Chrissy Metz gets real about her lifelong weight struggle in 'Marie Claire' interview

It's hard not to love Chrissy Metz. Effortlessly endearing on "This Is Us" and just as warm out of character, fans stop Metz anywhere and everywhere to share their affection -- even in bathrooms. But it wasn't quite so easy for Metz to learn to love herself.

In a revealing new interview with Marie Claire, Metz opens up about a very personal subject: Just like her on-screen persona, Kate, Metz has fought a lifelong battle with her weight. By her 20s, her weight gain was rapidly increasing as she added 100 pounds to her frame over just a few years.

"I've never bought two seats [on an airplane], but I've had people look at me, give me the stank-eye, and maybe get up and go somewhere else," she said. "Fair enough. What I had to learn is that it's not personal."

But lessons like that took time to understand, and Metz has had years upon years to learn them the hard way. She moved to Hollywood in the mid-2000s with big dreams of becoming an actress -- and found herself, instead, as an agent's assistant. Before long, she was an agent herself, securing auditions for dozens of clients but struggling to land any for herself.

"I don't necessarily blame the industry," she said. "People didn't know what to do with me."

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It's a theme that Metz is used to dealing with. As a child in Gainesville, Florida, she was bullied for her larger-than-average size. Years later, as a struggling actress, she got similar icy vibes from fellow aspiring stars: "I walked into rooms a lot of women thought I shouldn't be in," she said. She occasionally booked roles, but nearly always with demoralizing names like "Chunk" or "Heavy Girl."

As her "This Is Us" character embarks on a weight loss journey, Metz plans to join in on the action. "I do want to lose weight," she said, "but not because anyone is telling me to do it. I would love to go on 'The Biggest Loser,' where it's a concentrated thing."

For Metz, it's not about looks so much as health. "My father is a big guy. He's had a quadruple bypass surgery, and that's scary," she said. "Those are real things that happen in families with overweight people, and I don't want that."

The season one finale of "This Is Us" airs March 14 on NBC.

See photos from the first season of "This Is Us":

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'This Is Us' season 1
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'This Is Us' season 1
THIS IS US -- 'The Big Three' Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Kate, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Parker Bates as Kevin, Lonnie Chavis as Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Kyle' Episode 103 -- Pictured: Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'The Trip' Episode 109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Justin Hartley as Kevin, Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'The Game Plan' Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'The Pool' Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Lonnie Chavis as 8 year old Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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)
THIS IS US -- 'The Game Plan' Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Career Days' Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Pilgrim Rick' Episode 108 -- Pictured: Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Pilgrim Rick' Episode 108 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mackenzie Hancsicsak as 8 year old Kate, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Parker Bates as 8 year old Kevin, Lonnie Chavis as 8 year old Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'The Big Day' Episode 112 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Kate, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US -- 'The Big Day' Episode 112 -- Pictured: Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US -- 'The Big Day' Episode 112 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US -- 'Last Christmas' Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gerald McRaney as Dr. Nathan Katowsky, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Last Christmas' Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mackenzie Hancsicsak as 8 year old Kate, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World ' Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THS IS US -- 'Pilgrim Rick' Episode 108 -- Pictured: (l-r) Parker Bates as 8 year old Kevin, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Lonnie Chavis as 8 year old Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THIS IS US -- 'Kyle' Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Justin Hartley as Kevin, Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Chrissy Metz as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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