‘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

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read