Chrissy Metz and Boyfriend Bradley Collins Recall the Origins of Their Pandemic Romance (Exclusive)

Metz also opens up to ET about life after 'This Is Us,' working with her beau on their new kids book and what she's been working on.

Chrissy Metz and her boyfriend Bradley Collins are feeling the love this Valentine's Day. The couple, who are approaching their three-year dating anniversary in May, sat down with ET's Rachel Smith to kick off "Couples Week," sharing everything from how they first met and the moment they fell in love to their new children's book, When I Talk to God, I Talk About You.

"When we first met, which was over the pandemic, we got to know each other very well because all you could do was talk because you didn’t get together," Metz recalled of the early days of their romance. The two met on the dating app, Bumble, while in Nashville, Tennessee. As Metz shared in the interview, they soon realized they had mutual friends among other things in common.

"For me, prayer is always important and I think for Bradley as well, and we always talked about how we were raised and how important it was to bolster children’s self-esteem and confidence and so we just wanted to impart that," Metz said of how their new book came about, also referencing her time as a preschool teacher as a key period in her life. "I have a big family, so we just wanted to impart that message and to do that through a gentle direction to prayer because it was so important to us."

Metz added that she herself prays for "everything, literally all the time."

 "Every single moment, I'm sort of talking and asking for help or guidance or sort of grateful for all the blessings that I've received," she said. "That's really what we wanted to do... It's helped me in so many ways and especially on my journey of pursuing the creative arts because it wasn't always easy."

The This Is Us alum acknowledged that co-writing a book and working on a supplemental lullaby album with her beau, a former music executive, has still left her "speechless" at times, especially considering they met over a dating app. "Like, yeah, we wrote a book together!" the actress exclaimed. Metz shared that the majority of the work that went into both projects together took place over Zoom and FaceTime since she was filming the final season of This Is Us and Collins was often in Nashville. 

Chrissy Metz and Bradley Collins attend Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscars viewing party in 2022. - Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Elton John AIDS Foundation

"When we decided to do the audiobook, I was, like, 'Well, we should have an instrumental that tonally is right for the book,'" she said. One thing led to another and through Collins' contacts, they connected with producer-songwriter Phil Barton, who helped them write 10 songs in four days. "It just kind of spilled out," Metz recalled/

"You know, you read the book at night, it's a great message to send a child off to sleep with and then the album is a Christian lullaby album. Chrissy sounds fantastic on it. It will just lull you to sleep very peacefully," Collins praised. "In the best way possible," Metz chimed in.

With This Is Us in the rearview mirror, Metz has been taking time working on projects like When I Talk to God, I Talk About You and focusing on her music career.

"I'm working and focusing on my own album that I've yet to really finish in the past couple of years, so now I have the time to do it and hopefully getting some things going that I can't really talk about," she teased. "Everything's pie in the sky until it actually happens, so I always say I'm working on some things, just trying to stay busy, stay creative. But do I miss the show? So much. I honestly have gone through some of [a grieving period]. Thank god for therapy... I mean, hard -- six years is a long time."

Metz entertained the idea of popping by former co-star Milo Ventimiglia's new ABC action drama, The Company You Keep, which features a lot of the crew from This Is Us. "Well we'll see," she said when asked if she'd be interested in reuniting with her TV dad, perhaps playing a con artist herself. "I always tell on myself, like, 'Mom, I ate the cookies!' I could, maybe. I could play one. But we'll see."

Chrissy Metz and Milo Ventimiglia at a 'This Is Us' event in 2019. - Rachel Luna/Getty Images

With it being "Couples Week" on ET, Metz and Collins shared a small glimpse inside their fairy-tale love story, revealing what made them fall in love with each other. 

"She's just so funny," Collins marveled. "Everything else along with it, what everyone doesn't know is that she's absolutely hilarious."

Responded Metz, "I don't know if you can see it in his eyes, but he's very in touch with his feelings. I won’t call you out because if you cry then I'll cry, but it's just so nice to have someone that you really care about and you enjoy spending time with be vulnerable. I feel like that's when you have that connective tissue that really allows you to get to know each other. To be vulnerable is hard and it can be really scary, but Bradley’s really good at that and I think that was probably one of the things I first admired and love very much about you."

Collins couldn't help but make a cute joke about meeting Metz on the Bumble app. "Love at first swipe," he quipped. "I know who she was on the app and she gives me a hard time because we talked for like a month back and forth, but I also knew who she was before she was on This Is Us." Collins shared he first became familiar with her on Entourage

"I looked her up, had some kind of connection and I was like, 'OK,'" he continued. "I saw her on This Is Us and I said, 'Wow, she's got a lot going on now... Who would've thought? I was thinking what better time to try a dating app and I was like, 'Here she is. This is my chance.'" Metz added that she purposefully left her profile relatively bare "to sort of suss people out" and acknowledged that Collins believed, at one point, he was "getting catfished." "We chatted a while on the app and then I literally was like, 'Do I nudge him to ask me for my phone number?'" she recalled. 

"For me, I know when I know and Bradley is so patient and kind and obviously very respectful and such a Southern gentleman that I was like, 'OK, I’m just gonna ask. Can you just ask me for my phone number because I just need to know,'" Metz said. "And then we did a FaceTime date and then our first date we planned for the park, but it rained out, so I was like, I'll just come to your house. Do you feel comfortable with that?' 'Yes, of course.' Such a gentleman, so I’m literally in the kitchen, he’s in the living room and we're shouting at each other because [social distancing]."

As for their plans for Valentine's Day, the couple will be traveling so "it's just about making the most of wherever it is you are," Collins said, adding that they plan to go to dinner in New York City. "Surprises are super important." 

And their dream double date? Chris Stapleton and his wife, Morgan, with whom Collins is good friends and Metz also knows. "We've never hung out, all four of us. I'd love the four of us to go to [dinner]," Collins said. "I love that. OK, I'm with that idea," Metz agreed.


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