‘Black Panther,’ ‘This Is Us,’ and ‘The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’ are just three of the smash-hit credits on Sterling K. Brown’s résumé. A consummate dramatic actor, Brown has lent his talents to enough beloved TV shows and movies that most Americans are sure to be a fan of at least one of them. We sat down with the hardworking star to talk TV, movies, and what he did before he made it in Hollywood.
1. The ensemble cast on This Is Us has incredible chemistry. Are you all tight in real life?
Absolutely. We have a powerful bond. In fact, we keep our relationships strong by doing weekly trust exercises where we perform surgery on each other without any medical training. One of us is the anesthesiologist, one of us is the surgeon, one of us is the patient, and the rest of us are nurses. So far we’ve lost one person, but it was just a minor character who makes Rebecca’s coffee sometimes.
2. Any details you can give us about the upcoming season of This Is Us?
Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that in the finale we find out all of the characters are each other’s dads right as all of them are boarding one of the planes that crashes into the World Trade Center.
3. You recently played N’Jobu in Black Panther. What was that experience like?
As a lifelong fan of the Black Panther comics, it was a dream come true. I was a huge comic book nerd growing up, and I was always wishing that they’d make movies about the more niche, lesser-known superheroes that I loved, like Black Panther, The Short Millionaire, Munchboy, Staticky Picnic Table, Tremblehands, Candle Legs, Fuck Jockey, The Wireless Smell, Mr. Extra Shoelaces That Come With New Sneakers And Just Kinda Disappear, The Literal Bird, The Skateboard Shin Welt, Sgt. Freshman Dorm Room Collage, Admiral New Hat Fits Weird, and so many more. So actually getting to be a part of the Black Panther movie was incredible, and I’m hoping that the film’s success will encourage studios to make even more movies about these great, smaller-profile superheroes.
4. What was the worst day job you ever had before you made it as an actor?
I was the CFO of Pfizer for a while in my 20s, and the company experienced a major decrease in market share during my tenure. It was a totally humiliating experience, and I couldn’t be more grateful that that part of my life is over.
5. Are there any roles you haven’t played yet but would like to?
I’d really love to play the elderly version of my character, Randall Pearson, if This Is Us does a reunion episode a few decades from now, because if they get somebody else that almost certainly means I died.