Sterling K. Brown: Award-winning actor and devoted family man

January 19, 2018

A beautiful new article from the Associated Press on Sterling.

NEW YORK – The morning after making history as the first black man to win a Golden Globe Award for lead actor in a TV drama, Sterling K. Brown fulfilled an acceptance speech promise: He took his 6-year-old son Andrew to school.

Brown said he was “humbled” by the Golden Globe win for his role on NBC’s “This is Us” and will “cherish it” all his life.

Family time is important to Brown, who also has a 2-year-old son Amare with his actress-wife Ryan Michelle Bathe.

“I did not have children so I could see them every three months,” he said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

He said their connection serves him as an actor.

“Young people infuse you with so much vivacity. There is so much to learn. Every acting school teaches you to get back in touch with the child inside of you. Once I became a parent it became easier to a certain extent because I was surrounded by it all the time,” he said.

Brown, 41, plays devoted family man Randall Pearson who was adopted by white parents as a baby on “This is Us.”

“I love his intellect, his heart and all of his corniness,” said Brown, who won an Emmy last year for his portrayal of Pearson.

Brown will guest star on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” where he will appear with Andre Braugher, the black actor who won a leading-actor Emmy Award almost 20 years ago.

“It exceeded expectations,” Brown said of shooting scenes for the show.

He also has a role in “Black Panther,” the Marvel movie about the first black superhero, scheduled to open Feb. 16.

“The level of production of a film with a predominantly African-American cast, it hasn’t happened. It literally hasn’t happened. There would be times I would be at base camp and you would see 24 trailers lined up one after the next, and you would see black faces coming out of those trailers one by one to go shoot something and there’s pride,” he said. “I would get misty.”

Viewing parties are being scheduled around the country for “Black Panther,” but the most important one for Brown is the screening that he’ll have with son, Andrew.

“I’m a cinephile. I love going to the flicks. I remember going to see ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman.’ Now I get to take my son to go see ‘Black Panther,’ and Chad (Boseman) as Black Panther will be as normal for him as Christopher Reeve as Superman was for me,” he said. “That means something. There’s a normalization that occurs so you’re not so starved to see images of yourself onscreen.”

Brown says his method for choosing roles is to find projects that help him grow. He’s trying to vary studio opportunities with stories that are more independent and character-driven. And he enjoys the challenge of adapting to different sets.

“The set of ‘Black Panther’ is different than the set of (his movie) ‘Marshall,’ and you have something to learn from both, but they’re two different skill sets. On ‘Black Panther’ you shoot maybe a page or two a day. … I’m on television and we’ll shoot eight pages in a day. It is a skill that needs to be exercised.”

Sterling K. Brown: I’m Open to Exploring Tension Between Randall and Beth on ‘This Is Us’

January 19, 2018

Sterling talks about the tension between Beth & Randall with US Weekly.

Beth and Randall are one of many beloved couples on This Is Us, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some troubles of their own. After taking home the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama for his role as Randall Pearson on the hit show, Sterling K. Brown told reporters that he hopes to see the show look more into their romance.

“I would love to explore the background of the relationship with Beth and Randall, how they came to be. For Randall, to have been raised by his white family, it was really awesome to go to Howard University and see that he had this yearning for his culture. Obviously, he chose this beautiful black woman for his wife, so I’m curious as to how that came to be,” Brown, 41, explained. “I also want to spend a little bit more time with my sister because the twins have a very strong connection with one another. My brother and I have a very strong connect with one another, and I want to explore more the relationship between Randall and Kate. So those are two things that are on my mind right now.”

As for what he wouldn’t want to see happen on the show, the Emmy winner said he’d never want the audience to feel like Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall weren’t going to make it — because in the end, they are.

“There’s no drama without tension, so I’m always interested in exploring the tension between Beth and Randall without it ever seeming like this couple is going to be in trouble. My wife and I, we have conflict, we go through stuff all the time, but we’re never in a position where we think that this is a deal breaker,” he added. “So I’d like to see things that married folks have to work through in order to make marriage work. I’m always intrigued by that, but I don’t ever want the audience to feel like, ‘Oh my God, are Beth and Randall not going to make it?’ We’re going to make it, but you’re going to have to work to make it. I’m always curious to see that.”

Ryan Murphy on Sterling K. Brown: ‘This Guy Is, Like, Marlon Brando Good’

November 01, 2017

IndieWire Honors: Murphy says he’s eager to work again with Brown, and is exploring ways to even re-pair him with ‘People v. O.J.’ co-star Sarah Paulson.

Sterling K. Brown graduated to superstar status after his Emmy-winning turn as Christopher Darden on “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” Executive producer and director Ryan Murphy remains tight with the star, who has even been advising him recently on how to live a vegan lifestyle.

