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Sterling K. Brown wanted to take distance from This Is Us with American Fiction

Sterling K. Brown wanted to take distance from This Is Us with American Fiction
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Sterling K. Brown was drawn to American Fiction because his character is so radically different from his role in This Is Us.

The Black Panther actor has been actively looking for roles to help him shed the image of Randall Pearson, who he played in the TV drama between 2016 and 2022, and Clifford Ellison in American Fiction fit the bill.

"Coming off six years of This Is Us, it was very important for me to find roles that did not feel Randall Pearson-esque," he explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "Cliff was a lovely sort of comedic foil. He's also a person who needs to be dealt with rather than the person who's dealing with everything. It's kind of nice to be the dude that has to be dealt with."

In Cord Jefferson's movie, he plays a flashy plastic surgeon who throws himself into his new queer lifestyle after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet. He is the brother of Jeffrey Wright's disgruntled author, who achieves widespread success when he writes a stereotypical African-American novel as a joke.

"I thought it was one of the best scripts I'd ever read," Brown said of Jefferson's adaptation of Percival Everett's 2001 novel, Erasure. "It was able to make fun of an industry and also challenge it to say there are ways in which you could be better.

"You are narrow in terms of Black life that you are willing to portray for mass consumption. I'm going to tell you that, and at the same time, I'm going to give you an idea of other stories that would be viable for mass consumption."

Brown was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for his supporting performance and he is currently up for a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award.

American Fiction will be released in U.K. cinemas on 2 February.

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