“It was probably not until either the third or fourth episode of the first season where people started to notice me at the grocery store and share their deepest, darkest secrets with me – just a girl who has her own deep, dark secrets but happens to be on a TV show now,” Metz, 38, said on this week’s “Watch With Us” podcast. “That’s what I always try to tell people: ‘I’m a regular girl, I just have a different job. I relate to you, I understand you, and I end up crying with you in the chip aisle at the grocery store.’ It was probably around that time that I noticed that, ‘Oh, I’m not just a part of a television show, but part of something that is like a movement.’”
However, it’s a good change for the Emmy nominee, who now has the opportunities to fulfill her other dreams such as writing a book, writing music and voice acting. In fact, she’s voicing Mei Mei in the upcoming DreamWorksTV series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, premiering on November 16. Mei Mei is flamboyant and has a confidence about her that “we are all deserving of,” Metz said.
While the singer, who recently got to cover Adele on the NBC drama, always figured she’d lean toward creating laughs for audiences – “I thought comedy was gonna be my thing” – she’s now found her place as Kate Pearson, and finds herself learning from the character each time she receives a new script.
Her current story line is very baby heavy as Kate struggling to get pregnant via IVF. Metz learned a lot about the process and what families go through trying to have children.
“What I love is that they touch on this feeling of inadequacy because you feel, like, ‘Oh, I’m a woman who can’t have a baby naturally and I have to do this and I have to do that.’ But sometimes, that’s just the case and it’s not personal and you’re not broken. I think a really important message to convey is that it might not be a conventional way to start a family, but it’s a possible way and I know people whose lives have been completely changed for the better because of it,” she said. “I think as a woman, you can feel like if you can’t have children, like, what’s your purpose? But not everybody is, of course, intended to have children. That’s why adoption’s also a story line in this show, and fostering. There’s so many other ways that you can be a parent. But it’s not because you’re broken or inadequate, but just some different journeys.”
However, that doesn’t mean Metz is ready to become a mother in real life just yet.
“I have a huge family and I taught preschool. I love children and they are the funniest, most magnificent creatures,” she told Us. “But I can’t even keep a succulent alive, so I’m concerned that should these thoughts and desires come about, that whether I do it conventionally or unconventionally, who knows? I just feel like a baby myself. I need to nurture myself first before I could do that to another human being.”
Listen to Metz’ entire interview and get more exclusive TV scoop on “Watch With Us” podcast.
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.