Sterling K. Brown

by Sarah Paulson
Peter Hapak—Trunk Archive

Sterling K. Brown was born ready.

I remember the first day I saw him on the set of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, our eyes meeting from across a re-created D.A.’s office. In an instant it was clear: Sterling had come to play. Every day was like having a front-row seat in a master class on readiness, a meditation on seizing opportunity, but most unexpectedly, on JOY.

When you’ve been a player since you were in the womb, been forced to sit on the bench, and suddenly find yourself the MVP, no one would be surprised if fear or neurosis took hold. But when your name is Sterling K. Brown, what you choose to summon is your joy. If you ever have the pleasure of having him smile at you, laugh the laugh of a buddha from his soul, you would count yourself among the lucky. But you haven’t lived until you’ve seen him swagger toward you whilst singing “Who’s That Lady?,” radiating light brighter than E.T.’s fingertip.

Sterling runs to run; the joy for him is in the doing. That he finds himself vaulted into the firmament—where he belongs—is merely glorious icing.

Paulson is an Emmy-winning actor

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