'American Horror Story' Alum: Plus-Size Roles 'Need To Not Always Be The Butt Of The Joke'
Chrissy Metz, who played Barbara/Ima Wiggles on "American Horror Horror Story: Freak Show," has said that plus-size performers like her deserve to play complex and emotionally rich roles in which their size is not a punchline.
"We need to write more of those stories. We need to not always be the butt of the joke," Metz said (via Wetpaint) at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills earlier this week while talking about her upcoming NBC show "This Is Us."
In the Dan Fogelman-created series, Metz plays Kate in the show, a character who is indeed struggling with her weight. The show's premiere episode, however, gives her something few plus-size characters get -- a love interest (played by Justin Hartley).
"I feel incredibly lucky," she said (via HelloGiggles) of playing the role. "I don't know many plus-size women who are starring in a television show that is going to be seen by so many people who are affected by being overweight."
Since the trailer for the series was released last May, a lot of people have expressed their relief that her new role treats plus-size women with more respect. "I've already had people reaching out to me [about] the fact they're addressing being plus-size or overweight and still being attractive," she revealed.
While her role as Ima Wiggles on "Freak Show" focused much of the character's weight, she, apparently, still had fun playing the role.
"I was thrilled to find out that I wasn't big enough," Metz, who had to wear a fat suit for the role, told Yahoo TV back in 2014. "It was a first in my life. It was liberating."
"I really feel connected to this character because I'm very confident and outgoing -- I'm like a social butterfly -- but I'm human," she told People. "We all have insecurities ... Regardless of your weight, your race and where you grew up, we're all contending with something."
"This Is Us" premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10/9c on NBC.