Brown, Sterling K, NYU discussed on Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist
Episode of The Sunday. Sit Down podcast. My thanks as always for clicking and listening along with us my guest this week. It's not a good one. I think Actors Sterling K.. Brown know him of course as one of the stars of the hit. NBC Show. The people have to watch with a full box of tissues. This is us the tear jerker now in its fourth season. An amazing cast of which Sterling K.. Brown is an Emmy and Golden Globe. Winning the member joining me now is always the producer of this fine podcast and the producer of these sterling K.. Brown interview for this week Maggie Law. Hey Maggie before we get to the important business of this interview. Some more important important is we spoke last. Maggie law is engaged. Take a nice walk yes. My eyes are blind reflection in this fluorescent lights lights. Thank you so much thank you. Thank you like me yet your fiance for one hundred years one hundred Actually ten mm-hmm we met at a boarding school and we've been dating since the end of junior year of high school. Yeah so so we share that. Yes Dina beginning junior in high school school right. We did it for a long time. Broke up a little while a little break and then we found each other again. But we'll say we did not have a little break ten years strong and here we are. I'm telling you deep deep roots are good for the marriage. Adulation Cam very excited. And let's talk about our interview Sterling K.. Brown is a guide met a couple of times. Didn't know well L. had really high hopes for the interviews faced on what I know of them is being sort of Like a smart interesting guy but also the serve electric speaker and presence presents exceeded everything. He was electric. I think it's a way to say it. He really I feel like he brought it to the interview. And just the nicest guy you just love when you meet them and they're just so nice and they say hi to everybody in the room just like there too. I feel like he really brought it one of those people. You hope they'll be who you think it was He I think part of that is is that he's earned his place. We talk a lot about this in an interview. He was sort of on this thirteen year grind small roles. TV He says. Look I was happy. Acting was paying the bills. I bought a house right but hadn't hadn't had that sort of big break in Hollywood and then in the fall of two thousand sixteen along comes people that was he'll he won the emmy for that right people versus Oj Simpson. We played Johnny Cochran. That was earlier in two thousand sixteen and then shortly after this is US comes up and that's it really was the crazy thing for I says now things are stupid. Good for always good now. They're stupid again a little background for people. I know you like to paint a picture picture in your mind as you listen to these interviews of where we are where a place called the public theater New York City of famous famous place that so many of the actors adventures every famous actor you know has played a part there started there in New York City And we're upstairs in the library there. Yeah Sterling actually. That's what he asked to do. The interview it's one of his favorite spots. He went to Grad school at Nyu so right nearby and he said when he was in school there everybody dreamed of performing at the public at some point. You always I wanted to do Shakespeare in the park and everything like that. Eventually he got to do a show there. I think twenty fourteen and so he requested to it there that was great spot. And then you'll hear later we get up walk around a little bit in Washington Square Park and very cool moments of a place. He used to walk around dreaming of being somebody right in that business and you draws the crowd we walk in the park and boom like flies to honey came on to Sterling K.. Brown all those. This is US fans. His new film is called waves. It's a lot about fatherhood. He's Kinda Domineering Dad. In this movie he lost his own father in real life at the age of ten To me it was the best moment of the interview. You can listen. NC agree when he started just going into the story of the day. And I will say I in an interview setting. It's hard to sometimes because the lights and there's people around to get lost in the emotion it was as emotional as I remember reviewing really really feeling at that moment he was so first of all. I'm just grateful that anyone would share such a personal story. Absolutely has that with me Of the day his father died and he was ten years old. I have a ten year old son I think part of that hit me ask what would it be like if I left my ten year. Old Son unexpectedly early in in such a sudden way and he remembers every detail the day in he volunteered it. You know it's not something I would ask him to describe because it is so traumatic. which man did he go there? Yeah he did. It was really emotional but it felt special that he was able to share with you and significant. Because it's how he tapped into characters in waves but also in this awesome us a cathartic moment for him able to sort of say goodbye to his dad in a way. So seems were