Chrissy Metz on the 'Weird Transition' After 6 Years of 'This Is Us' : I Miss It 'Desperately' (Exclusive)

·3 min read

Entering a new chapter in her life, Metz tells PEOPLE her six-year run on the NBC series was "life-changing" and "special"

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Nearly one year after This Is Us aired its emotional series finale, Chrissy Metz is sharing what it has been like to transition out of the role that launched her career.

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Metz — who played Kate Pearson on the hit series during its entire six-year run — is stepping into a darker character in the new movie Stay Awake as she adjusts to taking on new roles and transitioning to a new chapter in her life.

"I miss This Is Us desperately," the actress and singer tells PEOPLE exclusively. "And not only was it life-changing for me, but the best people, the way that it touched people's lives and hearts and minds, it was really, really special."

Related:This is Us Cast Calls Their Time on Series 'One for the Books' As They Say Goodbye to the Show

Jon Kopaloff/Getty
Jon Kopaloff/Getty

As Metz, 42, is learning to live without a series she was "lucky enough" to be part of for more than half a decade, she's also honing her skills as a film actress after leaving the This Is Us set for the final time.

"It's tricky when you've done something for six years because you really know the character, and even though you're still discovering more about them, you have a grasp," she explains. "Whereas with a movie, you have maybe a month if you're lucky from prep to finish. And that way it's like, 'Oh boy, I wish I had more time with' whatever character you're portraying."

Related:Chrissy Metz Says She Was Drawn to Stay Awake Partly Because 'I Understand Addiction'

With this newfound freedom to explore other roles, Metz is in the midst of a phase of her career that's simultaneously challenging and exciting.

"Yeah, I mean, it's a weird transition because six years is a long time, so you just take it one day at a time," she says.

Metz says there was something uniquely meaningful about This Is Us that many actors never have the opportunity to do — and she'll never take that experience for granted.

"You don't always get to have one of those, let alone multiple of those," Metz acknowledges. "And so I just try to be really cognizant and intentional with the projects that I'm doing."

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NBC

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Moving forward, Metz tells PEOPLE she is planning to do more comedy — specifically, she "would love" to do a "one-woman show" on Broadway — and the former Oscars performer will continue to pursue her music career with an album or an EP in the future.

Metz can be seen in Stay Awake, playing in New York City now and in Los Angeles on May 25, and streaming in This Is Us on Peacock.

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