Go Away With … Sterling K. Brown

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By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
September 20, 2016

Though Sterling K. Brown has been acting for 15 years, he earned “overnight sensation” status with his Emmy-winning performance as Chris Darden in the FX miniseries, “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” He returns to television in the new NBC series “This Is Us,” which premieres on Sept. 20. The actor also will appear in the films “Marshall” later this year, and, in 2017, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split.”

Based in Los Angeles, Brown keeps in touch with fans via Twitter and Instagram.

Q. What is your favorite destination?

A. I’ve had the privilege of going to Florence, Italy, a few times now and I find it absolutely breathtaking. The people, the food, the art — all extraordinary! You have to go to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Tears streamed down my face. It is absolutely magical.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. I don’t know if it’s totally untapped and it’s a much shorter commute, but in terms of experiencing great cuisine in the United States, Charleston, S.C., is hard to beat!

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. My family did a lot of road trips across these continental United States when I was a kid. Twenty or so of us would caravan in four or five vehicles and hit every corner of the connected 48. The first trip I can remember would have to be to Marianna, Arkansas. My mother’s parents are from there and we’d go every year to visit the church where they were buried. We’d attend church service that day, put flowers around their tombstones and visit with family and friends that still lived there. My cousins and I were very young. We always enjoyed each other’s company. We’d normally stay in a Holiday Inn or, if we were lucky, a Holidome, with an indoor play area for kids. It was a good time.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?

A. Don’t become too attached to your own myopia. Just because you’ve found a way to do things, doesn’t mean it’s the way to do things. There are so many different ways in which to navigate this so-called life. Be open to experiencing more than one.

Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?

A. I’m obsessed with how people talk! Accents, dialects. … So whenever I go someplace where an accent is extremely distinct — Minneapolis, New Orleans, Jamaica, Vancouver — I always find myself trying to pick up the subtleties of their patterns.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Before marriage and kids, I’ve been known to take a couple of trips to Vegas. And 48 hours is more than enough time to do Vegas. If the fellas were extra motivated and the occasion was large enough, a special trip to South Beach may have happened as well. These days, a nice jaunt to Santa Barbara or San Diego does quite nicely. Or back to the Bay to visit (my alma mater) Stanford. That campus takes my breath away every time I go back.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. Kauai is pretty gorgeous, the North Shore in particular. My wife and I stayed there one Christmas and were in a constant state of awe with just how magnificent that place was. The beaches, the water, the lushness of it all. Mother Nature at its finest. Also, while we didn’t stay there, we had to go visit the St. Regis Hotel. Uh, ridiculous!

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York, Vancouver, New Orleans, Miami, St. Louis (where I was raised). Shout-out for home! Other than where I currently reside, of course! I love me some L. A. just fine.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. Ever since “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” I’ve had Barcelona on my mind. Barcelona, we shall be together one day! Te Prometo!

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. L.A. to Vancouver, to St. Louis, to New York City, to London, to Barcelona, to Italy, to Geneva, down to Cape Town, to Miami, to NOLA and finally back home. I’d take six months and do all that. That would be pretty cool.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I’ll try to learn some basic phrases, if I’m going to a country with a different language. When people see you’ve made an effort, it goes a long way toward getting them at their most hospitable.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. Atlanta kinda reminds me of a bigger, blacker St. Louis. Can I say bigger?

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Ipad, Bowes headphones, lip balm and a good pair of shoes! Nothing worse than exploring a new land in a bad pair of shoes!

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Most of them are in Charleston, S.C. In particular, Hall’s Chop House. Great steak and one of the best chicken and waffle brunches I’ve ever had in my life! FIG, which stands for Food Is Good, which is a ginormous understatement. Incredibly fresh and flavorful, I’ve never been disappointed. Their sticky toffee pudding cake is my favorite dessert in the world—period!

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. My wife and I don’t do fast food as a rule. But, on the rarest of occasions, and we’re absolutely famished and there’s nothing else around, Wendy’s will get demolished!

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. Many great vacation memories. Bike riding in Stanley Park in Vancouver, seeing the David, exploring Venice, taking in all the sights of South Beach, witnessing my first Second Line in New Orleans and much, much more. Worst memory? Hmm. I’m sure there are plenty, but I can’t think of them right now.

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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