×

Why ‘This Is Us’ Star Chrissy Metz Could End Up Performing at the Next Oscars

Chrissy Metz made her live-singing debut on Sunday when she performed “I’m Standing With You” from her new movie “Breakthrough.”

Was that just a step on her way to performing at the Oscars?

Could be. The song was written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren.

“They said Chrissy had to sing it and I was like: ‘Oh, God! She’s an actress. Actresses can’t sing,’” Warren recalled on Thursday at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie. “I said: ‘Let’s get a superstar. Get Carrie Underwood. Get Kelly Clarkson. Get Celine.’” In the end, however, Warren was singing the star’s praises: “I was f—ing blown away and I was like: ‘Now I don’t want anybody on this but you because you’re awesome.’”

Breakthrough” is a faith-based film inspired by a mother who says the power of prayer helped bring her son back to life as doctors were about to pronounce him dead after he fell through a frozen lake into icy waters.

“The idea of ‘faith-based’ has negative connotations in Hollywood and you know what, it’s a shame,” director Roxann Dawson said. “Hollywood needs to be able to view films that they have chosen to label this way with a clean slate. All of a sudden people are afraid to speak their minds in Hollywood. Why can’t we have discussions about faith and religion? Those are very important subjects, so let’s open a dialogue. I’m not trying to convert anybody,” Dawson says, adding that she prefers the phrase “inspirational drama.”

One person who is not afraid to talk about the power of prayer is Metz, who was joined on the red carpet by her “This Is Us” family, including Sterling K. Brown and Mandy Moore. “I do have faith. I pray every single day,” Metz told Variety. “I think prayer gets a bad wrap. It’s scary and a lot of people are afraid of the unknown — faith and prayer in particular. Prayer for me is just collective consciousness, like collective energy, and once we educate people, the fear goes away. It’s interesting what we covet and what we honor through different genres of movies and art. Why wouldn’t something like this need to be told, you know?”

One thing’s for certain, and that’s the popularity of faith-based movies throughout film history.

“When you go back to the foundation of Hollywood — Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Capra — faith has always been a part of the bedrock, the DNA,” said producer DeVon Franklin. “The reason there aren’t as many [recently] is a lot of times studios think: ‘How do you attract that audience?’ And my point of view is that every movie that is successful has an element of faith. The characters are believing in the unseen, which is really the definition of faith. So my hope is that ‘Breakthrough,’ and films like it, can remind Hollywood that there is an audience out there, and it’s bigger than they think. People want hope and inspiration.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton

    Edward Norton Investigates Murder in 'Motherless Brooklyn' Trailer

    The trailer for Edward Norton’s forthcoming crime drama “Motherless Brooklyn” is officially out. Warner Bros.’ drama, based on the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, follows Lionel Essrog, a young man who works for a small-time mobster in Brooklyn while struggling with an intense case of Tourette Syndrome. “Okay, listen, I got something wrong with me, [...]

  • Summer Box Office

    Box Office Report Card: Studios Get Their Summer Grades

    Studios got badly burned this summer. From May to August, popcorn season in movie speak, the film flops piled up and the big hits were few and far between for nearly every company except Disney. As a whole, summer did little to instill confidence in the state of moviegoing. To be sure, there were successes [...]

  • Port Authority

    Nate Parker's 'American Skin' to Play in Deauville

    Nate Parker’s politically charged drama “American Skin” is set to play at the 45th edition of the Deauville American Film Festival following its world premiere at Venice. “American Skin,” which tells the story of a Gulf War veteran whose son is killed by a police officer, marks Parker’s first feature film since the news resurfaced [...]

  • (L to R) Kristian Bruun, Melanie

    Box Office: 'Ready or Not' Finds $2 Million on Opening Day

    Horror movie “Ready or Not” scared up a $2 million opening day at 2,244 North American locations as Fox Searchlight got a two-day jump on the weekend. The figure includes $730,000 from Tuesday night previews. “Ready or Not” centers on a bride’s wedding night turning deadly when her new in-laws force her into a strange game [...]

  • Lance Reddick Angel Has Fallen

    Lance Reddick on His 'Angel Has Fallen' Role and Yale Acting Classmate Paul Giamatti

    Lance Reddick, known for tough-cop roles on such shows as “The Wire” and “Fringe” — and as a city councilman who used to be a tough cop in “Bosch” — will play the director of the Secret Service in “Angel Has Fallen,” the third installment of the “Olympus Has Fallen” series, coming to theaters Aug. 23. [...]

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    'The Report' Trailer: Adam Driver Investigates Post-9/11 Interrogation Tactics

    Adam Driver is in pursuit of the truth in Amazon Studio’s first look at “The Report,” a tense political drama about the CIA’s use of torture. The film focuses on Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Driver), who begins to investigate the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, a group created in the aftermath of 9/11. As he [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content