As a tall actress in her mid-thirties, the odds were against Chrissy Metz to fulfill her dream of becoming a Hollywood star.
But thanks to her role as Kate Pearson on the hit NBC show This Is Us, the 37-year-old now has a legion of dedicated fans – something her elated family says couldn’t be more deserved.
Still, the 37-year-old’s path to stardom was anything but easy, with the actress’ stepfather Crayton Hodge and half-sister Rebecca Livingston revealing for the first time how the odds were against their good. -loved Chrissy.
She did it! Thanks to her role as Kate Pearson on NBC’s hit show This Is Us, Chrissy Metz is now a real star. the actress is seen in Hollywood on Wednesday
Future star: Chrissy Metz’s family revealed how ‘chubby’ trailer park kid overcame secret family tragedy to rise to fame in This Is Us
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, they describe how the future star struggled with her weight even as a young child, was bullied by classmates, abandoned by her father and living in a trailer when her mother met Crayton.
They also reveal the secret family tragedy that devastated Chrissy – with her mother Denise unable to speak by having a devastating stroke in August.
Actress Chrissy, daughter of Denise and Mark Metz, was born in Homestead, Florida, and moved with her older siblings, Monica and Philip, to Japan at just six months old.
After spending her formative years overseas, the Metz returned to the United States when Chrissy was eight, but the family was quickly torn apart due to her parents’ bitter separation.
Opening: The actress’ stepfather Crayton Hodge and half-sister Rebecca Livingston first revealed how the odds are against their beloved Chrissy
They were living in a trailer when Chrissy’s mother met Crayton, now 70, at a bar,
‘Chrissy was about 10 years old and lived in a mobile home with Denise [and her other siblings] back then I moved them all into my house, ”he recalls in his interview with DailyMail.com.
He says Chrissy did well in school and had a “high C low B average”, but it was her singing skills that really made her stand out, and she often sang Mariah Carey’s hits in his room.
‘I knew she had singing skills before I saw her play, wait till they [producers] tap into that, ”he said. “I have always said that singing would be his future. She sang a bit on the show, but she will do more.
Stepsister Rebecca says Chrissy was a confident child, despite name-calling from her classmates.
“She was bullied at school, not by any particular person, but a kid would say something every now and then, and it was always hurtful,” Rebecca said.
“But I think she was his biggest criticism, the way she saw herself was always the worst.”
Memories: Chrissy is seen at the pool with her mom Denise, left, sister Monica, back, stepsister Morgana, center, and family friends
Rebecca says Chrissy didn’t overeat during family meals, adding: “I think [her weight] is inherited more than anything and it does not have the same metabolism.
Crayton agreed, saying, “Chrissy, her sister and her dad are all built the same, they’re small and extremely overweight.
“I think her mother might have taken her to a doctor when she was younger, but we never pressured her to eat differently or exercise.
“She was complaining about her weight, and I said, ‘Chrissy, use what you got,’ well, apparently she did! And she has a beautiful face, she’s gorgeous.
Chrissy is now a poster woman for body confidence with 622,000 Instagram followers and fans around the world, but Crayton believes she would still like to get in shape.
“She was in a semi-depressed state because of her weight, but when she landed the role in This Is Us things really started to improve,” he said.
“The character she plays is a big girl, if she lost all that weight she couldn’t play Kate, but that might propel her into other roles in Hollywood, who knows.”
He added: “I don’t buy at all that she is totally comfortable with her weight, I think she wants to portray this: ‘Here I am, I am moderately successful and I love the way I look. thinks she keeps a facade.
Childhood home: the future actress grew up in Florida with her siblings
Parents: Chrissy’s mother Denise and stepdad Crayton are seen in an old photo from the family photo album
Chrissy worked in a local preschool and extracurricular program for a number of years after high school, only entering the entertainment industry when she accompanied her stepsister Morgana on a travels to Los Angeles for a casting years later.
Rebecca said: “It was totally by accident that she ended up in California. Morgana is absolutely gorgeous and went to an open audition to be a model. Chrissy accompanied her.
“She was shocked when the talent agent came to Morgana and said, ‘We don’t care about you, we care about your sister.” She was like’ Me? ‘
“They were looking for some kind of acting role, I don’t remember what it was. Then she found herself in American Horror Story, it was her first big role.
The family helped fund her Hollywood dream before she got the role in This Is Us, and say she paid them back immediately, and they are immensely proud of her success.
What a resemblance ! Nine-year-old Chrissy, left, and Mackenzie Hancsicsak, right, who plays the younger version of her character in This Is Us
And while she’s still worried about her figure, Chrissy has found a man who loves her for her – cameraman Josh Stancil, who works on the show and gets along well with his family back home.
She found love again after her marriage to Martyn Eaden ended in divorce in 2014, leaving her heartbroken.
Crayton revealed: “She was married for a short time, I don’t know what the deal was. We didn’t go to the wedding, I wouldn’t do 3,000 miles, I don’t fly.
“I have never met him. It was a very small wedding, and they broke up soon after. I bet he’s thinking now, “Dude, I fucked up.”
“Her new boyfriend seems like a good guy, I haven’t found a fault anywhere. He’s too perfect.
Crayton, a former Coca Cola transport driver, says he would like to see her remarry but doesn’t think she will have any more children as she is focused on her career.
Chrissy is now based full time in Los Angeles, but recently rushed to her mother’s house after suffering a devastating stroke, which left her unable to speak.
Her stepfather remembers the scary moment he grabbed Denise as she collapsed in their house, saying, “She staggered through the door and I grabbed her to keep her from falling.
“She opened the door again and staggered out, I was holding her from behind, but she fell back into me and I sat her on my lap.
“I had my cell phone in my pocket, so I called the emergency team and they arrived ten minutes later.
“She can’t speak at all. The doctor said it would be better, but it will take a long time. Chrissy came here, for a while she was very emotional.
Key role: Chrissy in This Is Us with her onscreen boyfriend Toby, played by Chris Sullivan
Denise now lives with Chrissy’s sister, and the actress barely sees her biological father, a Navy veteran, who Crayton says recently reconnected after years of absence.
“She’s become famous, and now he wants to be close,” he said. “I would be ashamed to even want to come back in his life.
“They were separated, I would say. Chrissy doesn’t call me daddy, she calls me Trigger, but I helped her raise her.
Chrissy’s father Mark disputes this version of events, telling DailyMail.com: “Have I abandoned her? No! I haven’t abandoned anyone. If she never contacts me, that’s her business.
As for Crayton, he says his daughter-in-law has a “very good heart,” and he’s not surprised that she is doing so well in the entertainment business.
When asked what the next step was for the talented star, he replied, “An Emmy Award. She’s the face of this show, I don’t understand how she hasn’t won one before.
“Hollywood is a fun place, she told me she can’t even go to the convenience store now without signing an autograph, what a problem!
“I have no idea how much she makes, she doesn’t like to talk about it, but we went online and read that she could be worth up to $ 60 million in the future, I’m tickled at dead.
“Everyone loves her, she has kept her feet on the ground and we are very proud of her. I think she’s a really positive role model for young women.