The This Is Us star won his first Emmy last year for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, but there’s a strong chance Brown could walk away with more hardware on Sunday night. The 41-year-old actor, along with his gorgeous wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, spoke to ET’s Kevin Frazier on the Emmys red carpet, where he adorably downplayed the attention he’s been getting in the past two years.
“I didn't grow up being considered that attractive a human being, so the fact that that kind of attention is coming my way and that my wife is cool with it, it's OK, it's OK,” Brown humbly joked.
Brown reflected on the incredible ride he and his co-stars have been on over the past year and the significance of being the lone broadcast series to be nominated in the top drama category this year.
“I'm tremendously proud of [creator] Dan Fogelman putting a show on the air that promotes the goodness of humanity, that makes people believe in the connections between each other, to recognize that we've got more in common than we do that separates us,” Brown said. “And the fact that it's on network and we get a chance to be here with the big boys on cable… It's cool man, nobody anticipated this coming to be. The fact that's it's happening is like a dream come true.”
Though Brown is widely considered the frontrunner to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, he’s going up against his TV dad, first-time Emmy nominee Milo Ventimiglia, though there’s no competition between the two here.
“It’s all love, man,” Brown said. “Like, honest to goodness, we know at the end of the day, whether or not either one of us brings home the trophy or not, we still get to go back to one of the best jobs on TV and telling a story of this Pearson family. We're good.”
Brown’s wife, Bathe (who appeared on a handful of episodes in the first season of This Is Us), also spoke about seeing her husband’s rise in Hollywood and being a part of the conversation about diversity in television.
“I've known that forever, so it just makes me feel like quite the trendsetter,” Bathe sweetly said of her husband. “I remember watching L.A. Law years ago and Blair Underwood had first come on and what that did for [me]. I can remember where I was. I can remember the color of the carpet and being like, 'Oh my god, he looks like me, he looks like us,' and to be a part of that heritage and that lineage is unbelievable. It's indescribable to think that that little girl grew up to be somebody who is a part of it and then I get to enjoy it with everybody else in America, but also now that I have a little tiny something to do with it too is amazing.”
As for that lingering question of how Jack died, Brown confirmed that viewers have nothing to worry about on that end. Those answers are coming sooner than fans may be ready for. “You're going to find out how Jack dies and there will be a big piece of the puzzle that is revealed at the end of the first episode,” he said.
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, airs live coast-to-coast Sunday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on CBS.