The phenomenally successful NBC show “This Is Us” just wrapped up its second season last week, much to the dismay of the show’s millions of fans, who anxiously await their Tuesday night ugly cry thanks to the always bittersweet episodes.
However, South Jersey fans jonesing for their fix of “This Is Us” can satisfy the itch by doing more than just watching reruns, as Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate on “This Is Us,” will give a talk at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College 7 p.m. Sunday, March 25, as part of the Blauvelt Lecture Series.
Metz is touring in conjunction with the release of her book “This Is Me,” an autobiography that details everything from her childhood to her rise to fame. Before Metz comes to the Grunin center, here are the “big three” things to know about her.
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1. She’s had a freaky career. While Metz is best known for her role on “This Is Us,” she had another breakout role in one of television’s most popular shows, “American Horror Story.” Metz played Ima “Barbara” Wiggles in the fourth season of the show, themed “Freak Show.” Metz’s character was a “fat lady” that was accepted into the circus. For the role she had to wear a fat suit that measured 109 inches. Though Metz lost 100 pounds before taking on the “Freak Show” role, the experience of wearing the fat suit, being unable to fit through door frames or move about easily, prompted her to focus even harder on living a healthy lifestyle. “It was sobering,” she told People magazine about the role. “I thought, ‘What if I become that heavy and can’t walk around or get stuck in the doorframe? I was like, ‘I don’t want this for me.’ ”
2. She’s a role model for many. In an industry known for its rail thin beauty standards, Metz stands out from the crowd. Her portrayal of Kate has resonated with many viewers who have experienced their own struggles with body positivity. Throughout the course of the show, Kate has considered gastric bypass surgery, checked herself into a weight loss camp, felt tension with her mother because of her weight and so much more. Metz had described herself as a “Kate” in the past, but now feels secure in who she is. “I’m on this journey to inspire people, and to encourage them. We are all deserving of true happiness, so it’s much more than just acting. It’s like, forget you’re on this amazing television show, you’re changing lives and opening discussion,” Metz said to Harper’s Bazaar.
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3. Her new book is all about self love. So much of her character Kate’s journey on “This Is Us” is about personal acceptance. Her book channels that same spirit, as Metz recalls the highs and lows of her life. In the book, she recalls her mother’s hardship working several jobs to keep her children supported, after her husband, Metz’s father, disappeared. She also gives readers insight into her past relationships and the turbulent journey that has been her career, from hardly every getting an audition to starring in one of television’s most popular shows. “This Is Me” is a collection of essays, with some instructional sections and reminders to be mindful thrown in. She will talk about her writing process at her Grunin Center lecture.