As a star on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives,” Alison Sweeney has been fat and then thin on national television.
Now Sweeney, who plays Sami Brady on the daytime soap, will watch as others attempt to transform their lives. She is the new host of “The Biggest Loser,” which returns for a fourth season Tuesday at 8 on WHDH (Ch. 7). Among the 18 contestants looking to shed weight is Marblehead resident Neil Tejwani, a 25-year-old chemical engineer.
“I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life,” Sweeney said during a recent conference call with reporters. “I think that’s a really common theme that most people experience at some point in their lives. I’ve been acting on ‘Days of Our Lives’ since I was 16 years old, and as a teenager, definitely became overweight. . . . It was a battle to shed those excess pounds as I went through (my) teenage years.”
Sweeney said she tried every fad diet before realizing “it’s an ongoing decision if you’re not naturally thin and you don’t naturally have that perfect metabolism. It is a struggle. You are always making those healthy choices. You’re always looking at every meal, debating what’s right and what’s healthy for you.”
While “Days” producers never said anything about her weight, other casting directors told her she was overweight.
“I know that I didn’t get jobs because of it,” she said. “In Hollywood, it is a very different ratio of what people think of as the right body size, and so I was definitely looking around at actors who were a lot thinner than I am and seeing that I didn’t fit into that stereotype. And so when I re-evaluated myself and decided that I didn’t want to try to compete to be thin and do unhealthy things to get to that point. I wanted to be healthy and that became my goal.”
She’s happy that “The Biggest Loser” has the same goal for its contestants - a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. Hosting the series has also provided her with fodder for her dramatic “Days” role.
“I think being an actor is being an observer, and you do see different people and different ways they handle emotions,” she said. “I will say that’s one thing I love about our show and the way we represent these people and the real struggles that they go through. It reminds you as an actor how real people do deal with real tragedy and real bravery and how they react to situations.”
Sweeney says it was impossible for her to pick a favorite among the contestants.
“They really became my friends quite quickly. I couldn’t root for any one person because I cared about them all so much. I never realized how emotionally connected to these people I would so quickly become.”
Season 4 of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" premieres on September 11 on NBC, at 8:00pm EDT.
Source: Boston Herald