“Thus far, the plan we had for the character and what Chrissy’s been doing have been working in tandem, with a talk once a year of, like, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re thinking,’ ” the show’s creator, Dan Fogelman tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“We have a general long-term plan that we’ve all talked about, and we will adjust the plan as needed,” Fogelman explains. “I mean, that’s life, right?”
The role has been life-changing for Metz, who was down to 81 cents in her bank account and subsisting on ramen noodles from the Dollar Store when she got the part. Fogelman based Kate off of his sister’s weight-loss struggles, but the network was deciding between Metz and an actress with a much different body type.
“The other actress was a sort of ‘Hollywood overweight person,’ struggling with losing, maybe, 20 pounds,” ” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says.
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Metz desperately wanted the part, which truly tapped into her own experience.
“Here was this woman who was actually dealing with weight. Not like, ‘Oh my God, I gained a pound,’ ” Metz says. “She was a real woman who was really struggling, and all I could think was, ‘Oh my God, I’m Kate.’ “
Luckily, Salke and her coworkers agreed, and Metz got the job. Fogelman’s sister regularly sends notes on Kate’s storylines to ensure they’re authentic, and she had a big part in the “it’s always going to be about weight for me” monologue that Metz gave in the show’s winter finale.
“I remember reading those lines like, ‘I’m always going to be afraid of a chair breaking underneath me’ or ‘whether people will be able to recognize if I’m actually pregnant,’ and going to Dan, in tears, like, ‘These are my fears,’ ” Metz says.