Even since the pilot, it was evident that Kate's story on This Is Us would focus a great deal on her weight and her struggles with it since she was a little girl. The storyline has received criticism due to some viewers feeling Kate's personality is being defined solely by her weight. However, there will be more focus on other aspects of Kate's life in This Is Us Season 2, Chrissy Metz tells Bustle. That said, the actor also makes clear that she believes Kate's weight has been shown as a major factor in her story for a reason.
"The weight and the weight storyline will be secondary," Metz reveals before adding, "but it's so important."
The 36-year-old, who just earned her first Emmy nomination for her role on the show, says there's a bigger purpose behind Kate's weight often being at the forefront. As she explains of how Kate's weight issues fit into her bigger picture,
"Kate's story is that she's been living in the shadow of her brother and that means she's put herself on the back burner, whether it's not dealing with her emotions, not handling everything that has really affected her from her childhood. And, so, if we don't fix the problem it only becomes a bigger problem. It's not all that she is, but it surrounds so much of her choices and her worth and the co-dependent relationship between her and her brother."
Furthermore, Metz says that even though her weight is a part of Kate's journey, it doesn't define her as a whole. "It's a part of the story, but it's not all that she is, as I am a plus-size woman, but that's not all that I am." Metz understands why some viewers don't agree with the portrayal of Kate, but she hopes they understand why it's been shown as a significant part of her character's story. She says,
"But, of course, choices shape and mold us. I don't think it's a negative thing, but I understand why people are like, 'Ugh, why can't a big girl just be a big girl? Why does it have to be the source of the character?' But in this particular case, we get to see this really amazing evolution of a woman, who wouldn't even speak up for herself and who is now changing for the better and putting herself first."
Speaking of Kate's "amazing evolution," Metz teases a new Kate when Season 2 begins. When viewers last saw her in the Season 1 finale, she not only moved in with her fiancé, Toby, but she decided to follow in her mom's footsteps by pursuing a singing career.
"Of course, Kate and Toby moved in together, so we're going to see that and them co-existing in one place and that's new," she says about the upcoming season. "She did state that she wants to sing and follow in her mother's footsteps, so I'm sure we'll get to see all of that." If Metz has it her way, she'd love to have a scene singing with her co-star and TV mother, Mandy Moore, so here's hoping that becomes a reality.
By the end of Season 1, it was obvious that Kate was slowly becoming happy with who she is and finally pursuing "her heart's desires," as Metz puts it. "I think [Kate's] finally gotten to the place, where after the retreat, she was like, 'Oh, these are the real issues I need to deal with.'"
Kate has many issues to face, including her tense relationship with her mother and working through why she has pushed her away for all of these years. On top of that, Kate blames herself for her her dad's death and has always put her brother Kevin first — until recently that is. Now that she is finally putting a focus on herself and her own dreams, Kate could very well become the person she has always hoped to be.
Metz hopes that in Season 2 Kate doesn't digress into her old ways. It's easy to "lose ourselves," Metz points out, when it comes to the unpredictability of our daily lives, but she's pulling for Kate to be able to push through the craziness. "Personally, I think the hardest thing is to be consistent and to stay consistent with what you say you're going to do and do what you say, you know, say what you mean, mean what you say, and I hope to see that Kate continues to put herself first," she says.
Kate's Season 2 journey definitely sounds, yet again, like a positive and inspiring one, which is just one more reason to look forward to new This Is Us episodes.