‘This Is Us’ Star Sterling K. Brown on Why His Role in ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Was Like Going Back to “Theatre”

Sterling K. Brown also talked about working with his co-star Susan Kelechi Watson and having to switch acting gears for his role in Mrs. Maisel.

Another year, another Emmy nomination for This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown. Brown racked up his fifth consecutive Emmy Award nomination and his third for playing Randall on the hit NBC drama This Is Us. Speaking with Gold Derby about the nomination, he also talked about working with his co-star Susan Kelechi Watson and having to switch acting gears for his role in the upcoming season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

On working with his co-star Watson, who plays Randall’s wife Beth, Brown points to their similar training as a helpful thread to their acting relationship. He explains, “Susan is my heart. I love her as a human being and I love working with her as a fellow thespian. We both went to grad school at NYU, where we received our Masters of Fine Arts so we approach the work in a very similar way. There’s a playfulness that both of us maintain even when things get serious. There’s always a sense of play that is transpiring, which is my favorite sort of acting.”

In addition to his role on This Is Us, Brown will also appear in the next season of the critically acclaimed Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Naturally, the style of that show is quite different from This Is Us, and Brown explains how he adjusted:

There’s a definite adjustment. I would say that Maisel for me, in terms of an hour-long single-camera format is the closest thing to theater that I’ve ever experienced. I would say the medium that’s closest to theater in film and television is the multi-camera sitcom because there’s no close-ups, it’s a full-bodied sort of thing, you’re in front of a live studio audience. You can play to the room. But Amy’s shows, to be a drama, to be a single-camera are theatrical as well. She does a lot of oners, so you have to know your lines. Her and Dan [Palladino]’s scripts are like 85, 90 pages and they still try to squeeze it into about 60 minutes. It’s so much fun. I have a theater background so it’s something that I always look to return to. It was almost like doing the show was like getting a chance to do theater without being onstage.

More: Sterling K. Brown on Becoming an Actor: “You get bit, and you just keep chasing that”

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