‘This Is Us’ Sterling K Brown Star on Randall’s ‘Miracle’ and What He Couldn’t Say to Rebecca

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(Warning: this post contains spoilers for Tuesday’s “This Is Us”.)
After hearing the life story of his birth mother, Laurel Dubois, on tonight’s episode of “This Is Us,” Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) had a cathartic experience screaming in the middle of a New Orleans lake – something fans had just learned from Laurel herself when she was overcome with emotion. And during Randall’s very noisy night-time swim session, he came face to face with his birth mother in a scene Brown thinks wasn’t just on Randall’s mind – or wormwood-induced. , even though Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) kept joking about alcohol. day – but a real spiritual moment.

“I choose to see this as a miracle,” Brown told TheWrap. “In a line that has been cut, Hai [played by Vien Hong] asks Randall if he is a spiritual person. And Randall says, “If I can’t see it, taste it, touch it, smell it, or hear it, it probably doesn’t exist.” So I think it’s a real moment of transcendence in which he lets something penetrate that goes beyond his physical senses. I feel this meeting with his mother, I take it more literally and as a kind of presence of the possibility that something exists beyond what is tangible.

Randall’s encounter with Laurel comes in both his younger (played by Jennifer C. Holmes) and older (Angela Gibbs) form, as the two have a romantic conversation they never got to share in the real life.

“In my mind, and it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, he was lucky enough to hear the words ‘I love you’ from his mother, and he was lucky to say them to her.” Brown said. “And that’s why it’s so light. This is why at the end of the episode, he is ready and wants to let go of all the bad things between him and his brother, Kevin. [played by Justin Hartley], because he knows there is something more. I think this is the first time in our context of our show where Randall has had a truly spiritual moment.

Now, when it comes to the logistics of filming the lake scene, it wasn’t exactly a spiritual moment for Brown, who worked closely with the episode’s director and co-writer, Kay Oyegun, to nail those plans.

“While we were doing the lake scene, basically I had to shoot it twice because I shot it with Jennifer and I shot it with Angela and they weren’t sure which footage they were going to use. and they wanted to be able to do it. use both, ”Brown said. “I think they put them together in a really lovely way. But we were just shooting the scene and I was screaming my head. I was like, “How many times am I going to do this, Kay?” And she said, “Almost done, Brown.” Almost done.’ After a few of them she would just come and look at me and say “Poor Randall”. I was like, ‘You wrote this stuff! Why are you looking at me ?! ‘ (Laughs) »

To arrive at this cathartic miracle in the lake, Randall had to sit through Hai’s story about Laurel’s life – a story that didn’t immediately interest him, as all he cared about was finding out what that happened after her biological father, William, thought she was dead. of a heroin overdose after giving birth in their Pittsburgh apartment.

But once Hai tells Randall that she was brought back to life by paramedics after William left with baby Randall – and was then taken to hospital, arrested for drug possession and incapable to contact William before being sentenced to five years in prison in California – Randall began to listen.

“The difference is, until then, he only really thought of his mother based on the impact of her life on hers, right? Brown said. “She’s a secondary character in her story, the way a lot of people tend to think of us as the center of our own stories. It was only until he realized, “Oh, prison, there were repercussions on his actions. And they were, by virtue of her blackness, perhaps, greater repercussions than if she hadn’t been black. Not only did she go to jail, but she went to jail for five years across the country.

He continued, “And that’s when he realized, ‘OK, maybe I just sit down and listen to his story. And her story is important, because she has lived. Not just because of the way it necessarily intertwines or interacts with mine, but here’s an opportunity to learn more about someone who plays a role in my existence and I need to know that. Not just because of their impact on me, but because I should want to know it. ”

“Once he was able to sit down and listen without being so anxious about it all, he got exactly what he needed,” Brown explained. “Because part of Randall’s story is that, ‘Only two people who didn’t care about me, who didn’t see any value in me, could have abandoned me and been absent from my life.’ And now he knows that’s not true. That this kind of story that he created in his mind is much more multidimensional, and is in fact the product of love, by two loving people with circumstances that conspired against them in a terrible way.

So now you might be wondering if Randall is planning to talk to his mom, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), about everything he just learned about Laurel – or if he thinks that might be too much for her, since she is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

” I do not know. That’s my honest answer, ”Brown says with a laugh. “But we have the declining cognition of Rebecca and I think there are some questions Randall is asking in terms of, what is really important for his mother to know about their relationship at this time.” ? Is there something she needs to answer or resolve? I think at this point the answer is no. He was carrying so much pain and so much anger and frustration that she denied him access to a relationship [with William] it could have been beneficial in his life. I think he put him to bed, right?

He added, “I think if he finds a way to share it with her that she can see it as an indictment for anything to be done against her as a parent, he will. I think if he feels that she can feel some kind of guilt, then he will keep it to himself. And that will be fine, because right now what matters most is that she enjoys the quality of her life, the time she has at the highest level for as long as she can. I don’t think he’s interested in confronting her with anything that might make her unhappy. Honestly, I think she’s cool with it. It’s my two cents. Now you’ll see an episode later where Randall goes to town on Rebecca, like, “How dare you! ” (Laughs) But that’s what I’m thinking right now.

“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 / 8c on NBC.

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