"It's going to be exciting," Chrissy Metz tells PEOPLE about Kate's relationship with Phillip and eventual ex Toby in the sixth and final season of This Is Us

By Karen Mizoguchi
May 26, 2021 04:29 PM
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This Is Us fans were shocked to see Chrissy Metz's character in a wedding dress for her nuptials... to Phillip (Chris Geere)!

The season 5 finale left fans reeling after the cliffhanger featured a five-year flash-forward showing Kate preparing to marry her boss at the music school for the blind. Meanwhile, in the present timeline, Kate and Toby (Chris Sullivan) were at a crossroads as she wanted to remain teaching at the music school while he wanted to take a new job in San Francisco after being laid off due to the COVID pandemic. But they seemed determined to figure out a way to make it work.

On Wednesday, Metz, who will next be hosting the craft competition series Meet Your Makers Showdown on discovery+, spoke to PEOPLE about what the big reveal means for season 6, especially with Kate's relationship with Toby (Chris Sullivan) and their two kids.

PEOPLE: It's almost been 24 hours since the season 5 finale: Have you read the Twitter responses or gotten any messages from friends about Kate's second wedding? Or the cast group chat?

CHRISSY METZ: I was messaging with Mandy [Moore] this morning. I haven't checked Twitter.

You've known for a while that Kate and Toby, a core couple on the show, are separating.

While you can fall in love with a couple, there's so much going in a relationship and even things they hadn't noticed. But as we grow, you either grow together or you grow apart. That's the sad truth and it's bittersweet. I think they're both interested in each other's happiness and have been chasing their own happiness for a long time so that's what's most important. 

In season 6, you'll be acting alongside another Chris. Creator Dan Fogelman said Geere came in during season 5 to test with you before he signed on to be a big part of the final season. Do you think he will be a seamless addition to the Pearson family? Some fans might think Phillip stole Kate from Toby.

Here's the thing, let's be very clear, you can't steal somebody who doesn't want to be stolen. You can't keep a man who doesn't want to be kept. What we don't know is the story we're going to learn of course in season 6. Chris Geere is so special and so sweet, and wonderful. Such a great actor, and he really gets the tone of the show and was the right guy for the job. He literally was like, "I don't know, Chrissy, I think people are going to hate me." And I was like, "Nobody's gonna hate you, they're probably going to hate me. They're probably going to hate Kate before they hate you."

It's sort of the same thing with Miguel and Jack. Poor Jon [Huertas] gets a bad rap but Miguel, he really rose to the occasion of following through on the promise he made to Jack that he would take care of the family. Now, I don't know if that means they have to get married and fall in love, however, you know I think it's important that we can find love in different ages, stages, times and places. And maybe in the unexpected.

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Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

There's a deep fandom for KaToby. Audiences have seen that entire romance for more than four seasons. Now with Phillip and Kate, will one season be enough to tell all the components of their love story?

I do feel very strange because I'm like I'm five years in the future but also in the present moment with who [Phillip] is now. And there's also Kate and Toby. It's not a great feeling. Because Chris Sullivan is my boy, forever and always. It's weird.

We see the beginning, he's sort of the jerk that didn't want to hire her and doesn't want her in the class. You sort of see him soften up, and "I don't want to admit this but you're actually good at your job." I think even he didn't want to admit it and realize that she was an asset. And that was really important, not only for Kate as a woman, human and a daughter, but as a woman who has been chasing her dream of happiness in finally coming into her own. I wonder how it's going to be completely orchestrated. Wonderfully, I'm definitely sure. It's going to be exciting.

But Sullivan will be around for season 6. Presumably this chapter of KaToby in season 6 will deal with divorce and co-parenting, as well as her working at the school?

When you're a mother — I don't have children, I have a really big family — your priority is your children. For her to balance both of those things, and I think that's what is so cool about seeing her as a mother, is because so many people don't know how. We're not taught, it's not cultivated that whether you have children or not, you still have to be the priority. They tell us on the airplane, put the oxygen mask on yourself. But we don't, especially as a woman, I don't think.

It's been a delicate balance to figuring out and that she has found her strength in that and surprised herself with that. Because even with Toby, he was like, sort of, I can't figure this out. Just the instincts of a mother, you just figure it out. I think that might play into the dissolve of Kate and Toby because he did say, "I love our children but I want to get to back work or I don't know how to handle this." Some people aren't equipped. I'm not saying Toby's not because he always shows up for her. It's different, things are changing, and that's okay. But I think what's worse is to stay in a relationship where people aren't happy because they're keeping up with Joneses or they're supposed to or feel like they have to. That's not interesting to me. Personally, I think that's pointless.

And that second wedding dress! I thought it was more glamorous than the first wedding gown Kate wore [for her wedding to Toby].

Well, a little easter egg: that wedding gown is indicative of where [Kate and Phillip] get married.

I'm sure you'll be sad to say goodbye to This Is Us, but what are you looking forward to post-Kate?

I'm looking forward to all the things I want to do. I would love to continue to write and eventually have my own production company. Also to just have a music career too. I'm looking forward to really concentrating on the music and writing more often. This show literally changed my life. It will never, never be the same again. And so there's so much gratitude around that. I am sad to see [the show] go. I could take a year or two more, for sure.

Season 6 of This Is Us premieres in early 2022.