One on One: With Sterling K. Brown
Sterling K. Brown
Hometown: St. Louis Missouri
Big Break: American Crime Story (2016)
Current Project: Marshall (2017), This Is Us (2017), The Predator (2018), Black Panther, (2018) Hotel Artemis (2018)
With his groundbreaking performance as Christopher Darden in The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which landed him his first Emmy win and several nominations, Sterling K. Brown continues his quest to write his name in Hollywood history. The St. Louis native currently plays Randall Pearson, in NBC’s hit drama “This is Us.” Which garnered him a second Emmy win.
What were your thoughts when you first got the script for “This is Us?”
It’s the kind of show that cracks your heart open. Whether there is joy or empathy, it’s just a beautiful story about family. Reading the script, I thought this was the best television pilot that I’ve ever read. I was still shooting The People vs. O.J and I was sitting at the prosecution table while they were covering everything in the courtroom. I was talking to Paulson and I said ‘Sarah, I think I’ve found something that I would be very proud to be a part of.’
Your character could be labeled “The Nexus” of the show, how similar is Randall to Sterling?
Randal is a man who always does his best at what he knows how. We have a lot of commonalities, he has a beautiful wife and I have a beautiful wife. He has beautiful children and I have beautiful children. He’s had a very successful career- it’s hard to explain what he does but he is very successful at what he does. I’m having a period in my life where things are really good. I lost my father at 10 years old and Randall didn’t lose his adopted father at age 10 but we know that his adopted dad has passed away. So the idea of wanting to connect with fathers is something that we both share.
As a father of two, how has this role impacted your parenting style?
When I became a parent, I didn’t think it was possible for my children to love me as much as I love them. I think that hits me really hard because I think to myself that’s the way my mom loves me. I find myself telling my 5-year-old son Andrew stories about my dad who passed away. Then every once in a while we’ll be saying grace, or we’ll be praying, and he’s like, “Don’t forget to pray for your dad.”
How do you go about accepting roles and how has this shaped your acting career and impacted you?
As long as the story is good and sort of illuminates the human condition in a way that is interesting and new I’m down to tell the story. My calling is to be an actor and try to illuminate the human condition as best I can. I'm always trying to find ways to evolve. Evolution, for me, is a very spiritual thing, getting closer to the Creator, closer to God and becoming a better version of myself.