‘This Is Us’ vs. ‘Black Panther’: Sterling K. Brown Reveals Which Secrets Were Tougher to Keep (Exclusive)

March 01, 2018

Sterling spoke with Entertainment Tonight Online on keeping secrets on his projects:

Warning: Stop! Do not proceed if you do not wish to be spoiled on recent episodes of This Is Us or the events of Black Panther…

Which secret was harder for Sterling K. Brown to keep under wraps these last several months: Jack’s death on This Is Us or his spoiler-filled role in Black Panther? The answer may surprise you.

It wasn’t until recently that the series-long mystery of how Jack died was finally addressed on This Is Us, and in the aftermath, Brown said there was “a sense of relief” for the cast and producers once the question was answered. And when Brown joined the Black Panther cast in January 2017, details about his character outside of his name, N’Jobu, were under lock and key — and for good reason. In the movie, it’s revealed that Brown’s N’Jobu was Erik Killmonger’s father and T’Chaka’s brother, making T’Challa his nephew.

“You know what? I got asked about how Jack dies so much, that was probably the harder one to answer,” Brown told ET on Tuesday while promoting his partnership with Clorox and Thrive Collective, a non-profit focused on providing arts and mentoring programs for at-risk youth. “With regards to Black Panther, I just didn’t say anything because I knew the Marvel universe — like, I was not going to have the whole thing collapse because Brown has loose lips. So, I would say that Jack is probably the one that I got asked to keep closest to.”

Now that Black Panther has been in theaters for two weeks, Brown pointed to one specific N’Jobu spoiler he’s looking forward to freely discussing.

“The relationship with Killmonger was the thing we were trying most desperately to keep under wraps,” Brown shared. “To recognize this complicated relationship between this African American youth and this mythical African country sort of exemplifies African Americans’ relationship with Africa today and this sense of disconnectedness that comes from that. And to see that in N’Jobu, you have someone who’s trying to — in his own misguided way — bridge that connection. His son took that a step further in maybe not the best way either.”

“The movie is everything that you want from a Marvel Cinematic Universe film in terms of bells and whistles, but it has such a social consciousness about it and it asks really important questions in terms of: What is our responsibility to one another in a global society today?” he continued. “I think Ryan [Coogler] and Joe Robert Cole, the writers, really answer that question in a beautiful way. We are our brother’s keeper but we have to do so with responsibility and integrity.”

In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa’s father, Wakandan king T’Chaka, was killed by a bomb attack during a conference, but he remained a large presence in Black Panther through T’Challa’s visits to the ancestral plain. Has Brown thought about a feasible idea that could bring N’Jobu, who was killed by his brother T’Chaka, back for the likely sequel in some shape or form?

“I have not contemplated my pitch,” the 41-year-old actor said with a laugh. “I figured it was just going to be a one-off and be happy with the fact that it was a one-off. I have a great day job on This Is Us. It affords me opportunities during my hiatus to be a part of something as magical as Black Panther, and it also keeps me at home with my family, with my wife and kids.”

Brown also addressed fans’ desires for Black Panther to make a dent in the Oscar race in 2019. Acknowledging that the early release in the typical Oscar calendar year may be a detriment, there are exceptions (see: Oscar nominee Get Out, which was released last February) and he was hopeful about the idea.

“If Panther has that kind of longevity and legs…,” Brown trailed off. “The movie is an important part of cinematic history. It’s going to be studied for a long time to come, and it’s such an empowering film for people of color to see themselves in this universe and have such strength that it stands a chance.”

Brown was adamant about one thing, though, making an Oscar declaration that doesn’t seem far off the mark at all. “I think Ryan Coogler is one of the great storytellers of this generation and he’s going to keep killing it for many years to come. One day, he’s going to get a statue. Whether it’s on this one or something to come in the future is not for me to determine.”

Wakanda forever.

Black Panther is in theaters now.

Sterling K. Brown Teases ‘A Lot Transpires’ in the Final ‘This Is Us’ Season 2 Episodes

February 27, 2018

This Is Us is back for the final three episodes of the season and while the mystery surrounding Jack’s death may be over, Sterling K. Brown promises there is much more to come.

