On “This Is Us,” Sterling K. Brown plays someone who suffered the shocking loss of his father when he was just a teen. But portraying that painful event on the small screen hasn’t been a stretch for the Emmy-winning actor.
That’s because it’s a story he’s lived off-screen — only he was even younger when he said goodbye to his own father.
“I think the whole dynamic of fathers and sons is one that resonates with me and is resonating really strong right now,” he told Willie Geist in an interview for Sunday TODAY. “My dad was 45 when he passed away, and I was 10.”
Brown, who’s now 43 and father of two young boys of his own, opened up about that loss and, in particular, the final memory he has of the man who meant so much to him.
“I remember, like, really specific things,” he said. “Waking up that morning and going into the kitchen, and my mom being on the phone, calling the paramedics and asking me to put clothes on my dad, because he was naked in the bed and his body was stiff.”
Holding back tears, he recalled looking on as paramedics carried his father out on a stretcher.
“He looks at me over the railing and he winks, just winks,” Brown said. “They carry him out the door, last time I saw him.”
It was a tragic loss, but Brown prefers to focus on how much he gained during the time he had with him.
“I will say this about Sterling Brown, Jr.: He filled me up with so much love, Willie,” he said, adding, “So while the time was short, it was everything that I could've hoped for for 10 years.”
Watch Willie's full Sunday Sitdown this weekend on TODAY. Brown can also be seen in the upcoming films “Frozen II” and “Waves.”