Metz's character, Kate Pearson, is one of television's few plus-size characters, and her storylines on the show have largely revolved around issues of weight loss, gastric bypass surgery, and binge eating. And though Metz admitted to Marie Claire that she doesn't weigh herself or "worry about numbers" on a scale, she also says that she'd be interested in appearing on a series where she'd have to do so every week.
"I would love to go on The Biggest Loser, where it's a concentrated thing," Metz explained. "My father is a big guy; he's had a quadruple bypass surgery, and that's scary. Those are real things that happen in families with overweight people, and I don't want that."
Metz also explained to the mag that, growing up, food was equated with love — but "fat was like a cuss word." So, as an adult, after she moved to Los Angeles and wasn't booking the types of roles she desired, she turned to food as a crutch.
Metz gained 100 pounds over the course of her 20s, then — after she mistook an anxiety attack for a heart attack on her 30th birthday — decided to turn things around, leaning on self-help authors like Deepak Chopra to help her shed those same 100 pounds. A role in American Horror Story: Freak Show soon presented itself, but it wasn't until This Is Us that Metz was able to find the sort of happiness Chopra writes about in his books.
"It's one of those things I believe everybody needs right now — a cathartic cry or a laugh," Metz explained. "The show's not cynical; it's warm."
Additionally, This Is Us makes it clear that everybody struggles to exist in their own body. Not just the plus-size Kate, but also the impossibly chiseled Kevin (Justin Hartley), who often feels that his value rests solely on his looks. And for Randall (Sterling K. Brown), being the only black kid raised by a white family has led to years of overcompensation and anxiety; he feels the need to be "perfect" to belong.
However, Metz arguably has more in common with Kate — at least on the surface — than her co-stars do with their characters, and she's more than happy to discuss their shared experiences. (For example, Metz tells Marie Claire she's never had to buy two seats on an airplane, but she has "had people look at me, give me the stank-eye, and maybe get up and go somewhere else.")
She also, much like Kate, still struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
"If I'm upset or I have to confront somebody, I'm like, 'This feels really icky. Let me have a burrito,'" Metz explained. "I believe that if we haven't learned our lessons, they will continue to come and circle back around. Obviously I haven't figured it out with food."
Metz says her ultimate goal is "to be proportioned," rather than stick-thin. (She also clears up that "weight loss contract" mess once and for all, saying "we haven't even talked about an actual number with Kate. Ever.")
And while she hasn't booked any major gigs outside of This Is Us, we're pulling for her — while completely dreading all of the ways she's going to make us cry in the upcoming season finale.