Sterling K. Brown is a back-to-back Emmy winner.
The This Is Us star beat his TV dad, Milo Ventimiglia, for the best drama actor Emmy on Sunday, and who was first to congratulate Brown after his name was called? His proud co-star! Immediately after Brown’s name was called, Ventimiglia rushed over to give his onscreen son a big hug and the two shared a sweet moment.
“I was a fan, first, last and always a fan. My fellow nominees, I’m a fan. I love you all,” Brown started his acceptance speech after taking the stage.
“This one right here, when I think about it, like Walter White held this joint, Dick Whitman held this joint,” he continued, referencing the Emmy statuette he was holding and past winners Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm. “And 19 years ago, Detective Frank Pembleton [from Homicide: Life on the Street] held this joint as impeccably played by Andre Braugher.”
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Brown is in esteemed company, making Emmy history as the first black actor to win in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category in nearly two decades. The newly minted two-time Emmy winner spoke of the award’s significance.
“Mr. Braugher, I just want to say, whether it is at Stanford University or on this Emmy stage, it is my supreme honor to follow in your footsteps,” he said, before adorably thanking his castmates: “Milo, Mandy [Moore], Justin [Hartley], Chrissy [Metz], you are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had!”
Brown also thanked his onscreen wife, played by Susan Kelechi Watson: “It is my pleasure to rep black love with you, sister! Let’s keep doing it like Martin and Gina [on ‘90s sitcom Martin]!” He also took a moment to praise Ron Cephas Jones: “You just have to show up and the work is already there, brother. Thank you so much for embodying the presence, which is never in absence. I love you.”
Just as Brown was about to thank the writing staff, the music started to play him off, but he stood his ground. “Nobody got that loud music!” he exclaimed, as he continued to thank the creative team behind This Is Us, even after his mic was cut off as the show went straight to the next award. “I’m good.”
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Back in May, Brown reflected on the chance to make some waves at the Emmys if he were to become the first black actor in nearly 20 years to win the lead drama actor Emmy.
“When I hear somebody say it out loud like that, it’s very crazy,” he told ET at the time. “It’s surreal for me, too, because we all collectively, meaning the Pearson family -- Justin, myself, Chrissy, Milo and Mandy -- we take turns leading the show. To be singled out in that way, amongst who I consider to be one of the better ensembles on television, I’m honored.”
Before winning his second Emmy of his career, Brown spoke to ET’s Kevin Frazier on the Emmys red carpet on Sunday, where he praised creator Dan Fogelman for creating a show “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.”
“And the fact that it's on network and we get a chance to be here with the big boys on cable…,” he added. “It's cool man, nobody anticipated this coming to be. The fact that's it's happening is like a dream come true.”
This Is Us returns for season two on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.