In conversation with Deadline’s Pete Hammond, Chrissy Metz opened up about her food addiction and her career. Here’s what she had to say.
Since This Is Us Season 1, Kate’s weight loss and food addiction have been the defining challenges of her character. This season, she faced a new challenge when her newborn Jack was born premature and permanently blind. Upon receiving the news, Kate blamed herself for ignoring the advice of medical professionals who had told her to lose weight before getting pregnant.
Kate’s weight loss journey hasn’t been a straight line. Although she began the series working out regularly, managing her diet, and attending a weight-loss camp, staying on that path proved difficult. It’s a journey that This Is Us star Chrissy Metz understands.
On Deadline’s video series The Actor’s Side, the self-proclaimed plus-sized actress told Hammond that she uses food to “soothe herself.” She also revealed that in This Is Us Season 5, fans will gain more insight into Kate’s food addiction.
“We’re going to find out even more in-depth next season as to why she’s decided, not to use food but use a substance, her’s being food, because she’s been through some things that we haven’t–we don’t know yet.”
In the interview, Metz commended This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman for continuing to tackle real issues honestly, allowing the cast and the audience to learn in the process. This Is Us never passes up the opportunity to present real-life issues such as addiction, anxiety, or grief. Now, with Kate’s new journey as the mother of a special-needs child, the show presents the opportunity for more learning and representation.
Metz told Hammond that for that reason, she was excited about portraying Kate’s new journey.
“Everybody’s story needs to be told.”
As I’ve said in the past, Kate’s journey this season hit very close to home for me. I’ve been physically disabled my entire life. Until this season of This Is Us, I’d never seen a physically disabled character portrayed by a physically disabled actor on mainstream television.
Representation matters. Seeing someone like yourself portraying experiences that are true to yours is a powerful thing. While we’re just at the start of baby Jack’s story, the glimpses that we’ve gotten of adult Jack, portrayed by blind actor Blake Stadnik, hint at a promising storyline.
To close out the interview, Metz and Hammond discussed her interesting career trajectory. Before landing her role on This Is Us, Metz worked for nine years as a talent agent. During this time, she watched as her clients went on auditions and booked roles while her bank account dwindled. However, Metz says that she’s grateful for that time in her life.
“I really had a chance to be of service, understand the business from the other side of the desk, and really decide like, ‘Do I want this?'”
Ultimately, she decided that yes, she did want it, and in 2014, she booked a role on American Horror Story: Freak Show.
“[…] I think if you do it for the right reasons, anything, it doesn’t matter what you’re pursuing, if you do it for the right reasons, eventually it’s gonna happen.”
We’re definitely glad that it happened to her! No matter where Kate’s storyline takes her, we know that Chrissy Metz will be there to portray that storyline with absolute authenticity.
This Is Us is tentatively set to return for Season 5 this fall on NBC. If you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on Season 4 via Hulu or the NBC app.