Brown is busy starring in “This Is Us,” but the two are already discussing ways to work together again. “We’ve talked a lot about it,” Murphy said. “I’m trying to figure out a way to give America what they want, and reunite Sterling and Sarah Paulson. I would love for him to be a part of ‘Five Days at Memorial’ [the Hurricane Katrina-themed “American Crime Story” installment] that we’re doing. I always want to work with Sterling. I’m a busy guy, but he’s just as busy as hell. How are we gonna make it work? We will. We had a really great director/actor thing going that I would really like to continue.”

Below, Murphy shares with IndieWire his respect for Brown, and his pride in seeing the actor become a household name.

I feel that Sterling K. Brown has become an iconic actor. He means a lot to a lot of people, and I think that he’s a trailblazer. I’m just super proud of him. I’m not surprised at all at his success, because once we started working together, I was like, “Oh. This guy is, like, Marlon Brando good. This guy has huge, huge depth of talent, and on top of that, he’s charismatic and good looking, and sexy.”

The hardest part that we cast on “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” was Chris Darden. We looked at hundreds of people. We met with a lot of famous people. But [executive producers] Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson and I kept saying, “Eh. I don’t know.” Sterling had auditioned, and we sort of overlooked his tape at first. But once we were nearing the difficult part, where we had to make a decision, we looked at all of them again.

Read More:How ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ Changed Everything for Breakout Star Sterling K. Brown
When you see a talent — particularly somebody’s who not 20, somebody who’s been working their ass off, and just paying the rent, somebody who clearly is a star —there’s no better thing than to say to that person, “I see you” and “I see what you’re capable of.”

Sterling fucking earned that job. We made him do a read with Sarah Paulson that he knocked out of the park. Sarah was instantly taken by Sterling, and I think that the thing that she felt was, “OK. I have a sparring partner here. I have somebody who can actually throw it back to me, just as hard.” I think she was super relieved.

When we shot it, and I was directing him, he was always the most prepared. He was the most humble. He was just so thrilled to be there, and to have material that was great, and I think worthy of his talent. Everybody on that show, from Sarah to John Travolta, to David Schwimmer, to Courtney, B. Vance everybody was so proud of Sterling. He was sort of like the baby brother of the group. I think people felt that, the night of the Emmy awards, when he won.

Sterling, when he works, is really ferocious. He, like Sarah, comes prepared to win. He has every line memorized. He has your lines memorized. He is a very technical actor. He’s an incredible role model, and I think Sterling is also somebody who can do anything. I found that when I was directing him. There’s a scene where he has to cry and be emotional and then the next scene we shot that day was him, I think dancing to some goofy song with Sarah, so I think that he can do any genre. He’s not just a drama guy. He can be a comedy guy. He can be a goofy guy. He can be a romantic lead. I think he’s got it all.

Sterling has what I call the “Julia Roberts factor.” When you work with Julia Roberts, or you work with Sterling K. Brown, everybody who works with them falls in love with them, not necessarily in a romantic sense, but you’re just overwhelmed by their soul in some weird way. I would say it’s a very rare thing to have the instant ability to make people fall in love with you, of all sexes and genders.

The hardest thing in the world to find is a leading man, between 30 and 45. It’s always been the thing that I have struggled with the most in my career, the male actors. Who are those male actors who can appeal to women and men, and have a huge reserve of talent?

You know, I love him. I feel very protective of him, and yet I feel like I don’t have to be, because he has a great family. He has a wonderful wife, and Sterling really is smart and has a great business sense. He’s just supremely focused on being the best that he could be. Sterling is somebody who also continually loves to be challenged. He picks his material correctly, and you know, we talked a lot about that, like what he should do, or what he shouldn’t do. He has such a strong group of people around him, who love him and protect him and offer incredible guidance.

Success happened later for him in his life. He had already been married. He had already had children. He really has a great gratitude for it, and a great humbleness about it, because he waited a long time for it. When it finally happened, he was ready. His development as a person … He got there at the right time. I think that’s another thing that people sense about him, is he’s just grateful, and humble as a person, and incredibly fun to hang with as well.

— as told to Michael Schneider

(Source)

‘Whoa Didn’t See That Coming’: This Is Us Cast & Fans React to Mysterious Family History of Jack’s Brother

October 26, 2017

People goes over the revelation that came out in yesterday’s episode of This Is Us, Brothers.

[Spoiler alert: This story contains plot details from Tuesday’s episode of This Is Us, titled “Brothers.”]

This Is Us fans and viewers got to see more glimpses into Jack Pearson’s past on Tuesday night’s episode, specifically his family before the Big 3.

In season 1, we met his abusive alcoholic father, Stanley Pearson (Peter Onorati), and saw a moment of Jack’s military service in the Vietnam War. And now, in the sophomore season, we see that Stanley may die of cirrhosis without saying a final farewell to his son. In addition, we learn more about Jack’s life as a soldier.

