Rebecca Metz is one of the most working actresses on television today. Aside from her dozens of guest starring roles on such series as For The People, Lopez, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us and Shameless, Metz is a series regular on the Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask The World and a recurring character on the hit FX series Better Things. Entertainment Scoop caught up with the busy actress for a one on one exclusive Q & A.
ES: You are back again this season on FX’s critically acclaimed series Better Things in the role of Tressa. Can you tell us a little bit about this role?
RM: Tressa is Sam’s (Pamela Adlon) talent manager and one of her best friends. She’s a single mom who runs her own company and has kind of built her life around taking care of people — her family, friends, and clients.
ES: Do you have a particular internal process when preparing to take on a new role?
RM: I spend a lot of time with the script to get a feel for the world of the story and to pick up clues about the character. From there, I’ll start to get impressions about the character’s backstory, the things we have in common and the ways we’re different… I tend to build a character in layers.
ES: You are also a series regular on the popular Disney Channel series Coop & Cami Ask The World. Do fans recognize you more for your work on this show or for Better Things? Do you have any memorable fan encounters?
RM: I get recognized pretty equally for both shows, but of course Better Things fans are usually adults while Coop and Cami fans are usually kids. Adults tend to play it pretty cool when they recognize me and share how much the show means to them, which is wonderful. Kids have less of a filter. For example, I recently participated in an event where actors visit a local classroom and read a book to the students. As soon as I walked in, the kids started jumping up and down and yelling questions and favorite Coop and Cami moments. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to feeling like a rock star.
ES: Both of your current series are very different in subject matter, style and tone. What are some of the main differences that you experience as an actress when you compare the two roles?
RM: It’s interesting because I play a single working mom on both shows, but as you point out they couldn’t be more different. Everything about Better Things is so grounded and real. The process is organic and driven by the actors connecting with each other and everyone in the cast and crew working together to bring Pam’s vision to life. The energy is very intimate, with all the extraneous stuff stripped away, so it really never feels like a “performance.” Coop and Cami is a multi-camera show, so it feels a lot more like theater, which is fun and satisfying in a totally different way. I grew up in the era of the classic family sitcom and we’re really following in those footsteps. Plus I get to work mainly with kids, which is a new experience for me and is hilarious and constantly surprising.
ES: How did you get started working as an actress? Was this something you always wanted to do since you were a little girl growing up in New Jersey?
RM: I’ve known I wanted to be an actor since I was a kid. It never occurred to me to try to act professionally back then, but I did school plays and local theater, went to arts camps, and went to an acting conservatory program in college. After that I started pursuing professional acting work.
ES: You have had so much success as a working actress. What advice would today’s Rebecca give to the younger Rebecca when she was just started out as a young actress in Hollywood?
RM: I’d tell her to stop worrying about her “type” or what she’s right for and just focus on connecting with people who do the kind of work she loves. It took me a long time to learn that it’s not my job to figure out what casting wants. My job is to do my best work every time I get in the room and trust that by doing that I’ll find the people who appreciate what I bring to the table.
ES: You have guest starred on so many shows like This is Us, Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist, Boston Legal, Justified, The Mindy Project and so many more. Do you have a favorite experience on one of these shows?
RM: I’ve learned so much from guesting on so many shows because you get a taste of so many different working styles and environments. I think my favorite was my first appearance as Abby Mays on Nip/Tuck. It was the biggest role I’d done at that point and everyone was nervous because it was such a dark storyline. But the crew and Julian McMahon were so caring and funny from start to finish that it was an incredibly positive experience for me. I’m still friends with a lot of the people I worked with on that set.
ES: Of all the well-known actors you have worked with, do you have a favorite actor or a meaningful memorable experience with a fellow actor you can share with us?
RM: The one that sticks out is working with Emmy Rossum on Shameless. Our scenes were fast-paced and constantly moving, and after a few episodes we really found a groove with each other, which is a great feeling as an actor. I got to be a part of Emmy’s first episode as a director, and of course Pam directed all of seasons 2 and 3 of Better Things. So I’m excited to be working with women who are not only leading the casts of great shows but directing and producing and paving paths forward for women in this business.
Follow Rebecca Metz on Instagram at @therebeccametz