Chrissy Metz is contractually obligated to lose weight for This Is Us — but how much she loses and how she does it is totally up to her.
“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 told The Hollywood Reporter.
While Metz has been steadily losing weight as she plays Kate Pearson, there's no specific number in her contract that she needs to reach.
“We have a general long-term plan that we’ve all talked about, and we will adjust the plan as needed,” Fogelman said. “I mean, that’s life, right?”
Fogelman also added that he based the role of Kate off his sister's weight loss struggles — but NBC almost decided to take it in another direction.
“The other actress [being considered for the role of Kate] was a sort of ‘Hollywood overweight person,’ struggling with losing, maybe, 20 pounds,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says.
But NBC saw the authenticity in Metz's experiences — and she wanted the role desperately.
“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.’”
Fogelman says his sister routinely sends him notes on Kate's storyline to ensure that it's authentic, and that she had a big part in Kate's "it's always going to be about the weight for me" monologue during the season one 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 said.
She has previously opened up about the time six years ago when a major health scare motivated her to lose 100 pounds. Since then, she's kept most of it off and has been working toward losing more weight during This Is Us.
“I don’t have a weight or a size [in mind],” she told PEOPLE in February. “It’s really going to be about how I feel when I look at myself. I do want to lose weight. Physically, I really am interested in just feeling better and not having to be put in a box. I don’t want to be limited by anything.”