Tuesday’s episode revealed that Jack had been hiding a major truth about himself for the past decade: his brother Nicky. (Nicky could be the reason why Jack wanted his sons Kevin and Randall to get along.)

Flashbacks showed Jack with his younger brother waking up from the backseat in a car and putting on his black-rimmed glasses before the older sibling said, “Don’t worry Nicky. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not going anywhere.”

Then the scene fast forwarded to adult Jack looking through a memory box filled with dog tags and old photos from his military days, including a group picture that showed Nicky wearing glasses and a nametape that read “Pearson.”

Previously, during the second episode of this current season, titled “Manny-Splendored Thing,” we saw the blades of a helicopter as the camera panned down to show two men in full Army attire jumping out of the aircraft. One of them was Jack, who was wielding an assault rifle.

And during the first season, fans and viewers saw Jack transition from Army vet to neighborhood mechanic. Remember when Mrs. Peabody asked Jack: “How did you come back from Vietnam so nice? Seems like most of the boys lose their damn minds over there.” And Jack told her, “I was just a mechanic. You know, maybe we had it a little easier over there.”

Well, it appears Jack wasn’t just a mechanic.

Fans and stars Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz reacted to Nicky on social media with many wondering how much of an impact he could have on Jack’s life.

“Jack and Nicky, brothers, soldiers in Vietnam. Looks like there’s more to Jack’s story than he let’s on,” Brown live-tweeted during the episode.

“Niiicky! I must know everything, now!” Metz live-tweeted.

Mandy Moore also took to Twitter to share her reaction to the surprise twist. “Whoa. Didn’t see that coming. Introducing Jack’s younger brother, Nicky,” the actress wrote.

And fans couldn’t believe there was another Pearson family introduction.

While we have more to learn about Jack and Nicky’s brotherly bonding, next week’s episode will give viewers an in-depth look at a crucial decade for the Big 3.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.

‘This Is Us’ actor Chris Sullivan reveals 3 secrets from the set

October 26, 2017

Chris Sullivan who plays Toby shares some information from the set of This Is Us and it’s cast members with the Today Show!

We’ll take any secret we can get the cast of “This Is Us” to spill, and fortunately for us, Chris Sullivan is ready to dish.

The actor, who stars as the boyfriend to Kate Pearson (played by Chrissy Metz), stopped by Megyn Kelly TODAY Wednesday and shared three nuggets from the “This Is Us” set. (And no, Jack’s death is not one of them but we’ll never stop asking!)

Here are the three juicy tidbits he shared:

Sterling K. Brown, who plays Kate’s on-screen brother Randall, can sing! “He has a wonderful baritone,” Sullivan said, adding that he often hears musical theater music in Brown’s trailer and that the actor’s not one to shy away from singing “Frozen” or music from the Broadway show “Wicked.”

Mandy Moore, who plays mom Rebecca Pearson, has a unique way of getting into character. “Right before she starts a take, she does this full-body shake,” says Sullivan. Sounds like a nice way to shake off any nerves!

As for Metz, the two have an odd way of showing their bond when the cameras aren’t rolling. “Chrissy and I communicate in two Southern characters a lot of the time,” Sullivan said. “For no reason except we’re a couple of idiots.” We disagree — but we’d love to hear those accents!

Chadwick Boseman And Sterling K. Brown Remember When There Could Only Be One Black Actor In A Movie

October 06, 2017

Not too long ago, the idea of two prominent black actors starring in the same film was practically unheard of. So the fact that Chadwick Boseman and Sterling K. Brown share the screen in Marshall — a movie about Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) defending Richard Spell (Brown) after a white woman (Kate Hudson) accuses him of rape and attempted murder — is particularly worth celebrating. “There was a period of time where it would only be one person,” Chadwick Boseman told BuzzFeed News. “It’d be Denzel [Washington] in this movie, it’d be [Lawrence] Fishburne in that movie, Sam Jackson in that movie, and Morgan Freeman in this one. … Very few opportunities where you would see them working together.”

So while there’s still quite a long way to go until there’s true equality in Hollywood, Boseman and Brown are glad to be a part of the improvements that’ve been made. “I feel blessed to be in a time where I can do this movie with him … and I can do a movie with Michael B. Jordan and it’s okay,” Boseman said, referring to Marvel’s Black Panther. “It doesn’t even have to be such a big deal because the opportunities are not so scarce. And that’s an important moment to note.”

That progress is reflected in both actors’ upcoming projects. In February, Boseman and Brown will reunite in Black Panther, which co-stars Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whittaker. In addition to working with Susan Kelechi Watson and Ron Cephas Jones on NBC’s This Is Us, Brown will co-star with Trevante Rhodes and Keegan-Michael Key in next summer’s The Predator.

