“It happens in your sleep,” Sterling K. Brown divulges about when he finds the time to reflect on the breakthrough year he’s had as an actor. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), Brown chats about being nominated at the Emmys as Best Drama Actor for NBC’s “This Is Us,” winning the trophy last year for FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and working on three upcoming feature films: “Marshall” (for which he’s earning Oscar buzz), “Black Panther” and “The Predator.”
Thinking back on last year’s Emmy triumph, Brown recalls, “When they called my name, I think my soul jumped outside of my body and I almost passed out.” He continues, “I remember seeing folks stand up. And it takes your breath away for a second when you get that kind of recognition from your peers. People whose work that you have respected for years and years and years, they stood up and said ‘Welcome.'”
The hard-working actor notes, “You don’t know if this point in your career is ever going to come. You’re happy to just be working. But to be working consistently on things that people enjoy, both critically and popularly, I’m excited.”
As for “This Is Us,” Brown tells us that when he read the pilot script for the first time, “I knew it was something special. I remember telling Sarah Paulson, because I was auditioning for it while we were still shooting ‘People v. O.J.,’ I said, ‘I think I found what I want to do next.'”
Brown plays the popular role of Randall Pearson on the NBC family drama that’s also nominated for Best Drama Series. As a baby, Randall was adopted by his parents (Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia) after his biological father (portrayed in later years by Ron Cephas Jones) left him at a fire station. Ironically, both of Brown’s TV dads are nominated for Emmys: Ventimiglia as Best Drama Actor and Jones as Best Drama Supporting Actor.
As for being nominated alongside Ventimiglia in the race for Best Drama Actor, Brown admits, “You know what’s amazing? That we have two storylines, but that the writing is strong enough to support both of us getting a nomination in the lead actor category. That’s a testimony to Dan Fogelman and the writers.” Brown and Ventimiglia are now the eighth duo from the same TV show in recent memory to compete in this Emmy category. Smiling, Brown confesses, “I know this, because I read Gold Derby!”
Also in our interview, Sterling K. Brown discusses what it would mean to follow in Andre Braugher‘s (“Homicide: Life on the Street”) footsteps as the first black actor to win this category in the past 19 years, why he chose the episode “Memphis” as his Emmy episode submission, and his favorite Randall moments so far. Brown also teases what fans can expect from Season 2 of “This Is Us.”
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