It’s a brand-new chapter for Chrissy Metz. In the year and a half since This Is Us wrapped its six-season run, the 43-year-old actress has released her first children’s book, the New York Times bestseller When I Talk to God, I Talk About You, and an accompanying album called Prayed for This Day, which is eligible for a 2023 Grammy Award.
“Music is my first love,” says the former preschool teacher, whose latest projects were inspired by her desire to help kids feel more confident. “I hope people see my heart first. I’m sharing my soul and my spirit in a way that I hope can really impact people.” Here, the newly single star — she and her boyfriend of three years, Bradley Collins (who co-wrote the book and album with Chrissy), announced their split in early October — talks to In Touch about branching out, her recent breakup and the advice she’d give her younger self.
Tell us more about your book and album.
CM: I didn’t think a children’s album would be my first full-length album, but the universe had other plans. The reason we wrote it was to bolster kids’ self-esteem and confidence. At the end of the day, all we want is to be loved and heard. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 55.
There’s buzz that it could get a Grammy nod. How does that feel?
CM: To be recognized by your peers for something that’s special and important to you but also has a message behind it … even just to be in the conversation is really exciting. It’s surreal.
Would you say the book and album are mainly for religious people?
CM: We really just wanted to encourage kids and [other] people to have a relationship with whatever their higher power is. I was raised religiously, and I am also spiritual. I believe that what I call my higher power is God, and I think it’s important to have a personal relationship with your higher power.
What would you tell your 25-year-old self?
CM: You can’t take things personally. If we had it all figured out, I don’t think we would be here. People say, “Don’t give up before the miracle happens.” And it’s always right before it’s about to happen.
Did you almost give up?
CM: After being an agent for nine years, I felt, “OK, I just need to move back home, because this isn’t going to happen.” As impatient as I was, I believe the timing happened as it should. I don’t know that I would be able to navigate at 20 what’s happening to me now. This business is wild, and it’s hard to draw your boundaries and say no. I still have to remind myself, “Do things that make you happy.”
Will you write a sequel to the book?
CM: Well, Bradley and I just wrote our second book, and it would be cool to have an album to also be a companion to that. We’ll see.
How are you doing in light of your breakup?
CM: I’m really grateful. I’m friendly with everybody that I’ve dated. We want to hear about the drama and the chaos, but it’s important to say, “It just wasn’t what we thought it was going to be, and that’s OK.” It’s a different version of a relationship, and doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be very positive.