Host Sterling K. Brown Really Loves SNL

March 08, 2018

Be sure to tune in this weekend for the new SNL with Sterling as the host!

Sterling K. Brown hosts Saturday Night Live on March 10, 2018, with musical guest James Bay.

Sterling K. Brown weighs in on ‘Black Panther’ debate, talks black Hollywood’s responsibility

March 08, 2018

After millions of moviegoers packed theaters around the world, there’s been one resounding question on the minds of all “Black Panther” fans — was Erik Killmonger really a villain?

Killmonger, portrayed voraciously by Michael B. Jordan, was the forgotten son of Wakanda, abandoned in Oakland, California, after his father, Prince N’Jobu was suddenly killed. It left many wondering what would happen to the prince’s young child, who was outside playing basketball with his friends when his father died.

And moviegoers got their answer just minutes later in the form of Killmonger, who not only wanted to avenge his father’s death but the lives of millions of African-Americans, who felt forgotten by their mother country. The story line, for many, hit close to home.

Sterling K. Brown, who portrayed Killmonger’s father in “Black Panther,” told ABC News the debate on whether Killmonger is actually a villain “is the most fascinating conversation to come from the film.”

“The whole concept of Killmonger,” he said, “is he a villian or does he represent us — especially African-Americans?”

“He is a villian because, while his intentions, and N’Jobu’s intentions for that fact, are honorable, they didn’t necessarily go about it [in a way] that would actually bring about the change that they want,” the actor explained.

Brown, 41, who spoke to ABC News while working with Clorox for their “Clean is the beginning” campaign, noted that defenders of Killmonger are quick to forget that his onscreen son shot his girlfriend in the face, and he burned all of Wakanda’s powerful heart-shaped herb.

“He wasn’t trying to create a legacy. He was like ‘I want this for myself,'” the award-winning actor explained. “That’s where the intention gets confused with personal ambition, but what he was able to illuminate … is that he is not without a point.”

Brown added that thanks to Killmonger many were able to see a problem plaguing not only the fictional country of Wakanda, but our global community right now. Noting that Wakanda “has resources” and “access to technology,” the actor said the problem was Wakanda was “keeping it to themselves.”

“Not only have they’ve been keeping it to themselves, but people who have sought refuge, they have actively denied them that,” he added, “and now we ask this question in this global community that we are all a part of: Am I my brother’s keeper? The answer is yes.”

Brown’s message of being his “brother’s keeper” doesn’t end on screen. It also extends offscreen.

Back in January, when the “This Is Us” actor won the Screen Actors Guild Award for lead actor in a drama series, becoming the first black actor to do so in the category, Brown was asked backstage about black Hollywood’s responsibly to black media outlets.

Jaleesa Lashay of Black Tree TV, which bills itself as the “number one source for urban entertainment,” specifically asked him about the “disparities between the opportunities given to black journalists in comparison to our white counterparts” and if there was a “plan in Hollywood” to correct it.

Brown, in the moment said, “You know what? I’ve never paid attention,” but noted that the media room was indeed lacking diversity.

Nearly two months later, the actor said he’s thought about that question a great deal.

“If you have an opportunity to make sure that a competent individual of color is getting access to you — because everybody wants to have access, lots of people do,” Brown began, “I feel like I can do that. That’s the least I could do.”

Brown said he even went a step further and had a “conversation with my publicist to make sure we’re on the same page about things, but letting it be known that it’s something that I want to do to make sure that people aren’t being shut out.”


Sterling K. Brown On What Makes His Marriage Work: ‘We Laugh A Lot’

March 01, 2018

Sterling spoke with Essence about his marriage with Ryan and how this amazing duo makes their marriage work.

Sterling K. Brown is having a moment.

Whether he captured your attention for his Emmy winning performance in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, or making you cry every week on the hit NBC drama series, This Is Us, as father and husband extraordinaire Randall Pearson, it’s safe to say that Brown’s moment is undeniable and well-earned.

ESSENCE caught up with the history-making actor while promoting his partnership with Clorox to celebrate the power of clean, and discussed his dynamic performance in Black Panther, his acting calling card, and the love of his life, wife Ryan Michelle Bathe.

“I never thought that that would be sort of my calling card,” he said with an infectious laugh when asked if eliciting tears in every role was somehow negotiated into his contracts.

“I honestly love to laugh way more than I like to cry. I’m going to start doing more stuff that doesn’t make people cry, I promise so that there will be balance brought back to the universe!”

Speaking of balance, the 41-year-old always makes it a point to credit his wife and fellow actress for being his better half.

The college sweethearts wed in 2007 and will celebrate 11 years of marriage, so Brown gave ESSENCE his secrets to a happy marriage — and dished on what his TV character Randall Pearson has taught him about love.

His answer, of course, was everything!

“Number one, never stop talking. Problems arise when people stop talking to each other,” he explained. “Laugh a lot, we crack each other up constantly!”

He continued, “I do the best I can and I feel like that’s the way most people are. We do the best we can until we know how to do better. And Sterling Brown prides himself on putting his best foot forward.”

‘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.


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.”


Sterling to Host SNL!

February 20, 2018

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