The Rise of Sterling K. Brown
“I think, for the first time, people are starting to say, ‘That’s Sterling K. Brown,’ which is cool, which is uncharted territory for your boy. It’s nice to be called by your name when you’re not in character.”
Sterling K. Brown is one of the most talented men in Hollywood at this time, and to say that he is on the rise like he’s a fresh new face is odd considering he’s been around for quite some time. But he hasn’t gotten nearly as much recognition as you’d think he’d deserve. It wasn’t until last year, when Brown filled the shoes of prosecutor Christopher Darden in THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, a television show that not only showed where Brown was on the map but solidified his place in Hollywood. Brown even won an Emmy because of his performance.
He then has gone on to star in the TV show people won’t shut up about (no, really, everyone I talk to keeps talking about this dang show) THIS IS US. But his trip isn’t stopping there, as he has since snagged a role in Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER, a movie that may just end up being one of the largest comic book films based solely on the hype and excitement surrounding it.
When you have someone as talented as Brown and you see them thriving in successful television shows or upcoming films, you can’t help but feel joy and happiness for what he’s achieving and for what he’s helping not only pave the way for, but also the legacy he’s helping to continue: The legacy of non-white actors and actresses in Hollywood. Sterling K. Brown’s success is just a testament to POC and how they always have the talent and skill to back up the work they do. There is the constant conversation of representation in Hollywood and how important it is, but whenever points are brought up about how execs need to simply get “the right person for the job”, regardless of skin color or sex, these points fail to acknowledge that there are right people for the job, and not all of them are white. Most of them aren’t.
That’s why it’s taken Brown so long to finally be given the credit that he is deserved, and he’s been around for so long.
Brown time and time again has been disproving that whole exclusive theory. He’s gone from BROWN SUGAR, to HACK, to TARZAN (TV Series), to ER, to NYPD BLUE, to THIRD WATCH, to JAG, to BOSTON LEGAL, to TRUST THE MAN, to STARVED, to STAY, to ALIAS, to SMITH, to WITHOUT A TRACE, to SHARK, to STANDOFF, to THE FAVOR, to SUPERNATURAL, to ELI STONE, to RIGHTEOUS KILL, to MEDIUM, to DETROIT 1-8-7, to OUR IDIOT BROTHER, to THE GOOD WIFE, to HARRY’S LAW, to NIKITA, to PERSON OF INTEREST, to ARMY WIVES, to THE SUSPECT, to NCIS, to THE MENTALIST, to MASTERS OF SEX, to GALYNTINE, to CASTLE, to CRIMINAL MINDS, to MOJAVE, to WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, to THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON, and then to THIS IS US.
He did all of that, all of those, and only now in 2016-17 we’re finally going to pay him mind and give him the attention he’s been working hard for? The even sadder thing about this is that there are a plethora of other actors and actresses that are POC that aren’t getting paid their dues either.
But Brown leaves us on a comforting thought, depending solely on how you look at it. While it may have taken Brown disgustingly long to finally be recognized for his hard work, he finally was. He wasn’t cast into a bin by the Hollywood elite and respective public. We all collectively pulled our head’s from our rears and paid attention to him.
That’s why it feels weird to call Sterling K. Brown’s career a “rise” on paper, but when you peel back the onion you see that he, in fact, did “rise” in the world of Hollywood, and is now being respected, something he worked long and hard to receive.