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Chrissy Metz Opens Up About Her Real-Life Family Heartbreak

The character Kate Pearson on This Is Us has introduced the world to the talents of actor Chrissy Metz. Over the course of close to two full seasons, Metz has brought Kate to life and made her a character that exists outside the traditional stereotypes of “obese female” and actually has a full, complex life that includes planning a wedding, navigating career confusion, processing a miscarriage and finally coming to terms with the loss of a parent.

In short, Metz has been given a lot to do with Kate on This Is Us, and in her latest interview with Glamour, she details how some real-life family hardships and heartbreaks have factored into how she connects with the characters she plays; perhaps playing Kate is something of a method-acting process for Metz after all.

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In the interview, she discusses what drew her to her latest movie role in the upcoming faith-centered film The Impossible, in which Metz plays Joyce, a woman whose son falls through ice on a frozen lake and later dies at the hospital, but his heart begins to beat again after Joyce prays at his bedside. Metz describes how she connected with the film’s premise thanks to the experiences she’s had in her own life with heartbreaking family turmoil.

“[The story] was something that was really dear to my life and my heart, because my mom had a pretty severe stroke five months ago,” Metz told Glamour. “She’s doing really well now and living with my sister in Florida, but the hard part is, she has aphasia, which is where you don’t really have a vocabulary. Basically, she speaks blah, blah, blahs, which we can understand because she’s our mom, but it’s kind of like playing charades. Her vocabulary could come back at any moment, so we’re really hopeful but just grateful that she’s there.”

More: Chrissy Metz Addresses Backlash to Those Fat Stereotypes on This Is Us

Watching her mother go through that heartbreaking health scare feels like something straight out of This Is Us (further connecting Metz to characters she currently plays and is about to play) but it seems that the turmoil Metz and her family have gone through has left the actor with the ability to see the bright side of things too. “I could so relate to [Joyce’s, from The Impossible] convictions — this unconditional love and positivity — and her belief in her faith that her son was going to get better, just as I didn’t want to believe the prognosis that my mom’s surgeon and doctor gave her. I totally believe in the power of positivity and collective consciousness and what you put out there.”

More: 12 Things to Know About This Is Us’ Chrissy Metz (& Why We Love Her So Much)

It sounds like Metz is finding productive ways to channel her personal trials into success, but it’s also undoubtedly a good thing that she is finding ways to connect to a variety of characters and further capitalize on her success as Kate on This Is Us.

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