for everyone.”
While Metz acknowledges that fans have “lots of opinions” on whether Kate and husband Toby, who ultimately divorce and find new love interests, should’ve stayed together, she accepts that KaToby wasn’t endgame.
“I think it’s really nice to see a couple go through an unraveling, and also come out on the other side of it and still friends and co-parenting and knowing that you can do it if you want to, and that if you love somebody, you never stop loving them,” she said. “That moment when he says, ‘I’ll always love you.’ That was probably one of the hardest — I’m going to cry thinking about it — one of the hardest scenes to shoot because it’s like, I’ve been through a divorce and you know that you love the person. But you just know that they’re not your forever person. And that’s such a hard pill to swallow.”
“There’s some people who are like, ‘They should have stuck together and they should have stuck it out,’” she added. “‘And Kate’s a brat.’ I’m like, ‘Wait a minute.’ And of course I have to defend her. … We’re imperfect and they were imperfect. But even the way they got together was incorrect, as far as her not ready and her wanting to be in a relationship. And she wanted to be in love, but, like, I think that she might have jumped into it in a way that, like, she wasn’t completely healed before.”
Mandy Moore recently said moving on from a show as meaningful as “This Is Us” was “daunting.” Metz, who’s currently focusing on her music career in addition to her wine company, Joyful Heart, and an upcoming children’s book, weighed in on the challenges of choosing new projects.
“It’s hard because you want to take opportunities, and I’m still relatively new in the business,” she said. “So I want to stretch my muscles and make mistakes and choose projects that might not be the right thing. But like, how do I know unless I know? But if it’s going to be difficult and challenging for me, I want to take that leap — if it’s impactful and going to sort of change a narrative or enlighten my heart or my mind and other people’s. So it’s hard, but for me, for music, it’s like something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m like, ‘OK, I have the time to do it. And I have the ability to do it.' And I’ve met really great people who were always so lovingly kind to help me.”
Metz shared what fans can expect at her upcoming City Winery tour dates.
“Really just me,” she said. “You know, I get to have a space and time to tell the stories of why I wrote the songs that I’m performing and what they mean to me and it’s really just like an evening with Chrissy Metz.”
She also reflected on how working on “This Is Us” for six years impacted her as a musician.
“It’s definitely created a space for me to be very vulnerable and be OK with being vulnerable,” she said. “I mean, I always have been, not necessarily in a public sense. So what I discovered was that we’re all just so much more alike than we are different, and that the more specific and the more I share, through my healing and what I’m going through, I really connect with more people that way. It’s so inspiring. But also, I think that people that watch ‘This Is Us’ who are fans also are fans of music that means something. So it really has been a really cool transition that I never could have planned at all.”