“There’s a lot that transpires in the last three episodes of the season,” Brown told ET while promoting his team-up with Clorox and Thrive Collective, a non-profit focused on providing arts and mentoring programs for at-risk youth. “We go to Vegas tonight for Toby and Kate’s joint bachelor-bachelorette party. We have a beautiful standalone episode for episode 17 that I won’t say too much about. And the season finale will answer some questions and, as always, explore new possibilities for where we’re going to be going in season three.”

Brown acknowledged that viewers’ emotions may still be raw after learning how Jack died and experiencing the heartbreaking aftermath of the Pearson patriarch’s sudden death, but he expects tear ducts to be taking the night off for Tuesday’s episode.

“I will say this, if ever there was a joyous episode of This Is Us, tonight may be a more joyous occasion,” the 41-year-old actor teased. “I would not be surprised if the people who are accustomed to shedding tears might save a tear or two with tonight’s episode.”

With most of the Pearson clan in Sin City celebrating the future nuptials of Kate and Toby, Brown hinted there are some hijinks that go on among the group. But how exactly does someone like Randall, a respectable family man, take Vegas?

“He’s not a Spearmint Rhino [Gentlemen’s Club]-type guy, if that’s what you mean, and neither is really anybody else on our show,” Brown said with a laugh. “He actually finds himself a bit at odds over the course of the episode. You’ll see why.”

Fans were pleasantly surprised when, in the final moments of the Super Bowl episode on Feb. 4, the story of the Pearson family jumped forward several decades, revealing a salt-and-peppered Randall and an adult Tess as a social worker.

“There was a lot of talk about it,” Brown recalled. “Similar to when we decided to make Mandy [Moore] present-day Rebecca, there was also a conversation as to whether or not we hire another actor to play that part, or whether or not the makeup looks right. They did several makeup tests and the first test took about four hours, then it took about three-and-a-half and then they whittled it down to three.”

“But to know that the show had a plan and a grandness of vision to say that we can take this family anywhere as long as we give them something that grounds them to the Pearsons, the possibilities are endless,” he said. “To be the first person to enter into that flash-forward world was cool. It was a nice little Easter egg in the Super Bowl episode.”

When pressed for specifics on how the future storyline takes shape in context of the show, Brown alluded to some juicy arcs in the works.

“Oh man, I could tell you some stuff, but [creator Dan] Fogelman would be really upset,” he said with a renewed excitement. “There’s limitless possibility. It’s a family drama, but it’s told in such a unique format that it allows for us to move it like a blooming onion, if you will, and it’s expanding outward and outward. I can’t say too much!”

Brown shared his feelings on the fan response to Jack’s death, saying there “definitely is a sense of relief” now that that chapter is over.

“I’m very happy that people got a satisfying payoff to something that had a huge build-up,” he reflected. “Dan and we as the cast would have been very disappointed if the fans were like, ‘Oh that’s what happened? I waited all this time for that?’ But I think folks actually enjoyed — if that’s the right word — I think they were satisfied with how it all transpired.”

He also praised Moore’s soul-crushing performance, calling her work in those episodes — especially in the hour with Jack’s funeral — “absolutely amazing.” “But what happens now, it leaves new questions and new possibilities. And I want to tell you something so bad, but I can’t, like I really can’t!” Brown said. “But I’ll say this, Dan’s about coming up with ways to explore new questions that may inspire a similar sort of intrigue.”

Brown, who wrapped filming on This Is Us last week, has a busy slate with Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther dominating the box office, his Saturday Night Live hosting debut on March 10 and his upcoming guest spot on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But he spent his off day on Tuesday in New York City to help promote empathy, compassion and community connection.

“The incentive was being a dad and wanting my kids to grow up to be responsible, kind, resilient citizens of the world,” Brown said of his involvement with Clorox and Thrive Collective, and the importance of cleaning. “It turns out, doing these things are taking responsibility for yourself and it helps with your ability to connect with another human being. What’s more important than that?”

This Is Us returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


This Is Us | Stills from Superbowl Sunday

February 07, 2018

After the amazing episode of This is Us on Sunday, NBC has released some stills from the episode featuring Sterling as Randall.

Gallery Links:
Sterling K. Brown Fan > THIS IS US (2016 -PRESENT) > THIS IS US: SEASON 2 > STILLS

Sterling K. Brown Answered Your Biggest This Is Us Questions With GIFs of Himself

February 06, 2018

Sterling K. Brown has won two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe award for his portrayal of Randall Pearson on the hit tearjerking, Crockpot-featuring drama series, This Is Us. On Tuesday, however, Brown showed that he’s got skills off-camera as well, when he hosted a Twitter chat with fans of the show and dexterously responded to each tweet with only GIFs of himself.

