Best Actor – TV Series, Drama
BEST ACTOR ‑ TV SERIES
Sterling K. Brown ‑ “This Is Us”
STERLING K. BROWN: Right?
Don’t want to run out of time, so let me thank my wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, I love you so much. Thank you for supporting me through this whole thing.
To my kids, Andrew and Amari, Daddy will see you. I will take to you school in the morning, I promise.
I want to thank my cast, which is absolutely amazing, and we take turns leading and supporting one another. I love each and every one of you.
To my network, NBC, to Bob and Jennifer, to Fox, to Gary, to Dana. But also, I want to thank Dan Fogelman. Now, Dan Fogelman, throughout the majority of my career, I have benefited from colorblind casting which means, you know, like hey, let’s throw a brother in this room, right? It’s always really cool. But, Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man, like, that can only be played by a black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am and it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anybody who looks like me.
So thank you, Dan. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press. Peace.
Q These come from the HFPA fans and Facebook. They want to know how you ended up creating this great part.
STERLING BROWN: Good. So much of the work was already done in the pilot. What Dan had written was something that made me laugh out loud. It made me cry into the page, but I think what was interesting for me was this fish-out-of-water individual. Even within his own family, who loves him, who appreciates him, who makes him feel a part of, but he knows he doesn’t look exactly like they do, and also try to find his way in the world. He recognizes that things are going to be different for him than they are for his brother or his sister. So growing up for me, my mom always told me, you have to work twice as hard to get just as far, that the way in which the world is going to react and respond to you is not going to be the same as it is for some of your white counterparts. So when you see little boys playing around and horsing around and maybe getting into trouble, you don’t have the same latitude necessarily to get into the same kind of trouble with the same repercussions. The repercussions for you may be different. So that experience informs a lot of how I sort of view Randall walking this line of perfection, not only because he recognizes that it can be dangerous in the world for him, but because he needs and wants the love of his family. And so he’s now in a position where he’s trying to release that pressure that he puts on himself to be perfect, recognizing that it can be debilitating sometimes and leading to his own anxiety. He has such a big heart. He’s such a loving and caring person. And when he feels disappointment, he feels it immensely. But when he feels joy, he feels that immensely as well. So I tried to just live in the moment as this person and feel everything and hopefully everybody feels everything with me.
Q What inspires you at this moment in life?
STERLING BROWN: My children. I’ve got two beautiful baby boys that are six and two years old. And if I have a hard day at work or a great day at work, they just want to be hugged and played with and sang to, and we do times tables together and subtraction problems. My boys are everything. Thank you.
Q I don’t know if you are aware that you actually made history tonight. You are the fist African-American actor to win in this category. So congratulations.
STERLING BROWN: Thank you very much.
Q What does that mean to you?
STERLING BROWN: You know, so I did know, and I was thinking I’ve never been the first brother to do anything. I was the fourth student council president African-American at my high school, the fourth black one. I was like the second black J.V. captain of my basketball team, but to finally be, like, the first of something is really interesting. Because I never considered myself to be a trailblazer or whatnot. But I just try to stand in my truth all the time, and if it comes — if I come from a place of truth, then that’s all I can do. I can’t worry about trying to be Jackie Robinson or anybody else, but I’m honored by the HFPA that they took a character from our little network television show where we have 42 minutes and 30 seconds to tell the same kinds of stories that other people get 60 minutes to do the same thing with. So I feel a tremendous amount of pride, and I look forward to seeing somebody else stand up here, holding this trophy, not 75 years from now. Thank you very much. Good-bye, everyone.