“This Is Us” star Chrissy Metz wants to live a healthy life, but she doesn’t think that means she necessarily has to lose weight to do so.
“Goodness, there’s so many different levels of response,” the plus-size actress told TheWrap founder and editor in chief Sharon Waxman during WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit Thursday, when asked if she felt pressure to lose weight from those within the industry who value thin talent.
“I think, as we evolve as human beings or in our particular life, we realize, ‘Oh, you know, this isn’t serving me anymore,'” she said. “Or, if we, God forbid, come across medical issues or problems that, ‘Oh, maybe I just wanna be a little more active.’ And some people knock the girls that lose weight and say like, ‘Why did you guys do that? You’re selling out.’ And that’s not necessarily true.” Then she referenced the character she plays on the her NBC family drama: “Much like Kate, it’s like, ‘Oh, no, she’s finally contending with the things that she was eating over.'”
Metz plays Kate Pearson on “This Is Us,” which is currently in its fourth season and has already been renewed for two more. The only daughter of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), Kate has struggled with weight her whole life and is continuing that fight this season as she also faces the challenges of being a new mother to a blind baby.
The actress said that she has faced her own challenges about her appearance. “I think it’s more about the behavior around what you’re doing,” Metz said. “And it could be social media, gambling, sex, drinking, food — it could be anything, fill in the blank — how is my behavior around that and how do I want to change that behavior? Because it’s the stinking thinking of obsessing about something. So for me, I’m like, am I eating for my health, or is there something really going on? And whether I lose weight or I don’t, I don’t really hold on to a number. I don’t think that’s important, ’cause who’s to say what?”
“People are like, ‘Wait, what? You got your blood work done and you have like great, perfect cholesterol? Like, it doesn’t make sense. I’m like, ‘I want you to know it’s real,'” she continued. “Like, contrary to popular belief or what we’re told about what looks healthy or what doesn’t look healthy.”
Metz said she also thinks those who struggle with their weight have a different battle than those facing addictions to drugs, alcohol or smoking, which are “sort of glamorized” in popular culture. “Like, oh she’s sexy. But if she’s overweight, she’s like sitting in the corner like a lonely sad girl. And you’re like, that’s not actually true,” she said. “And people don’t know people’s medical history. So I think there’s so many ways and I think it’s important for every individual to determine what makes them happy and how to get to that.”
For herself, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a day-by-day challenge. “Some days I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m definitely eating my feelings.’ And then some days I’m like, ‘Yeah, when my heart is full, I’m not hungry.’ Right, so there’s those kinds of thoughts, like, ‘Oh, what is the psychology behind it?’ So, I don’t know. Do I wanna take care of my body and live a healthy life? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it at an unconventional size.”
Prior to her sit down with Waxman, Metz kicked off TheWrap’s Power Women Summit Thursday night with a live performance of the original song “I’m Standing With You,” accompanied by Diane Warren on guitar. The song was written by Warren for the feature film “Breakthrough,” which starred Metz.
WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit, held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica Oct. 24-25, brings together 1,500 of the most influential women from the entertainment, media and technology industries, making it the largest gathering of its kind. With the theme of “Toward 50/50,” the event highlights women of achievement, encourages discussion on topics of impact and creates a lasting community of powerful women. The summit will provide two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking.
Additional speakers for the summit include Eva Longoria, Nicole Richie, Gigi Gorgeous, Rachel Zoe, Sophia Bush, Erin Andrews, Gina Torres, Stephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero and Jenna Dewan.