Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar Buzz for ‘Waves’: ‘Kind of Surreal’

Sterling K. Brown can’t quite comprehend the awards attention he’s receiving for his work in the A24 drama “Waves.”

“If the Academy sees fit to put me in a category with people who I absolutely adore, I will pee all over myself, dude” the Emmy winner says on the latest episode of “The Big Ticket.” “Like I will lose control of all bowels and it may get even worse than that.”

Opening in theaters today, “Waves” first entered the Oscar conversation shortly after it premiered at Telluride in September. Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults (“It Comes at Night”), the film follows a family (Brown is the rigidly competitive father and Renée Elise Goldsberry is mom) unraveling when their high school wrestling champion son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) develops an addiction to painkillers after he’s injured during a match. Things take a turn when he finds out that this pregnant girlfriend (“Euphoria’s” Alexa Demie) decides not to have an abortion. Taylor Russell stars as his younger sister with Lucas Hedges playing her boyfriend.

“I love escapism,” Brown says. “I’m in ‘Predator,’ ‘I’m in ‘Hotel Artemis.’ I love stuff that is about having a good time at the theater. But I also love stuff that sort of holds the mirror up to us and says, ‘This is who we are and maybe we can be better.’”

He adds, “I think this is a cautionary tale from the perspective of a parent of what happens when you don’t create an environment for your children to share their life with you.”

Brown is quite busy these days. Not only is he filming “This Is Us,” but he’ll be popping up in the next season of “The Marvelous Maisel.” He also makes his animation debut as Lt. Mattias in “Frozen 2,” which is expected to take in more than $100 million during its opening weekend next week.

He smiles when asked about his “Frozen” action figure. “They have a ‘Frozen 2’ Monopoly game coming out and Mattias is one of the figurines that you can play the game with,” Brown says. “I’m just like, ‘This is cool man.’”

He applauds Disney for its support of inclusion and diversity. In addition to his “Frozen” debut, he points to the upcoming live action “Little Mermaid” starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, as well as “Black Panther,” which has grossed $1.3 billion at the box office. “You don’t have to imagine what it would be like if Batman were black or Superman were black [because] we got somebody,” Brown says.

You could listen to the full interview with Brown below. You can also find “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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