Known for his breakthrough role as Toby Damon on This Is Us, Chris Sullivan also voiced the “hump day” camel on the well-known Geico commercial.
For the first three seasons of the drama series, viewers only saw the funny and loving side of Toby. However, after his touching performance in his self-titled episode, the actor allowed the world to see a man struggling with depression behind his infectious sense of humor, earning him his first Primetime Emmy nomination.
How did he find out he was nominated, and who was the first person he called to share the news?
Chris Sullivan as Toby Damon on ‘This Is Us’
The actor made his appearance on the family drama during the first season when he met Kate Pearson at a weight loss support group. They eventually began dating before tying the knot and then welcomed a child together, baby Jack.
The couple went through a miscarriage and other issues, especially when Toby stopped taking his antidepressants so Kate could get pregnant. When he was off his medicine, viewers saw a more in-depth look into Toby and his past, a moving performance that earned him his first Emmy nomination.
Chris Sullivan snags first Emmy nomination
Sullivan submitted his episode titled “Toby” for the Television Academy’s consideration. In the episode, viewers saw Toby use his sense of humor on his mother when they went through hard times as a child. They also saw him struggling with extreme depression after his girlfriend dumped him, causing him to go on antidepressants.
However, after he realized that the medication was a reason why Kate wasn’t conceiving, he flushed his pills down the toilet, determined to have a child. For the first time, his wife saw a depressed man behind the hilarious sense of humor as he couldn’t even leave the bed to walk their dog anymore. Finally, Kate received a call from her doctor that the two are expecting, ending his agony.
After meeting Sullivan in the first season, viewers only saw a funny and loving side of him and were shocked to see what he went through. His superb acting as he went through the stages of using humor to help his mom’s depression to depressed himself to expecting a child is a story anyone can love, fans of This Is Us or not.
How Chris Sullivan found out about his nomination
In an interview with E! News, Sullivan explained he had no idea he received his first Primetime Emmy nomination. While he was visiting his parents, his television wife, Chrissy Metz, texted him saying congratulations and included several exclamation points and emojis.
The actor then received a similar text from his publicist, so Sullivan responded to Metz asking her why she congratulated him. The singer and actress said that he received a nomination, but he misunderstood and thought the entire show was nominated.
Metz hilariously replied, true to their on-screen relationship, saying, “No, dummy! You’ve been nominated!” The actor said he first reached out to his television mother-in-law, Mandy Moore, and her real-life husband, Taylor Goldsmith, to share the good news as she also received her first Emmy nomination.
According to Sullivan, he says her nomination is long overdue because he believes “she’s been doing the best work on television.” Will either of these first time nominees take home an award this year? Watch the Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony on Sunday, September 22 at 8 p.m. EST on FOX to find out.
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