Brown hopes similar substantive opportunities are afforded to actors of every background. “I want to see a diverse enough landscape where everybody gets a chance to shine,” he told BuzzFeed News. “You know, everybody gets a chance to eat … and not just a tasty side dish, but folks are getting some meat and potatoes into their bodies.”

Watch the interview clip here.

Sterling K. Brown Gave His Garage a Makeover for the Ultimate Office–Man Cave

October 02, 2017

Apt2B did a makeover for Sterling from his Man Cave so that he could have a quiet place to study lines and escape. Architectural Digest featured the makeover on their website.

Seeking a space of his own, the Emmy-winning This Is Us actor decided to convert his overcrowded garage into an at-home sanctuary

After six years in his cozy Los Angeles home—a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath—Emmy-winning This Is Us actor Sterling K. Brown was beginning to feel “a little squeezed out.” The space has been great for him and his wife, actress Ryan Michelle Bathe, to raise their two children. But Brown craved an at-home sanctuary where he could have “a little bit of respite, a little bit of quiet, and a little bit of solitude.” So, he decided to reclaim the detached garage as his own. The space offers a view of the backyard garden and pool, and Brown was on the hunt for an area to reply to emails, take phone calls, and memorize lines.

Brown wanted a space that skirted the stuffiness of a traditional home office and added a level of sophistication to the typical man cave—a “creative workspace,” he termed it. To achieve this room rehab, he enlisted the help of interior designer Kyle Schuneman and online lifestyle and furniture brand Apt2B. “Sometimes you need someone that has an eye for the utilization of space to show that it can be more than what it currently is in that moment,” Brown says.

Schuneman had his work cut out for him. Brown wanted to transform the 18.5-by-20-foot garage from the home of his barely used ping-pong table, Christmas tree, old refrigerator, and broken-in couch into a flex space that offered him a designated work area, a second living area for hosting small groups of friends, and a room to pace as he runs lines for his role as Randall in This is Us and upcoming film projects. (Brown will next appear as Joseph Spell in the biographical drama Marshall, which focuses on the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. The film is set to be released on October 13.)

Schuneman and Brown started by completely emptying the garage. “By cleaning out the space, I got to understand what it was,” Schuneman explains; what he found was a beautiful flow of natural light, underutilized built-in shelving, and a gorgeous terrazzo-like cement floor that needed little more than an area rug.

From there, the design process flowed. The discovery of the dark-colored specs in the floor drew Schuneman to the navy wall color, applied to the garage walls by Paintzen. Knowing that he didn’t want to rely on just the sunlight to brighten up the room, Schuneman then presented Brown with the piece that, at first, seemed like a questionable choice, and eventually would become the clear standout: the mustard sectional. “I saw the couch in the design plan and I was like, ‘That is a bold color. How do I feel about bold-colored sofas? I’m not sure. . . .’” Brown recalls. “But, you know, I’m not a designer. It’s the same way when I put clothes on: It’s one thing looking at it on the rack, it’s another thing looking at it once you put it on your body, so I said I have to see it in the space, and when I saw it in the space, I was like, ‘Yo, this is kind of baller. I’m digging it.’”

Purple ottomans tucked underneath the window add a bonus pop of color without overwhelming the color scheme. “I try not to just have a three-color palette because you can get stuck in it a little bit, so that little eggplant hit was really cool,” Schuneman explains. Although Brown wasn’t immediately sold on that color either, he chose to trust his designer’s creative process and agreed that the corner “turned out exceptionally well.” As a bonus, the ottomans pop up to offer a soft space for Brown’s 6- and 2-year-old to play games or do puzzles.

To prevent the color combination from looking too juvenile, Schuneman sought leather, metal, and wood accents for the other pieces throughout the room, which he found in the two cabinets that frame the window and Brown’s new work table.

Atop the cabinet next to his worktable sits Brown’s Emmy, which he won in 2016 for his supporting-actor role as Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. It will soon be accompanied by his second Emmy, which he won just earlier this month for Outstanding Lead Actor in This Is Us (which returns to NBC tomorrow, September 26, for its second season). Schuneman, who designed the space prior to Brown’s second Emmy win, displayed the 2016 statuette in a custom-made Lucite box, leaving room for future awards. Brown feared that the heavy, winged statuettes aren’t exactly kid-friendly—and perhaps not adult-friendly either. “I think I actually saw somebody impale themselves last year at the Emmys because you have to be careful,” said the actor. A second Lucite box was ordered just last week for Brown’s newest award, so it can be displayed alongside last year’s.

On the wall beyond that, in full view of the mustard sofa, hangs a television, visually tying together the work and relaxation areas, and solidifying the room as the ultimate in-home getaway. In fact, it may be a little too good, as Brown jokes, “Everybody wants to hang out in there, and I have to fight to keep it!”

To see all the images from the makeover check out our gallery.

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