×

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.”

More Film

  • Maternal-Hogar-Sister-Paola-and-Nina-sleeping

    Locarno: Charades Acquires Competition Contender ‘Maternal’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Having seen large success with Cannes Critics’ Week and Annecy Cristal winner “I Lost My Body,” Paris-based Charades has confirmed its acquisition of international sales rights to “Maternal” (“Hogar”), written and directed by Italy’s Maura Delpero. The awaited fiction feature debut of Delpero, a documentary filmmaker whose won a Donatello Award nomination for dock-feature “Nadja [...]

  • BAFTA Backs BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training for

    BIFA’s Unconscious-Bias Training Rolls Out to BAFTA Voters, Wider Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British Independent Film Awards is opening up its unconscious-bias training to BAFTA voters and, more widely, to anyone who judges the work of others in the film and TV business in the U.K. With the makeup of award-nominee and -winner lists under close scrutiny, BIFA introduced its unconscious-bias training last year. Its voters, jurors, [...]

  • Instinct

    Carice van Houten's 'Instinct' Picked Up By Films Boutique (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based international sales agent Films Boutique has picked up psychological thriller “Instinct,” starring Carice van Houten, who received an Emmy nomination Tuesday for “Game of Thrones,” and Marwan Kenzari, recently seen in Guy Ritchie’s “Aladdin.” “Instinct” has its world premiere on the Piazza Grande at the Locarno Film Festival next month. “Instinct,” the directorial debut [...]

  • New U.K. Film and TV Studio

    New U.K. Film and TV Studio Proposed for Leeds, in Northern England

    With studio space in high demand, a sizable new film and TV complex has been proposed for Leeds, the city in northern England that is fast becoming a major U.K. media hub outside of London. It has already been selected as the base for Channel 4’s new national headquarters, and companies such as pay-TV giant [...]

  • If Only - Ginevra Elkann

    Locarno Announces Edgy Mix of Premieres, Joseph Gordon-Levitt Thriller '7500'

    Italian director Ginevra Elkann’s directorial debut, “If Only,” about kids with divorced parents, will open the 72nd Locarno Film Festival, its first edition under new artistic director Lili Hinstin, who has assembled an edgy mix of promising titles from young auteurs and more established names. “If Only” and the fest closer, iconic Japanese director Kiyoshi [...]

  • Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as

    Jody Madden Replaces Craig Rodgerson as CEO of VFX Firm Foundry

    Jody Madden has been upped to CEO at U.K.-based VFX outfit Foundry. She steps up fromchief product officer and replaces Craig Rodgerson, who joined the company in late 2017. Foundry was bought by U.S. tech firm Roper Technologies earlier this year in a £410 million ($509 million) deal. The London-based business provides software and technology [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content