Sterling K. Brown tapped as Stanford commencement speaker

February 21, 2018

STANFORD UNIVERSITY — Sterling K. Brown, a Stanford alumnus and the first African-American to win both the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for best actor in a drama television series, has been tapped to give the university’s 127th commencement address.

“Sterling K. Brown is an eloquent role model for an entire generation, inspiring us with moving performances that not only bring life to each character, but also impart to the world a deeper understanding of our society,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

Tessier-Lavigne made the announcement Friday, when Brown and his wife, Stanford alumna Ryan Michelle Bathe, spoke before a standing-room only crowd at the Cemex Auditorium, according to the university. Commencement will take place June 17.

Brown arrived at Stanford in 1994 as an economics major and planned to be a businessman, but he switched course after being invited by then-associate drama professor Harry Elam Jr. to participate in the university’s production of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”

In 1998, Brown graduated with a degree in drama. He went on to earn a master of fine arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2001 and launched his professional acting career a year later with a small part in the movie “Brown Sugar.”

Brown also landed roles in films including “The Suspect” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” And he co-starred in 2017’s “Marshall,” earning a NAACP Image Award nomination for his performance.

In addition to movies, Brown has also appeared in critically acclaimed television shows, including “NYPD Blue” and “The Good Wife.” He won his first Emmy in 2016, for outstanding supporting actor, for his portrayal of prosecutor Christopher Darden in FX’s true crime anthology series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Another Emmy followed in 2017, for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, for his work in NBC’s “This is Us.” It was the first time an African-American had won in the category since 1998.

Brown made history in January, when he won a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama television series and a SAG award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series. Both accolades were for his portrayal of Randall Pearson in “This is Us.”


Alumni Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe return to Stanford, where it all began

February 13, 2018

Sterling & Ryan participated in an evening at Stanford talking about their careers and how their lives have changed since leaving their Alma Mater.

Sterling K. Brown has said a lot of public “thank yous” recently.

In acceptance speeches for the Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG awards he’s won for his portrayal of the lovably earnest Randall Pearson on NBC’s megahit family drama “This Is Us,” Brown has thanked his wife, actress Ryan Michelle Bathe (Yvette on “This Is Us”), whom he met when they were both Stanford University freshmen. He’s praised his co-stars. He’s paid tribute to Andre Braugher, the last African American to win the Emmy for best actor in a drama 19 years ago. And, with his Golden Globe in hand in January, Brown commended “This Is Us” creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman for bucking the tradition of color-blind casting by writing “a role for a black man that could only be played by a black man.”

Brown, 41, visited his alma mater on Friday night, Feb. 9, with another important piece of gratitude to get off his chest. “Harry, you really have no idea what you did. If it weren’t for you coming to find me, I don’t know if I’d even be doing this. I probably would have stuck with the (economics major) thing and gone into investment banking,” Brown told Harry Elam Jr., the Stanford senior vice provost for education who cast Brown and Bathe as freshmen in their first student play, during an onstage conversation in a packed auditorium in the Graduate School of Business.

After a nostalgic afternoon on campus with their two sons, 6-year-old Andrew (named after a classmate who died a year after graduation) and Amare, 2, Brown and Bathe clearly enjoyed the nearly two-hour event. They reminisced with Elam and fielded questions from students — who cheered when Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced that Brown would be Stanford’s 2018 commencement speaker on June 17.

Bathe and Brown, who joked about their on-and-off romance before they got married in 2007, spoke thoughtfully about everything from discovering their shared love of acting to the #MeToo movement and Hollywood’s long-overdue progress on its “diversity problem.”

In 1994, Elam, then a drama professor, came to visit Brown and Bathe’s black culture-themed Ujamaa dorm looking for students to audition for August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”

“I thought, I did a little acting in high school, I’ll give it a shot,” said Brown.

He was cast as troubled ex-slave Herald Loomis, a part that has vexed older, more experienced actors, but a role Elam said Brown slayed.

“I snuck into the theater to watch him audition,” said Bathe. “I remember thinking, How is this 17-year-old kid transforming into these men? I’d never seen anything like it.”

“I could see right away how gifted they both were,” said Elam. He urged Brown to keep auditioning (much as he later encouraged Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s “Insecure”).

Echoing a note he struck in his Golden Globes speech, Brown said, “This was the first time I got to be a character who was specifically African American, and it felt like home.”

Brown and Bathe both went to New York University after Stanford and landed their first professional roles just weeks after graduating.

After six seasons on “Army Wives,” and numerous small movie parts, Brown’s breakthrough came when he played conflicted prosecutor Christopher Darden in “The People v. O.J. Simpson” (for which Brown won his first Emmy).

Once he came to appreciate what a tricky position the district attorney, a native of Richmond, was in, “being the black face of a very unpopular case in the black community, my earlier judgment of him gave way to empathy.

“You can’t play someone and hold them in judgment at the same time.”

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This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown to voice NBC’s Olympics opening film

February 08, 2018

Sterling K. Brown seems to have the world in his palm right now, so it makes sense that his voice will be heard around the world for the planet’s biggest international sporting competition.

The trophy magnet and star of This is Us will narrate the opening film for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Titled Always Start with the Dreams, the seven-minute film — which pays tribute to the 2,800 Olympic athletes going head-to-head on the slopes, on the ice, and beyond — will unspool before the Opening Ceremony and help to introduce NBC’s coverage of the games, which begins Friday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Among the athletes featured in the film: Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, short track speedskater Maame Biney, snowboarders Shaun White, Chloe Kim, and Kelly Clark, and figure skaters Nathan Chen, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Yuzuru Hanyu.

Mike Tirico will anchor coverage of the Opening Ceremony with Katie Couric.

Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito handled film narration duties for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, while Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage provided vocals for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Previous celebrity narrators also include Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Andre Braugher, and James Earl Jones.

Brown, who hits the big screen in Black Panther as well as the upcoming Hotel Artemis and The Predator, recently claimed a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his work as Randall on the NBC family drama.

Catch a preview of Brown’s vocal work in the Olympics opening film above.


NFL Honors 2018

February 04, 2018

Last night Sterling attended the NFL Honors.

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Sterling K. Brown Fan > PUBLICITY > 2018 > FEBRUARY 3 | NFL HONORS

Black Panther Premiere

January 30, 2018

Last night was the premiere of The Black Panther and Sterling attended with his wife Ryan and their son Andrew.

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More from the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 22, 2018

So many great images of Sterling from last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards have been added to the gallery.

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The First Look of Sterling at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 21, 2018

Sterling and Ryan look amazing at tonight’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. Here is the first handful of pictures of them arriving on the red carpet.

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