Chris Sullivan has been part of one of the most successful television series. The actor portrays Toby Damon in the This is Us TV show. In the show, he portrays an obese man. And while fans thought he is just as obese in real life, turns out, there is a different story behind it. You can say fans were stunned to see the real reason behind Chris Sullivan’s weight loss journey.
Let’s take a look.
Get To Know Chris
Chris Sullivan is an American actor and musician mostly known for his portrayal of Toby Damon in the popular TV series This is Us. Born in July 1980 in Sacramento, California, he showed a passion for performing at a young age. That prompted him to pursue a career in acting.
His acting career and journey began in Chicago, where he mastered his craft in theater productions and improv comedy. Eventually, he made his way to Los Angeles and Hollywood. There, he began in small guest roles in shows like The Knick and Law and Order.
It wasn’t until he landed the role of Toby that he broke through. His portrayal of Toby and the show itself are critically acclaimed.
His character in This is Us is a lovable and charismatic man who struggles with his weight, mental health, and relationship. Toby’s journey has resonated amazingly with the audience. And Sullivan’s performance earned him critical acclaim. Chris has been able to paint all the complex emotions of Toby with stunning authenticity.
The role also brought attention to his weight in real life. He has been candid about it, despite the backlash and shock of fans.
Despite everything, Sullivan has talked about the importance of self-acceptance, body positivity, and mental health.
Acting is not his only bright spot. He is also a talented musician and member of the band called Joseph the Spouse. Chris co-founded the band with his wife in real life, Rachel Reichard. They are known for their folk-rock sound which gained them a decent following.
Over the years, Chris and his band have released several albums and performed in different venues. And he continues to inspire people with his authenticity and portrayal of Toby in This is Us.
How Much Weight Did He Lose?
During Season 4 of the popular TV show, Toby and Kate began having problems because he lost weight. Was Chris really dropping pounds? And how much weight did he lose?
As the big reveal showed later on, Chris didn’t lose weight. He didn’t even have to. Fans were shocked to find out that Chris was not heavy at all. Instead, he was wearing a fat suit to portray the character.
So while his character dropped weight, Chris did not. In the season 4 episode 3 teaser, fans saw Toby remove his shirt in front of his wife, only to see his toned body.
Producers addressed the issue, saying that Toby has been secretly heading to the gym and losing weight after years of struggling with his health and having a heart attack in the first season.
Yet, as many of us know, keeping secrets is always a bad thing. It led to many problems for the couple.
Per producers, “Kate is breastfeeding, she’s tending to an infant around the clock, she’s not at a place in her life where she is necessarily most suited to being on a strict diet or on a strict weight-loss plan. But Toby has found this path that’s working for him, and because he doesn’t want to rub it in her face he’s making the choice to keep it a secret. That’s dangerous in any relationship, keeping secrets like that”.
For his part, Sullivan said he understands fans might feel fooled by the things they see on TV. Yet, he then added that in our culture right now, outrage is a hobby. He called the suit a tool and said “It is a costume I put on”.
Did Chris Sullivan Lose Weight For His Role On This Is US?
For the first three seasons of This is Us, Chris Sullivan wore a fat suit. It was revealed back in 2017 when some fans were upset that NBC didn’t cast a fat actor for the role. It was a different approach than the female lead character.
Chris wasn’t surprised about the backlash, and he acknowledged that since his character gained weight after a divorce, the fat suit left room for flashbacks and other story shifts.
In an interview with Huffington Post, Chris said, “The logistics of wearing a costume like that allows me to travel back and forth through time. We know Toby was married before and, because of the divorce, gained a bunch of weight. So there was a time when he was skinnier. So the costume allows, if they want to, for us to jump back and forth through time”.
The creators of the show decided to alter the drives and motivations of his character following the end of Season 1. And unlike his co-star, Chrissy Metz, he didn’t have a clause in his contract that he has to lose weight to follow the journey of his character.
Not the only This is Us Actor To Shed Pounds
As we said before, This is Us is a story about two overweight people, who over the course of the show, find a way to lose weight and cope with their struggles. Chris Sullivan portrays Toby, while Chrissy Metz plays Kate Pearson. Her portrayal has garnered plenty of positive reviews.
And unlike Chris, she was overweight in real life. She has talked about dealing with body image, fraught relationships with parents, and weight loss.
The main story arc of her character in the hit show is dealing with losing weight. In real life, Chrissy was dealing with the same issue. Metz revealed that the reason she took the part was that she identified with Kate’s struggles.
In one interview, she even revealed that her This is Us contract stipulates that she must lose weight as her character does to reflect the storyline. There is no fat suit here.
Yet, Metz was excited about it. She said, “That was a win-win for me. Because it’s one thing to try to do it on your own. But as human beings, it’s an ego thing: we’re more likely to do something for someone else”.
The clause might have been an outrage for fans, saying that she should not be forced to do it. On the other hand, Metz says it is her choice to shed some pounds and loves the challenge.
And unlike Chris Sullivan’s weight loss story, Chrissy ended up losing quite a lot of weight after season 1.
How Fans Reacted?
Now let’s talk about how fans reacted to the big reveal about actor Chris Sullivan. The revelation that he was using a costume for the role sparked backlash back in 2017.
Fans of the TV show thought that the show should’ve chosen a different actor. They commented things like “hiring someone to pretend to be overweight doesn’t do plus-size actors justice and feels disrespectful to the story the show is trying to tell”.
Star Chris Sullivan, on his part, responded to the backlash by explaining that he is an actor and actors wear a costume.
The American actor said, “You know, there are different requirements for an actor for different roles. As you’ll find in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I am not actually a space alien. As you will find Milo Ventimiglia, he’s not actually a father. And I think that if people actually had a problem with the way that I was representing the character, or had a problem with the integrity of the character, or the way I was treating the character, then I would really like to have a conversation”.
Sullivan also received praise and support from his female co-star, Chrissy, who said that Chris did a fantastic job.
How Much Does Chris Weigh?
There is no official information about how much actor Chris Sullivan weighs in real life. What we do know is that his character weighed 279 lbs in the first seasons of the show. And then he dropped weight by going to the gym in secret.