This is part one of a two-part piece on the two-time Emmy Award-winning actor, Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson on NBC’s Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated drama series “This Is Us”. Unless you’ve been living under a very big rock you know that Mr. Brown kicks ass and takes names in the role. He’s so good that along with his two Emmy Awards (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) he also received a Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series, becoming the first African American actor to win his category in the award show’s 75-year history.
A disruptor, Mr. Brown also made history by becoming the first African American actor to receive the SAG Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama and he kept on winning, receiving two SAG awards alongside his cast for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
His achievements led to him being included in TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.
His credits keep growing and include “Black Panther” (“the” blockbuster that broke worldwide box office records in its release) with Brown earning a SAG Award alongside the ensemble cast.
He also appeared in Fox’s sci-fi thriller “The Predator”, “Hotel Artemis”, “Marshall” (received an NAACP Image Award nomination for his performance), “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” “Our Idiot Brother,” The Suspect,” “Righteous Kill,” “Trust the Man,” and “Spaceman.”
His television credits include guest-starring roles in BROOKLYN NINE-NINE and Brown portrayed prosecutor Christopher Darden in FX’s highly-rated award-winning television event series THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY. He won an Emmy Award and Critics’ Choice Award for the role and was nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG Award and NAACP Image Award.
Brown currently stars in the powerful A24 family drama “Wave” for which he has received critical praise, and in Disney’s “Frozen 2.”
He will also appear in a guest-starring role in the third season of the Emmy-winning Amazon series THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL and in January, Brown will star opposite Blake Lively and Jude Law in Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section.”
Here is part one—of a two-part article—with the award-winning Sterling K. Brown currently starring in Trey Edward Shults’ film “Waves.”
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL: Let’s talk about the film Trey Shults’s “Waves” which is currently in theaters and opening wider this month.
STERLING K. BROWN: Ok.
LAS: You play the character, Ronald. He’s a stern but considerate father of two teenagers (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell). How did you approach your role? It’s a complicated story for sure especially since catastrophe strikes the family with a big whammy!
SKB: I was able to see on the page that Tyler [Ronald’s son, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.] has a good soul.
LAS: Yes but he’s lost, God bless him.
SKB: He lost his way. He made a tremendous mistake. That mistake didn’t define him.
LAS: The critics have been kind. Manohla Dargis from The NYTimes called the film “A domestic melodrama in an anguished key, Trey Edward Shults’s ‘Waves’ is the shattering story of a Florida family undone by a shocking tragedy.” Peter Travers from Rolling Stone said “Still, even in the face of grievous misfortune, the characters created by Schults exude a tenderness that allows this achingly intimate drama to move past sorrow and hit you like a shot in the heart,” and Paul Asay from Plugged In says “Grace is found here. But for our purposes, it’s bought with a price.” What does Sterling K. Brown say about ‘Waves’?
SKB: I say it’s a film that I haven’t seen on screen before.
SKB: I say I haven’t seen this Black family represented cinematically. The upper-middle cast is not void of problems because they have money. They are still cognizant and know what it means to be Black in America and they still go in a crisis. It’s a really interesting sort-of dissection of how people can live under the same roof [and] be involved in each other’s lives and still not fully know what’s going on in the lives of their children.
LAS: That’s important. Most parents don’t know what’s happening with their teenagers.
SKB: So I think it’s a cautionary tale to parents and I speak on behalf of all parents to make sure that they establish an environment where they encourage free and open communications between themselves and their children. I think what Trey [Trey Edward Shults] has come up with is the rated “R” family film.
LAS: What do you hope will happen with ‘Waves’?
SKB: I hope young people see it. I hope parents see it and I hope they all see it together because I think the conversations that can come from this film can be incredibly healing for all families Black and White and everything in-between.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL: What’s next for you?
STERLING K. BROWN: The next film that comes out in January is the ‘Rhythm Section’ with Jude Law and Blake Lively. I’m also in ‘The Marvelous Ms. Maisel’ that’s on Amazon and you can check that out and there are a lot of producing things that I have in the works most notably something with Kerry Washington called ‘Shadow Force’ which is sort of our take on a Black ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith.’
“Waves” is now playing. To follow “Waves” go to https://a24films.com/films/waves
@WavesMovie, FACEBOOK: /WavesMovie, @WavesMovie and #WavesMovie
This interview was been edited for length and clarity.