'This Is Us' Chrissy Metz says her contract includes mandatory weight loss, calls it 'a win-win for me'

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When Chrissy Metz signed on to play Kate, a 30-something struggling with her weight on NBC's This Is Us, it soon became clear that — one way or another — life was gonna imitate art.

Kate's journey is "parallel to my life," the actress tells TVLine. And to realistically portray a woman working toward a major goal, that meant that Metz would have to agree to lose weight as her character did.

The actress says she happily signed on the dotted line.

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"In our contract, it did state that that would be a part of it, to lose the weight in the trajectory of the character as she comes to find herself," she says. "That was a win-win for me. Because it's one thing to try to do it on your own, but as human beings, it's an ego thing, but we're more likely to do something for someone else."

She adds that a job that came with the caveat that she gradually improve her health was that "different kind of motivation, so I was excited about it."

This Is Us Chrissy Metz Weight Loss Contract

The NBC drama opened with Kate at a very low point: On her 36th birthday, she realized that her childhood visions of having a husband and family weren't going to happen unless she made significant changes. "Look at me, Kev," she lamented to her twin brother. "Like, I ate my dream life away." She went on to join an Overeaters Anonymous-like group and meet a "fat friend" named Toby who became her boyfriend. As the season has progresses, we've watched her celebrate wins (intimacy with Toby) and experience setbacks (those gas-station donuts).

Behind the scenes, Metz says there have been "discussions" about Kate's story eventually focusing on other facets of her life, "which is even more exciting. So I'm just rolling with the punches... I, as Chrissy, want to do things that mentally, emotionally and physically make me the best that I can be. That's the intention for our writers and the development of the character."

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Chrissy Metz from 'This Is Us'
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Chrissy Metz attends the Glamour Celebrates 2016 Women Of The Year Awards - Arrivals at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actress Chrissy Metz speaks at Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 LIVE Summit at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Glamour)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Actress Chrissy Metz, comedian Erin Gibson, Founder & Executive Director Safe Hands for Girls, Jaha Dukureh, and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad pose backstage at Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 LIVE Summit at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Glamour)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Actress Chrissy Metz arrives at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and InStyle celebrate the 2017 Golden Globe Award Season at Catch LA on November 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Actress Chrissy Metz attends the NBC and Vanity Fair Toast the 2016-2017 TV Season, in Hollywood, California, on November 2, 2016. / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress Chrissy Metz attends Entertainment Weekly's Popfest at The Reef on October 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: (L-R) Actors Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley pose backstage during the 'This Is Us' panel at Entertainment Weekly's PopFest at The Reef on October 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress Chrissy Metz speaks onstage during the 'This Is Us' panel at Entertainment Weekly's PopFest at The Reef on October 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
CULVER CITY, CA - OCTOBER 23: Actress Chrissy Metz attends the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation 'A Time For Heroes' family festival at Smashbox Studios on October 23, 2016 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Tasia Wells/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation )
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 13: Actress Chrissy Metz attends NYLON Nights Los Angeles, in celebration of the October It Girl issue hosted by cover star Tinashe, at Doheny Room on October 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for NYLON)
THS IS US -- 'Pilgrim Rick' Episode 108 -- Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Actress Chrissy Metz visits Hollywood Today Live at W Hollywood on September 30, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 13: Actor Tahj Mowry (L) and actress Chrissy Metz attend NYLON Nights Los Angeles, in celebration of the October It Girl issue hosted by cover star Tinashe, at Doheny Room on October 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for NYLON)
THIS IS US -- 'The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World ' Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actors Chrissy Metz (L) and Kendrick Sampson pose for portrait at her 36th Birthday Party at The Study on September 24, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
THIS IS US -- 'The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World ' Episode 107 -- Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Chrissy Metz visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 21, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
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And before you can compose that angry tweet, hear this: Metz knows that you might view her eventual weight-loss as the byproduct of fame. After all, many stars — Jennifer Hudson (American Idol) and Ricki Lake (China Beach), for example — whittled themselves down significantly after landing major gigs.

"I just have to be very clear," she says. "Whether or not I lose weight or stay the same, it's purely a choice of mine for health. Not because I think that plus size, curvy, voluptuous, big bodies aren't attractive — because I think they're awesome and sexy."

She continues: "So I'll just have to make sure that's known, because I'm not selling out the big girls." She laughs. "I don't do that. That's not me."

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