‘This Is Us’: Is Chrissy Metz’s Character Kate Pearson Based on a Real Person?

This Is Us fans are invested in the characters, portrayed perfectly by the talented stars of the show. Many viewers have wondered if Chrissy Metz’s character, Kate Pearson, is based on a real person and it turns out she is inspired by creator/writer/director Dan Fogelman’s sister.

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Chrissy Metz as Kate | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Kate Pearson is based on a real person

Interestingly, Fogelman based Kate Pearson on his sister, with Metz telling Glamour: “Kate is loosely based off of Dan’s sister and their relationship, where he was very successful as a writer and she was struggling with some issues.”

Fogelman’s sister, Deborah, is a consultant on the show as well, with The Hollywood Reporter noting that she reads ever script and ensures that Kate’s storyline is accurate in depicting a woman’s struggle with weight.

The creator shared, “Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than telling a roomful of professional writers, ‘My sister had a note on page five.'”

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Metz has connected with the character

Metz has definitely felt a deep connection with her character and the struggles that Kate has faced. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter that there was one monologue about Kate’s weight that she totally related to, explaining, “I remember reading those lines like, ‘I’m always going to be afraid of a chair breaking underneath me’ or ‘whether people will be able to recognize if I’m actually pregnant,’… and going to Dan, in tears, like, ‘These are my fears.'”

She explained, “Here was this woman who was actually dealing with weight. Not like, ‘Oh my God, I gained a pound.’ She was a real woman who was really struggling, and all I could think was, ‘Oh my God, I’m Kate.'”

Metz told Vanity Fair in 2017 why Kate’s story is important, noting: “It can be frustrating in that the weight is not all that I am or all that Kate is, but it’s a really big part of who we’ve allowed it to be… And the only way to tell that story is to tell the story.” 

Metz explained that the character she plays is very authentic, sharing with Glamour: “People who’ve never been overweight don’t understand what it all entails. They think you’re just sitting in the corner and all you do is eat.”

She added: “My thing is, Let’s get to the real issues — because the food is the symptom; it’s not the issue. Everyone’s filling a void with something.”

The “booth scene” was relatable to fans

A This Is Us Season 4 episode featured Kate handling an uncomfortable situation in the “booth scene,” where she meets up with husband Toby and his business clients at a restaurant. They’re shown to a booth, with Toby requesting a different table, joking about a draft that would chill their soup.

When they were told there was no other option, the clients accepted the seating, forcing Kate to explain that her husband’s comments were because she can’t fit in the booth. Some fans of the show really connected with the scene and, when one fan praised Metz for her courage, the actress responded: “Your weight does not define you! People’s perceptions are theirs. You are worthy and purposeful no matter what.”