Fans of This Is Us were shocked to learn that Chris Sullivan‘s weight loss happened long before he started playing Toby on the hit NBC drama! In an interview with Us Weekly, the 39-year-old’s costar, Susan Kelechi Watson (a.k.a. Randall’s wife Beth), revealed that he wears a fat suit and prosthetic jowls while portraying Kate Pearson’s love interest — a man who struggles with his weight and suffered from a heart attack because of his health issues.
After receiving backlash for being a thin man playing a heavier-set person, Chris addressed the controversy in April 2017. “You know, there are different requirements for an actor for different roles,” he told People Now. “And I think that if people actually had a problem with the way that I was representing this character, or had a problem with the integrity of the character, or the way I was treating this character, then I would really like to have a conversation … I’m very proud of the work that I’ve done as Toby and I think [costar] Chrissy [Metz] is too, and that’s another conversation that we had early on, about what do we want to say.”
Meanwhile, Chrissy, who plays Kate, said she’s contractually obligated to lose weight before clarifying her comments on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I was kind of like, ‘I hope I get to lose weight.’ That’s a win-win for me — motivated in a different way this time,” the actress shared. “It wasn’t mandated. It wasn’t like, ‘You have to do this.’ But if this is the storyline, naturally you would lose weight. So I’m excited if that should happen.”
As for the dynamic between Kate and Toby, Chrissy told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ve been in relationships where the man loses weight super fast and you’re like, ‘But you didn’t even want to lose weight!’ There is that dynamic shift when there’s this understanding and jealousy even — not intentional — but just the way that we’re made and that definitely affected Kate and Toby’s relationship.”
She added, “[Chris is] so open and hilarious and charming. What you see on the screen has only been cultivated since we met each other … He said, ‘I’m on your team and we’re in this together and partners.’”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more photos of Chris looking super handsome IRL!
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