EXCLUSIVE: Why Sterling K. Brown Is Keeping It All in Perspective

June 16, 2017

Sterling spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the success of his series This is Up and being wanted for some great projects.

Sterling K. Brown isn’t used to being in demand.

“Busy. That’s the most apt description I can come up with, and busy is good,” Brown says of his life over the past whirlwind year and a half. The actor is speaking to ET by phone from a car on his way to the airport to catch a flight from New York City, where he’s just wrapped a photo shoot, to return to Vancouver set of the upcoming Predator reboot.

It’s been nearly a decade and a half, Brown says, “of showing up and saying your lines and then going on to the next project, hoping that one job moves into the next. But this has been a situation where people actually want to hear what I think. This is all still new.”

His Emmy-winning portrayal of prosecutor Christopher Darden on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story anointed Brown as a standout actor, but it’s his deeply resonant performance as adopted son Randall Pearson on this TV season’s most popular new drama, NBC’s This Is Us, that’s catapulted his career into the stratosphere. Since production on the first season ended in February, Brown has taken full advantage of his sudden surge in Hollywood, booking high-profile films Black Panther, The Predator and Hotel Artemis, often flying back and forth across the country juggling his new jet-setting reality.

“It’s a wonderful position to be, in terms of people who are enthusiastic and wanting to work with you. For such a long time, you spend most of your time hoping and putting your best foot forward and maybe something will come along that will be a break. Now, I’ve had a couple of breaks,” the St. Louis native says, noting how dramatically different life is from the way it was before filming American Crime Story in 2015. “It’s night and day.”

Prior to the FX anthology true-crime series, Brown was perhaps best known for his starring role on Army Wives, which ran for seven seasons on Lifetime, and a long list of one-episode roles on everything from ER to The Good Wife. “It’s nice to be validated this way in this business because you hear no a lot. It’s nice to hear yes.”

Still, there’s an element of wanting more, of achieving the unfamiliar and reshaping the public’s perception of what he’s capable of in front of the camera that keeps him hungry. “What was so lovely about O.J. and This Is Us to a certain extent is that I got a chance to surprise people. And now that people know who I am a bit more, I still want to be able to do that.”

Continue Reading