You loved him on The People v. O.J. Simpson and continue to love him on the hit NBC drama This Is Us; there is definitely no denying that this is Sterling K. Brown's year. The actor winner sat down with AOL's Build Series on Wednesday to discuss his character Randall, his Emmy win and his own family.
Randall is the good guy, a dedicated family man, who has a close relationship with his mother Rebecca (Mandy Moore), but some of these things are soon to change, after he finds out on Tuesday's Thanksgiving episode that his mother has known his biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) his entire life and never told him. "There will be some repercussions to that situation in next week's episode," he said,"that's pretty much all I can say about that." But before letting the topic drop completely he did elaborate with an off handed statement:"it's about to get real in the Whole Foods parking lot."
While the characters may have to deal with rough times ahead there is nothing but love between Sterling and his costars. "Its the most loving and supporting cast that I could be a part of," he says. "We're a family on camera and we're a family off camera." He has become so vested in the character that he feels a connection with his onscreen parents Rebecca and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) jokingly saying, "when I see Mandy and Milo on set, I'm like, 'That's my mom and dad.'"
Before basking in the early success of This Is Us, Sterling was in the Emmy spotlight. He received the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie after portraying Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson. "Everybody in the room was standing up," he said about accepting the award. "That level of appreciation to hit you at that moment in your life was probably one of the more surreal experiences that I've ever had." He concluded that it was "definitely a top ten moment."
As far as where he is keeping his prize, Brown spoke candidly, "the Emmy is in the garage in a box." He was quick to defend the decision, saying it isn't in part of "false modesty... believe me," he said, "I go out to the garage and take a look at it as much as I can, but it is sharp." As a father of two kids age one and five, Brown's choice is based solely on safety purposes. (He is married to Ryan Michelle Bathe, who plays young Randall's surrogate aunt Yvette on the show.)
Brown, who lost his father at a young age, uses that experience to influence Randall's relationship with William. He spoke about how he wishes he could ask his father parenting questions, and draws on that because "Randall has and opportunity to find that relationship with William." As a father himself, he feels more connected to the storyline because of the love he has experienced. "[My mother loved] me in a way that I couldn't comprehend until I had [my] kids, and I feel like that's the way Jack and Rebecca are with Kevin [Justin Harley] and Randall and Kate [Chrissy Metz]."
This Is Us has allowed him to portray a character that he feels is important, "to recognize the humanity of a man that is also black, I really love and appreciate that opportunity." The show is impacting the audience in ways that not every show can, "[it] has a way of just getting inside and cracking your heart open, and making you feel things you haven't felt in a while."
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC