Chrissy Metz said she plans to lose weight to go along with her This Is Us character — even if it’s not officially in her contract.
The 37-year-old actress had previously said that she was mandated to lose weight for her character Kate, who just decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery on This Is Us. The comment turned heads as many questioned whether it was appropriate for NBC to require an actress to lose weight for a role, but Chrissy Metz gave an update on Saturday clarifying that the weight loss is part of the This Is Us character’s story but not part of her official contract.
“It wasn’t mandated in the contract, and I probably — if I ever said the word contract, I didn’t mean it in that way,” she told People magazine. “I was pitched that the trajectory of Kate is that she’s going to lose weight. That is who and what’s going on.”
But even if it isn’t required of her, Chrissy Metz said she is excited to start her own weight loss journey and takes it as a challenge as an actress.
“Why not have a motivation beyond me to get to a healthy weight?” she said. “Every actor does that. We’re chameleons. We change, we grow as an actor… you lose weight, you gain weight, you change your hair or whatever.”
Chrissy Metz has been open about her weight and its relevance to her role as Kate. The character struggles with overeating and a desire to lose weight, ultimately deciding to get gastric bypass surgery. The results of that surgery are yet to be seen on the show, but Metz said she feels pressure in the role to give a voice to people struggling with weight issues.
“I feel a sense of responsibility to represent actors, plus-size actors, plus-size women, or people who are struggling with their weight,” Metz told Refinery29. “I have that experience, and I really want to do it justice. You know, it’s one thing to struggle with your weight here and there, but for me, it’s been since I literally was a child, since I was a little girl. I get it. I get it as me, Chrissy, and then Kate, as a character.”
And Chrissy Metz added that she hopes her weight loss on the show can serve as a bit of encouragement for others who may be going through the same thing that Kate is experiencing on This Is Us.
“It’s so important to be vulnerable because it allows other people to feel courageous enough to be vulnerable, and that’s really where we get to the meat, no pun intended, of who we are, and why we’re here and what we’re doing,” she said (via People). “So I figure if I can do it, in my most vulnerable state, maybe I can encourage other people.”
Many critics have praised the way This Is Us have handled Kate’s issues with weight. Refinery29 noted that many sitcoms tend to fall back on turning overweight characters into a punchline, and that plus-size actors are often typecast into these roles.
But This Is Us has shown Kate as a “normal person” and is not surrounded by jokes about her weight, the report pointed out.
Just how much weight Chrissy Metz plans to lose for her This Is Us role remains to be seen, and the duration of her weight loss has yet to be addressed in the show. But one thing appears certain — viewers will get to see it play out over at least the next two years. The freshman NBC drama has scored high ratings and critical praise, and is all but assured to be picked up for a second season.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]