this is us kate and ben gym

There's a long road between Chrissy Metz becoming an actress and becoming Kate Pearson on This Is Us. Metz recently spoke about her career, her struggles with weight, and how she got to where she is today. While there's certainly something to be said about her acting ability, Metz says she wouldn't be in the position today had she not been the way she is. Metz explains below:

I can't tell you how many times I've tried [to lose weight]. But if I had I would never have gotten this role.

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That's a statement that can be taken the wrong way, so let me throw some context on that. The gut reaction is that Chrissy Metz is saying if she wasn't so big, she wouldn't have the role. That's not true, as evidenced by co-star Chris Sullivan who wears a fat suit on the show, which also is not quite what Metz is getting at. Rather, her weight-focused journey through life is what makes her perfect for the role of Kate Pearson on This Is Us.

Much like her character on the ratings juggernaut This Is Us, Chrissy Metz has lived a life where her weight was always a part of it. She was bullied in school, and when she was eleven, her mother put her on Weight Watchers. Metz also worked as an agent for actors when she first came out to Hollywood, just like Kate did for Kevin. While Metz was able to find work as a plus-size actress before the show, This Is Us featured something that all of those other roles couldn't offer: a sense of normalcy.

This may come as a shock to some, but there aren't too many roles for big women in Hollywood, fantastic or otherwise. The roles that do exist, as Chrissy Metz tells Marie Claire, are often degrading, small, and involve the character being the butt of some joke. That's a far cry from This Is Us, which is not only centered in part on its overweight female character, but the drama also gives her a love interest and something beyond her weight to work with and talk about. In short, Kate Pearson gives the type of depth in a character that Metz had been craving since she first entered acting, but was never able to get due to her weight. And had she lost the weight for some other role in the past, she wouldn't necessarily have nailed this one.

While Chrissy Metz may never be able to fully escape the weight conversation, it's good to see that she's found some zen with it and is able to put a positive spin on an issue she's wrestled with her whole life. Those are just the kind of positive feels that we get from This Is Us, which has its Season 1 finale next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET. Catch up if you haven't, and if you are caught up, go to our midseason premiere guide and begin searching for a show to take its place while you wait for Season 2.

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