Pass the tissues! Sterling K. Brown broke down in tears along with fans following the latest This Is Us episode, “Memphis,” which aired on Tuesday, February 21. (Warning: Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now if you have not seen Tuesday’s episode! But if you have, relive the biggest moments in our video recap above!)
The actor, who plays Randall Pearson on the NBC drama, got emotional during a Facebook Live as he reflected on the death of his character’s biological father, William Hill, played by Ron Cephas Jones.
“I’ve seen this episode a few times now and it still gets me. Proud of this show. Proud of the work. So happy, so happy to be a part of something like this,” Brown, 40, said. “I’ve been doing this for a while and these kind of opportunities don’t come along all the time.”
Unlike other episodes, which toggle between various storylines and family members, the gut-wrenching February 21 episode only revolved around Randall and William as they embarked on a road trip to Memphis. Randall thought it was just a way for the men to bond, but soon realized that William wanted to travel south so he could die where he grew up. William, who left Randall outside a firehouse when he was just a baby, later succumbed to his stage IV cancer diagnosis.
— Milo Ventimiglia (@MiloVentimiglia) February 21, 2017
“If you have family that you haven’t talked to in a while or friends that you feel that you have gotten out of touch with, then call them up. And let ’em know how much you love them and how much you care, because tomorrow is not promised,” the People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story star said through tears in his Facebook Live video. “You got to let the people know while they’re here how much they’re appreciated and how much you love them. There are a lot of people who have to deal with the grief of losing people from this horrible disease, this debilitating disease. I want those people to know that they’re not alone — that in some small way, we are here with you.”
This Is Us has quickly become a fan favorite and was recently renewed for two more seasons. The cast — also including Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz — often give viewers a behind-the-scenes look from set on social media.
“Nobody knew that this show was going to be what it has become. We knew that it was something that we were proud of and we felt that it could be something that moved people and touched people, but to see the way in which you all are responding and feeling,” Brown said. “It’s not my goal to bring you to tears. That happens to be the byproduct of what we do. Tears do happen to come, but I want you to feel connected and recognize that we’re all in this together and that no man or woman is on an island unto themselves.”
Earlier in the night, Ventimiglia, 39, warned fans that they were in for yet another emotional roller coaster with “Memphis.” He posted a sick note for everyone to give to their teachers or bosses the next day.
“Please excuse [blank] from work/school today, Wednesday,” the letter reads. “Last night was a very emotional episode of This Is Us. Thank you, Papa Pearson.”
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