'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Celebrates Her Birthday – with Some Inspiration from Her New Hit Show

Chrissy Metz and her character are both celebrating their 36th birthdays

Photo: Michael Bezjian/WireImage

The premiere of This Is Us opened on four individuals, including Chrissy Metz’s character Kate, celebrating their 36th birthdays. In a case of life reflecting art, the actress also happened to be celebrating 36 years on Saturday, and she threw a monumental bash for the occasion.

“This was the biggest birthday party I’ve ever had,” Metz tells PEOPLE. “I’m used to a low-key dinner with a little Catchphrase competition to end the night.”

But with a new TV show making waves, an all-out celebration – including guests like costars Susan Kelechi Watson and Milo Ventimiglia – was in order. Although Kate’s birthday winded up with a twisted ankle from falling off a scale, Metz says she and her character have a lot in common at their shared age.

“Kate and I are both on the precipice of incredible times in our lives,” she explains. “Coming into our own and achieving personal success and happiness simultaneously is pretty amazing.”

Luckily, Metz’s birthday didn’t end in a bandaged ankle. However, other elements of the tearjerker influenced the soiree.

Party planner Stacey Ruiz incorporated hints of the ’80s into the theme of the night, given that parts of the show are set in that time period and Metz’s birth year was in the start of the decade.

“Since the show This Is Us just premiered, we played that up very much for this event,” she says. “After all, the name of the party is ‘THIS IS 36.’ ”

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Ruiz continued, “Chrissy is a star and she is shining brighter than ever in Hollywood right now, so we wanted to celebrate the shining star she is with a modern Hollywood glam look with 1980s references. There were touches of gold accents throughout.”

No birthday bash is complete without a cake, and Metz’s three-tier masterpiece from Sweet E’s Bake Shop upped the ante. The White Chocolate Champagne flavor tickled guests’ tastebuds while its gold details matched the overall decor.

But what really makes a party is the DJ, Metz says.

“Great music or the lack of can make or break the night,” she explains. “You want to hear, ‘Ohhhh, that’s my song,’ at least a few times before the night is over.”

DJ Smiles fit the bill, and guests are still raving.

Metz says, “Friends are still texting me about him.”

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