'This Is Us': Chrissy Metz Previews Kate Meeting Toby's Workout Pals

This is Us - Season 4
Q&A
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

One of the This Is Us fall finale’s story beats was Kate (Chrissy Metz) discovering a cryptic text on husband Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) smartphone, hinting that one of his workout pals was supporting him in a way that perhaps Kate was not.

When the NBC drama returns with the January 14 episode, "Light and Shadows," Kate takes action by arranging a gathering with her husband’s CrossFit group. Will this relieve tension in the marriage or exacerbate the situation?

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TV Insider caught up with Metz for a chat at the NBC TCA party in Pasadena, Calif. over the weekend to get her thoughts on the current state of Kate and Toby’s marriage, Jack Jr.’s (Blake Stadnik) future success as a singer, and more. Read on for all the scoop!

Kate asks Toby if he’s pulling away and then, she meets his exercise pals. Could his make things worse?

Chrissy Metz: Let’s talk about the intention as to why she wants to have this party. Is it to find out who sent this text message? Is it because she wants to be more involved in is life and understand why he’s doing what he’s doing? We’ll get to discover those true intentions. Ultimately, Kate wants Toby to be happy. When you really love someone, you want them to be happy but you have to really love yourself in order to love someone. She’s trying to suss out the situation without being too weird and not to speculate about what could really be happening. Maybe he is pulling away because he’s unhappy because we’ve seen he doesn’t know how to handle a child with special needs?

Chris Sullivan as Toby (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Toby may see baby Jack’s blindness as the death of certain dreams he had for him, hence his stress. That can cause big problems in the marriage.

Sure.

It’s so easy to talk about this show like it’s real. 

It is… in someone’s life, it is.

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The characters on This Is Us are able to express themselves more often than perhaps people in real-life do, either because they’re too busy or they don’t know how.

Well, nobody’s ever too busy. I think it’s because people are afraid. It’s scary. It’s uncharted. You have to contend with your feelings, which is hard. We’re not necessarily taught how to do that. How do we get through it instead? We’re taught to numb it through too much food, gambling, Instagram, alcohol, sex…we’re really afraid of sitting with our feelings.

That’s what we’re hoping to do [with the show]– uncover, discard, and discover who we really are. That takes work. That’s why I think the show resonates with people. This show allows you to sit and be with your feelings – if you want to. Some people want that cathartic cry. Some people want that cleansing of whatever’s going on in that day. Others feel that doing that would be too much. Whether you know you want [that release] or not, you know that you need it. That’s what’s so brilliant and beautiful about our show. The writers have done it in such an eloquent, real, and raw way. We have people dealing with things in a real way. My hat’s off to the writers in every single show.

(Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

What does it mean for you knowing that Jack – as we’ve seen in flash-forwards – grows up to have this great life with a relationship and that he’s a performer?

Honestly, when I read that and I saw the clip that Dan [Fogelman, executive producer] sent me, I could cry thinking about it right now. It’s so special. Especially because Rebecca (Mandy Moore) tried her hand at music. Kate has tried her hand at music. And then, we see little baby Jack, who is this grown man, selling out a stadium, doing what he loves. We get to see how that all happened. That is so exciting for me to see not only as [I  portray] his mother, but for the audience, too. It is because he was so influenced by his mother and his grandmother?

(Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

You used to be an agent. Do you ever miss it? Or do you ever hear about a particular role and think, ‘I know who could play this part!’

I miss helping people in that way. I do still help people, but just in a different way [in my role as an actress]. I’m always sort of thinking ‘Oh, yeah, that person was great for that role’ or I’ll cast something in my head. But acting was what I always wanted to do. I was taken down a different road. The working in an office thing is really hard, but I love the creative side of working as an agent. That was super cool, just being around it. But yeah, sometimes I like to still cast, for sure!

This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

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