Sterling K. Brown Q&A: ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’
“I feel blessed to be in such wonderful company,” admits Sterling K. Brown during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about earning his first nomination at the Emmy Awards for his breakout role as conflicted prosecutor Christopher Darden on FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years now,” he continues. “Success for me has been able to pay my bills, to be able to provide for my family, to have some form of stability in this crazy show business world. But to receive the level of notoriety that has come because of ‘The People v. O.J.’? I just feel blessed, man. I’ve been enjoying this ride from the beginning and hopefully it will continue a little while longer.”
“I appreciate the academy for the recognition because I know I’m the new kid on the block,” Brown notes of his competition in the category of Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor. “We’ve got Dr. House [Hugh Laurie for “The Night Manager”], we’ve got Landry from Crucifictorious [Jesse Plemons for “Fargo”], and Bokeeeeem [Bokeem Woodbine for “Fargo”], and Vincent Vega [John Travolta for “The People v. O. J. Simpson”], and Ross [David Schwimmer for “The People v. O. J. Simpson”] — all of these people who are known commodities. And then this kid from St. Louis, Missouri slips in through the cracks.”
On “The People v. O.J.” Brown shared most of his scenes with lead actress nominee Sarah Paulson, who portrayed lead prosecutor Marcia Clark. “Working with Sarah was fantastic. She is the living embodiment of what I call a professional. And given the fact that she was doing two roles at the same time [including ‘American Horror Story: Hotel] on the same lot … and obviously killing both of them to the place where she gets an Emmy nomination for both roles. She’s so present and so honest.”
The limited series earned 22 Emmy bids in all, just one below nominations leader “Game of Thrones.” “I was so overwhelmed with joy for everybody involved in this process because it was truly a labor of love. Being on set, people were there to bring their A-game and to tell the best story possible. There were no egos involved in this thing. We all just wanted to make this story so great.”
Also in our interview, Brown chats about why he submitted the episode “Manna From Heaven” to Emmy judges, how closely he followed the Simpson trial in the 1990s and whether he ever heard from the real Darden about his performance. He also teases his new NBC drama “This Is Us,” where he stars alongside Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia.