Sterling K. Brown opens up about ‘This Is Us’ renewal news and his real-life marriage: ‘I’m not the perfect husband’

Find out how Randall Pearson makes things hard for him as a husband.


Sterling K. Brown/ Ryan Michelle Bathe
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Sterling K. Brown shows no signs of slowing down. This Is Us was recently renewed for three more seasons and he has a slew of film and TV projects coming down the pipeline. We caught up with the Emmy-winning actor to find out how he’s handling all the work he’s ding while managing his personal life.

“It feels fantastic. It feels like the network trusts and likes the story that we have been telling and it feels like job security. That doesn’t happen that often,” he says of the This Is Us renewal news. “It’s one of my favorite jobs that I ever had. I love the story. I love the people. I love the message that we get a chance to put out to the world and sort of bring people together. I get a chance to do it in my hometown with my family so it’s all good.”

His character, Randall Pearson, recently gave fans a scare when. it seemed like he hand his on-screen wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) were heading towards a split.

“I love my wife and I love my TV wife.They’re both very easy women to love. They’re both very kind and very generous. My wife has been nothing but supportive of the journey that I have been on in school and particularly in the past four years,” he says.

“I’m not a perfect husband. Everybody falls short of the mark. My own wife has told me, ‘I need you to do what Randall would do. Get it done.’ Even Sterling falls short of the mark.”

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According to Brown, there’s no real secret to success in marriage, other than sticking it out.

“The only thing you can do to be a husband worth your salt is keep trying. Don’t throw in the towel. Figure it out if you can,” he says. “I was touched to see just how invested people were in our relationship and moved by it. If it doesn’t work with Beth and Randall, I don’t know if I can take it. My own wife told me if Cookie and Luscious can figure it out, Beth and Randall better get their stuff together.”

Sterling K. Brown admits that he pulls from his real-life marriage to Ryan Michelle Bathe to inform Randall’s approach to his relationship.

“I don’t feel any level of pressure other than to try and tell the truth and I’m thankful I have a marriage of 13 years to draw from in order to know the truth of what marriage is,” he says. “Mine is loving and caring and complicated. The best of marriages are complicated. People get on each other’s nerves from time to time but at the end of the day you do the work you need to do to move forward. That’s what Beth and Randall did and I love that.”

The This Is Us star also took time to fill us in on one of his many upcoming roles, the A24-produced flick, Waves.

“Waves is a family drama. It sort of chronicle the life of a brother sister and their romantic relationships and sort of the difference between those two relationships. I’m the patriarch of this family who deals with his children very differently. There’s a traumatic event that happens halfway through the movie that sort of forces everybody to recalibrate and figure out if the person they’re being in the world is the person they actually want to be. It is a profoundly moving story. And I think that it can really impact people’s lives in a very deep way. I haven’t seen the film yet but if it comes out the way that I know that it can, I think it’s something that people are gonna be talking about for a while.”

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Aside form his long list of upcoming projects, Sterling K. Brown has his own production company, Indian Meadows Productions to attend to. Launched last year under a pact with 20th Century Fox, the company’s chief mandate is to champion diversity while developing and producing entertaining, educational and edifying projects for broadcast, cable and streaming. Indian Meadows is attached to executive produce a limited series adaptation of Esi Edugyan’s award-winning novel WASHINGTON BLACK for 20th Century Fox TV.

“I want to make sure folks are represented in front of the camera and behind. I want to make sure that it’s not just a fad or a passing phase. Now that there’s a greater accessibility and a desire to tell a multitude of stories and it doesn’t become just a trend and fade away and it doesn’t just become a buzz word. It just becomes a matter of statement of storytelling in America and the world at large,” he says.

“I feel when you can tell a story that appeals to the masses and the critics that’s not
hitting people over the head in terms of it being a message movie, but it can simultaneously entertain, educate, and edify you’re doing the work that is sort of seamless.”