Magazine article The Crisis

Sterling K. Brown's Rise to the Top

Magazine article The Crisis

Sterling K. Brown's Rise to the Top

Article excerpt

If anyone in Hollywood embodies the idea of working with intention, it's Sterling K. Brown.

He is all about supporting the accurate, realistic, forward-thinking portrayals of Black people on screen. And at the same time, he is aware of and embraces the responsibility he carries in how modern-day, dealing-with-racism America views Black men.

Brown is about as woke as woke can be, yet he isn't preachy or off-putting with it. He's easy. And clearly, he's got grit. No one makes it this far this fast without having gone through some gnarly stuff. The secret, he says, is working with a purpose, acknowledging how you got here and pushing to do more.

"I see acting as an opportunity to entertain, educate and edify," says Brown, who, last year became the first Black man to win Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for a TV drama for his portrayal of Randall Pearson on NBC's mega hit This Is Us. In 2017,

Brown won an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series. The last Black actor to win was in 1998 when Andre Braugher took home the statue for his role in NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street.

"There's been opportunities I've been presented with that aren't readily abundant, so I'm thankful and I recognize myself having a bit of privilege. ... I also stand on the shoulders of giants," says Brown. "I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for Denzel [Washington] and Sam [Jackson] and Morgan [Freeman] and [Paul] Robeson and Ossie [Davis]. …

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