there okay. We've described the enough let Sterling K.. Brown tell the story himself Sterling K.. Brown right now on the Sunday. Sit Down podcast sterling. Thanks for doing this. Thanks for having me great to see a you know we got a Lotta history to talk about you in this neighborhood you in. This theater is my stomping grounds dude. I went to Nyu from ninety eight. Two Oh one I lived if that one asked a place right around the corner and so the public was this fixture like this beacon of when we get out of school. Maybe we'll get a chance to work at the public. Maybe we'll get a chance to do Shakespeare in the park and I've got a chance to work here on a couple of occasions and it's been magical every time I was telling you I've interviewed a number of actors who said I want to do the interview at the Public Theater. What is it about this place that so special for people who don't even know about? There's all these people that come through here right so you know like Meryl Streep Streep is done Shakespeare in the park Leeann have like you said I seen him do hamlet. You see all these actors crews careers you want to immolate and they could be off doing all these fancy movies and TV shows etc.. But they take time to make sure that that muscle of being able to tread the boards never atrophies because they care about the art of illuminating the human condition and that sort of what was embedded in my fiber at Grad School. Oh that NYU and so. It's something that I keep coming back to over and over again. I mean you look at the faces on that wall. It's every major actor you've ever heard of it's all all been here all of them and you too So we'll talk more about that but I said D we're walking in here. It's the highest compliment. I could pay an actor is I didn't know where to begin again with you. You have so much going on right now apprec- but let's start with the film waves. Yeah which is unique and different than anything. I've seen it tells a beautiful story and it really uses music. Well how do you describe this project when you first read it. Did you get what they were going for. That's that's a good question it's hard. It's complicated it. It is complicated because it's a hard movie to describe to people. It's a family drama that focuses more on the children of this family. It's an African American family mother and in a father a son and a daughter in the first half of the movie. SORTA is the sons half of the movie and the second half of the movie you kind of shift narratives and it becomes the daughters journey. There's a major tragedy that happens in the mid point. I'm not gonNA give away But it also is sort of shows is how a family deals with grief loss and how you keep moving forward with with grace and with love In the music is huge. which like even like I said in the script their music cues laid into the script? So you press a button. Listen to a song as you read the scene Our director writer Trey Atwood Schultz had something very specific in mind in the movies autobiographical. I should say and then leaps into narrative fiction and then back in autobiography and then to narrative fiction. Because I say that because he is white right and the movie focuses on an African American family but because he hired Kelvin Harrison junior to play the role of the son in the family because they worked on a film before it comes at night. They sort of collaborated and said like tell me something about your childhood third about your father about what it was like for you to grow up in New Orleans etc and so they combined their narratives and came up with the story together and it was a real collaboration collaboration from the onset And I think we came up with something special. It is unique. It's unlike anything I've seen before you're in a position in your career where you can get a script and sort of decide whether or not it's something that's worth all the time you put into a role. What was it about this story that jumped off the page to you? Okay so I was shooting. This is us at the time and my agent. My manager read the script and he said we think this is pretty special. I was like guys like I got a job on the show. And they're like yeah but check it out. If you like it maybe we can make it work. First and foremost it was something completely really different than Randall Pearson whom I love and Adore. But now that you have the opportunity to not be locked into one character and to be known solely the character I try to take advantage of those opportunities whenever they are offered to me now to keep going with that point about ten years ago there wasn't the same sort of fluidity between film and Television Right and now that it exists. It's like I'm a kid in Candy Star on jump around and play and as many sandboxes as This guy was a father in in waves who is very much present For his family but it is a hard man not the easiest father to get along with and so what. I enjoy the challenge of inhabiting people who aren't readily likable But who are humane. Who are good and my goal is not to be liked but to be understood so I enjoy? Enjoy the challenge of finding someone who people be like..