Chrissy Metz wants to clarify that her This Is Us contract does not say she has to lose weight.
The 36-year-old actress had previously revealed to PEOPLE that she would have to go on the same weight loss journey as her character Kate does on the show.
“It’s definitely a conversation that we’ve had, and it’s in my contract,” she said, emphasizing that both she and Kate would be shaping up “in a healthy manner.”
But while chatting with PEOPLE at the 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball in Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Friday, Metz clarified her previous comments.
“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 said. “I was pitched that the trajectory of Kate is that she’s going to lose weight. That is who and what’s going on.”
While her character Kate decided to get gastric bypass surgery on the show, Metz was clear that the weight loss isn’t mandated and that she doesn’t have to get to a particular size. But she’s looking forward to the challenge of losing weight, and feels motivated by the show.
“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.”
Metz said that she “wasn’t surprised” by the traction her initial comments received – noting that, other than Melissa McCarthy on Mike and Molly, women her size haven’t been represented often on network television.
“It’s like all people want to talk about is my weight,” she said. “I was like, ‘Okay, this is weird.’ “
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But ultimately, the actress said she values storytelling over her own vanity.
“I don’t go and watch dailies,” she explained. “I don’t go and watch the monitor because I don’t need to know like, oh, is there a roll here? I want to be so in the moment and not distracted by, ‘Do I look pretty?’ Because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about telling a story. If I look pretty, great. If I don’t, I’m telling a story.”
Her dedication to the story enables her to be so vulnerable and she hopes that she will help inspire vulnerability in others as well.
“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 shared. “So I figure if I can do it, in my most vulnerable state, maybe I can encourage other people.”