"This Is Us" Fans Will Love Sterling K. Brown's Intense Role in "Waves"

Emma Dibdin
Photo credit: A24

From Oprah Magazine

  • Sterling K. Brown stars in the Oscar-tipped drama Waves as the domineering father of an African American family in South Florida.
  • The critically acclaimed movie, which is now playing in theaters, follows the family's emotional journey in the aftermath of a loss.
  • An exclusive clip from the movie, which showcases Brown's nuanced performance, is available to watch only at OprahMag.com.

It's a great time to be a Sterling K. Brown fan. In addition to his beloved role as Randall Pearson on This Is Us, which just went on hiatus for the winter break, the actor also appears in the new season of Amazon's award-scooping series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and has a major role in Trey Edward Shults's Oscar-tipped new movie, Waves.


The film centers on an African American family living in South Florida and explores their emotional journey as they cope with a devastating loss. Brown plays Ronald Williams, the family's stern but well-intentioned patriarch, and in the below clip–available exclusively on OprahMag.com–he demonstrates the complexity of the role and of his performance.

“My mom used to say, ‘I have to be hard on you so the world is not harder on you,’" Brown says in the press materials for the film. "That’s Ronald’s initial approach with his son, thinking he can’t have him going out in the world looking like a fool. Ronald has the best of intentions for his son, but comes to discover, as I have as a father myself, that it’s better to parent out of love than fear.”

Photo credit: A24

The rest of the cast includes Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Ronald's son Tyler, Taylor Russell as his daughter Emily, Lucas Hedges as a teammate of Tyler's, Alexa Demie as Tyler's girlfriend Alexis, and Clifton Collins Jr. as Alexis's father. Waves has earned widespread praise from critics since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in August, is being discussed as a strong Oscar contender in categories including Best Picture.

It's now in theaters nationwide.

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