EXCLUSIVE: ’Insecure’ Star Neil Brown Jr. Explains Why Lawrence Is a ‘Good Guy’ Gone Bad

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Neil Brown Jr.
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Neil Brown Jr. has a solid “good guy gone bad” theory about Insecure

Brown plays Chad on the HBO hit drama, which wrapped season two on Sunday, the well-to-do friend of Lawrence (Jay Ellis), who doesn’t mind being brutally honest.

“Everybody knows a Chad, I think he’s very honest,” Brown told ET’s Nischelle Turner on Friday. 

And it’s not just candor that makes Chad a good friend, he’s also reliable. After all, it was Chad who offered Lawrence a couch to crash on when his relationship with Issa fell apart.  

“He gives sound advice to Lawrence,” Brown said, pointing out that Chad has been guiding Lawrence through his relationship woes since season one. “From the very first episode, what did he [Chad] say? He was like, ‘You really don’t care about [Issa] if you forgot her birthday,’” Brown recalled. 

Chad may be dishing out “sound advice,” but his words of wisdom haven’t exactly stopped Lawrence from creeping dangerously close to becoming a “f**k boy." 

“He can get it together,” Brown predicted of Lawrence. “He will get it together, as long as he sticks with Chad.”

In fact, Brown thinks fans are a little too hard on Lawrence, especially since Issa cheated on him and pretty much forced them to split. 

“Lawrence is what happens when a good guy goes bad. And how did he start to go bad?” Brown said in reference to Issa’s cheating.

Brown, who has been married to his wife, Catrina, for almost 18 years, explained how he brings his relationship experience to roles on Insecure and the CBS drama SEAL Team, where he plays Ray, a married father of two. 

“Chad’s engaged, you don’t see [his fiancée] Leah yet, but he’s very much engaged. He’s not a cheater,” Brown said before sharing what he's personally learned from marriage. 

“What you learn is a lot of patience and hard work. You learn how to put both of those into the relationship because it’s not easy,” Brown explained. “People get into relationships thinking it’s going to be a fairy tale.”

“I think that what I put into loving my wife and learning how to love her better, I think I bring that to this character,” he continued. “My character [on SEAL Team] is married with a daughter and a new son, and he very much loves his wife. I think that’s one of the central parts of [the character].”

Juggling two hit shows isn't easy, and having such a busy work schedule means Brown has to shoot all of his scenes for Insecure in one day. Yet he's hopeful about returning for season three. 

“We’ll see,” he said. “They worked it out this second season, and so they can work it out. I’ve had this job [on] SEAL Team since the second season of Insecure and they’ve been able to work it out.” 

“It’s not easy being Chad,” Brown added, revealing that he even learns lines for several episodes in one day. “Chad’s a good guy.”