weather icon Drizzle

Sterling K. Brown talks ‘This Is Us,’ being a family man

Sterling K. Brown had this ritual. As a Stanford University undergrad, he would sneak into the drama theater at off hours and let the possibilities wash over him.

“One of my favorite things to do was be in that empty theater. The ghost light would be on. I’d stand in front of the light and watch my shadow cast out over the audience,” he said. “I’d put out my arms and say, ‘For the next two hours, I’m going to take care of these people. I will hopefully entertain them, educate them and hopefully they’ll be a better version of themselves when they walk out.”

His TV character Randall Pearson on “This is Us” — a guy who wants to do so much that his fictional wife tells him to “slow your roll” — is inspiring the masses. Before the third season of the family drama premieres on Sept. 25, the 42-year-old Brown has a key role in new creature feature “The Predator.” It marks the return of the universe’s fastest and most deadly and lethal hunter.

At home in Los Angeles, Emmy Award-winner Brown, a native of St. Louis, is Dad to sons Andrew, 6, and Amara, 2, with his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, who is also an actress.

Review-Journal: What is your idea of a great Sunday?

Sterling K. Brown: It’s a day for family. You have to grab that time and just have fun while also teaching those important life lessons. You answer the questions. You give your kids the space to express themselves. I love my family with the strength of a thousand suns. When I’m home, I’m just a dad. The kids don’t care about Golden Globes or Emmys. They just want to get down with that Pokemon.

You were instrumental in the birth of your first son.

It was 2:23 a.m., and my wife comes crawling out of the bathroom on all fours. She said, “I think I’m crowning.” But it was way too soon. It was our first baby. In the moment, I looked between her legs and the baby’s head was there. She dials 911. I’m on the phone with the midwife. I look down and the baby’s head is out. She pushed again and the baby wriggled out. I grabbed the baby. My credit is only he got no carpet fibers on his body. I kept him clean.

“The Predator” might not be your typical Sterling K. Brown role. Why do it?

Anytime someone tries to put me into a box and say, ‘‘This is what Sterling Brown does,’’ I like to give them something a little bit different. If I can make you yell ‘‘yeah’’ back at the screen and then make you cry when you come home and turn on your TV, well, that’s when I’m really loving life. I like doing it all.

Who is your character?

I’m Will Traeger who runs Operation Star Gazer. He basically collects data about extra-terrestrials. He has information on the Predator. He honors that that Predator has been here several times in the past and wants to learn as much about it in order to fight the good fight. The man I play is not good or bad. He has his own agenda throughout the trajectory of the film. He is a bit of a lone wolf.

“This Is Us” returns in a couple of weeks. Your co-star Milo Ventimiglia said you have the best male cry of the cast. He said that during table reads, you’ll get into an emotional moment, close your eyes and let just one tear fall.

I can’t help it. This material is so beautiful that you cry when you get those scripts. I love when I hear from fans that we’ve made them feel something and they cried. I hear, ‘‘You made me cry’’ all the time and it makes me so happy. That means I’m doing my job.

Do you remember the day you were sent the pilot script for “This Is Us?”

I was excited from the jump. It was just exceptional writing. On network TV, this kind of writing doesn’t always happen. I can count on one hand how many times something moved me like this … laughing out loud and crying at the same time over a character. I knew this would be a true joy for me as an actor.

Why do you think that audiences have embraced “This is Us?”

It’s a show that asks: Where do I belong? Where do I come from and how did it mold me? Above all, I think people just want to know they’re not alone. I know I relate on so many levels. As a man who lost his father at age 10, which is my story, I still ask myself, ‘‘Man, I wonder what my dad would do?”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.