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Sterling K. Brown Reveals His EGOT Vision Board: “It is a Marathon” read full article at worldnews365.me

An Academy Award nomination wasn’t on Sterling K. Brown’s bingo card for 2024.

In fact, when he heard the news, albeit a bit delayed, on Jan. 23, his response, he tells THR, was, “Well, I’ll be damned.”

Winning an Oscar, however, was always a dream of the actor’s and part of a long-term goal of one day becoming an EGOT. That desire grew out of his winning three Primetime Emmy Awards, first in 2016 for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie for his portrayal of Christopher Darden in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, again in 2017 for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his role as Randall Pearson in This Is Us, and, most recently, in 2021 for outstanding narrator for Lincoln: Divided We Stand.

“After getting a few Emmys or whatnot, you realize, all right, that’s a quarter of the way to the EGOT, let’s see if we can figure out ways to get the other ones,” he says in the conversation below. “But I didn’t think that it was going to necessarily be from this role or this film.”

Brown is up for best supporting actor for his role in American Fiction, Cord Jefferson’s adaptation of Percival Everett’s 2001 novel Erasure. He plays opposite Jeffrey Wright’s studious Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, starring as his brother Cliff, a plastic surgeon coping with grief and his newly embraced sexuality somewhat disruptively after divorcing his ex-wife whom he dismissively refers to as his “beard.”

The film, which uses the literary world to make a statement about the entertainment industry’s embrace of stereotypical portrayals of Black life in the media as a whole, received a total of five Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best adapted screenplay, best score, and best actor for Wright.

“I think what Cord did with this script and with this film is absolutely wonderful in terms of expanding the collective consciousness and imagination of what Black life on screen can be,” says Brown, who recently predicted he’ll lose the Oscar to Robert Downey, Jr. who’s nominated for his role in Oppenheimer.

“I was just happy to be a part of it and see the film be recognized and to see Jeffrey be recognized,” he added. “I didn’t think that it was going to be my turn, but I would love to one day, if I’m blessed enough, be considered amongst the people who get the EGOT. I would not be upset.”

Brown talks with THR about his Oscar nomination and what American Fiction’s critical acclaim could mean for Black storytelling moving forward.

Where were you when you got the Oscar news?

I was at home. I was asleep and my phone had died, and I fell asleep on my kids’ floor. So I woke up in the middle of the night, got to my bed, charged the phone, and then went to go get breakfast ready for them and get them ready for school. When I came back to my phone after it had charged, I realized that I had 126 missing messages and all of them said, “Congratulations,” “Congratulations,” “Congratulations.” So that’s where I was.

It’s funny because I was at a Super Bowl party with one of my wife’s best friends and she asked my wife, “How was this morning?” and my wife said, “I think he’s in shock. He’s acting like nothing happened.” And it was funny to hear how my wife saw it because it wasn’t like nothing happened, it was just, I got to get these kids to school and then after they were fed and they were in school, I was just returning messages throughout the rest of the day. When you receive that kind of love, you want to know that it’s been received in the spirit in which it was intended.

AMERICAN FICTION, Sterling K. Brown, 2023.

Claire Folger/MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Did you purposely tap out of the news cycle that day knowing the nominations were coming out?

The nominations are read at 5:30 in the morning Pacific Standard Time; I’m asleep. That’s daddy’s sleep time. If I don’t get sleep, kids don’t get to school. My wife [actress Ryan Michelle Bathe] does not set an alarm in the morning. She will sleep until 10 a.m. on her day. So Brown is the morning dude and 6:45, 7 o’clock is normally when I get up. So it wasn’t that I was tapped out, but, honest to goodness, I was legitimately surprised because I don’t think it was anything that I personally was anticipating. I was happy to have received the attention that I had received up to that point. I knew that I was on a lot of people’s lists, but maybe falling just outside of the top five or what have you. So when it happened, I was like, “Well, I’ll be damned.”

Was an Oscar nomination or winning an Academy Award on your actor vision board?

I would say so. After getting a few Emmys or whatnot, you realize, all right, that’s a quarter of the way to the EGOT, let’s see if we can figure out ways to get the other ones. But I didn’t think that it was going to necessarily be from this role or this film. I’m fully aware that it is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m here for the long haul. And so the fact that the nomination came with this project is very pleasing because I think the project is awesome. I think what Cord did with this script and with this film is absolutely wonderful in terms of expanding the collective consciousness and imagination of what Black life on screen can be. I was just happy to be a part of it and see the film be recognized and to see Jeffrey be recognized. I didn’t think that it was going to be my turn, but I would love to one day, if I’m blessed enough, be considered amongst the people who get the EGOT. I would not be upset.

Do you plan to go to the ceremony with a speech prepared?

It’ll be very much in the moment, which most of my speeches are. There may be some bullet points or what have you, but it’s really just Brown coming off the dome. You know, just set a cypher up for your boy and see what kind of freestyle we can make. But — and I don’t mean for this to sound cliché — the honor is in the nomination. Gosling and De Niro and Ruffalo and Downey Jr.; the company that I get a chance to be amongst is really, really wonderful. I’m just happy to be there.

I imagine your phone has been ringing off the hook since the nomination. Are you feeling overwhelmed at all this award season?

I’ll be honest with you, it is at times a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to clothes and gear and all the different things. There’s the Oscars, and Film Independent Spirit Awards, the SAG Awards, NAACP Image Awards. You can’t just go back and get your same suit every time, you gotta come with a fit that’s got a little bit drip to it. There’s also the unspoken truth that your wife wants to look just as good as you do. So there are conversations that are had. Strategies that are employed. The wife is not playing around. We have to make sure that everybody in the house is feeling good about how they look.

You told THR at the top of the year,I don’t ever make the mistake of equating critical and popular success with each other.” Do you still feel that way in light of the Oscar nominations American Fiction has received and how do you feel about its performance at the box office?

I feel like the nominations gave us a really nice bump in terms of the way in which it went into the consciousness. I think we had probably one of our best box office weekends after we received five nominations for an Academy Award so I’m really thankful for that. I’m really thankful that investors get some sort of return on their investment with regards to this project because that incentivizes people to do it again. If it was just a “prestige film” and not popular, then that’s not as easy to get a green light a second time around, especially when it comes to us. So, yeah, I feel the same way, but I feel like we’re doing all right.

What’s next after award season?

Well, before award season is even over, we start production on a new TV show with Dan Fogelman called Paradise City at the end of the month. We’ll air sometime later on in the year, but I’m really excited for that. My wife and I recorded our first podcast together entitled We Don’t Always Agree, which is more appropriate than you know, and hopefully sometime in March that’ll be coming to wherever you can observe podcasts. And I do have a movie, Atlas, with Jennifer Lopez and Simu Liu, Mark Strong, and a few other people dropping on Netflix. It’s a sci-fi, sort of AI-premised film, which is really cool. A lot of green screen, a lot of action, some funky things happen, so I’m looking forward to that. Right now is just one of those wonderful moments where you get a chance to take meetings with the industry and see who’s interested in doing things with you and if there are any other new doors that are open to you with this nomination that may have been closed to you in the past. It’s an exciting time of discovery for your boy.

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