Viewers took to their Twitter accounts to ask Brown questions like if he was anything like his on-screen character and how he felt reading the script about Jack Pearson’s tragic death; miraculously, there was an appropriate and fitting GIF for Brown to tweet his response every time.

All in all, Brown answered 17 questions — see his plethora of GIF responses below.

To see all the gifs go to the Time website. Pretty fun twitter chat!

This Is Us scores TV’s biggest post-Super Bowl rating in 6 years

February 05, 2018

Congratulations to the cast & crew of This is Us on their ratings of last night’s episode!

The Super Bowl itself might have been relatively disappointing in the ratings. But NBC’s special episode of This Is Us definitely scored in the Nielsens.

Early numbers mark the weepy NBC drama as the most-watched post-Super Bowl entertainment telecast in six years — and that’s despite the big game delivering its lowest rating in eight years.

The overnights (a 16.2 rating in the metered-market households) were up 59 percent from last year’s disappointing premiere of Fox’s 24: Legacy.

And naturally, this marks an all-time high for This Is Us as well. The full audience number is still to come later today.


and This Is Us Cast Ensemble wins a Screen Actors Guild Award!

January 21, 2018

I guess I posted a little too soon! Congratulations to the entire ensemble that is the fabulous cast of This is Us on tonight’s win for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series!

Dan Fogelman Teases Second Half Of Season 2: Aftermath Of Kevin’s DUI, Adoption & More

December 11, 2017

Deadline spoke with This Is Us Creator Dan Fogelman on what’s to come on This is Us.

In speaking with This Is Us’ Dan Fogelman about the NBC/Fox series Golden Globe nominations this morning for TV drama, lead actor Sterling K. Brown and supporting actress Chrissy Metz, the series creator teased a slew of intel regarding the second half of season two.

Or as Fogelman puts it, “We have big episodes in short order.”

When we return in January, we’ll immediately be thrusted back into the fallout of Kevin Pearson’s DUI. Does he go to jail? That’s still TBD, but what Fogelman did let on about was that there’s an intense 12-minute dramatic scene between mom and the grown Pearson kids, read Brown, Metz, Mandy Moore and Justin Hartley.

“They just go at it in an interesting way that I had to call of them into my office because there’s some really serious acting going on,” says Fogelman. “We find Kevin in rehab and the family has arrived to hash things out in a therapy session. It’s very loaded.”

In addition, there’s a small child we see at the end of the last episode “Number Three” before the break, a young boy who Brown hinted could be destined for Randall’s family. But is he? Kate just miscarried, and Toby and her would like a child. Could the young child be headed their way instead? Fogelman was blown away by our question, however, remained mum on whether the young child goes to Kate or Randall.

Then, of course, there’s the neverending details surrounding Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death. We learned this season that Jack potentially perishes in a fire. But did he set? Was he in the house? Does he smoke? “We promised answers in season 2 and we have eight episodes left and it’s all coming in short order. It will really be a heartbreaking surprise,” adds Fogelman. However, it’s the series’ plan to have other danglers in the older Pearson children’s lives take the front seat to the story surrounding Jack’s death mystery. That said, the enigma around the patriarch’s life will continue to evolve.

Fogelman further confirmed what Brown told us: That Randall will ultimately return to Memphis and develop a relationship with his extended birth family there. A second Memphis story was the original concept for the Thanksgiving episode before the This Is Us writers went with a three-episode-arc centered around each Pearson child. “We have a lot of real estate from Memphis and we’ll find our way back there,” says Fogelman.

In addition, Fogelman also spoke about the mystery surrounding Randall’s mother, Laurel. William informed him that she died during childbirth, and if she didn’t, “It would mean that William lied,” says Fogelman. However, in regards to whether Randall visits her grave, dives into learning more about her, Fogelman says such events “aren’t happening this season. But the construct of the show is that if we want to explore her back history, we don’t have have to send Randall to do it. We can just go into the story about his mother by going back in time and see how she met William (Ron Cephas Jones).”

Currently, Fogelman is in the middle of production on episodes 14 and 15 of This Is Us‘ 18-episode season. The NBC series returns on Jan. 2.

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