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Sterling K Brown on Which Secret Was Harder to Keep: ‘Black Panther’ Role or Jack’s Death on ‘This Is Us’

Actor also weighs in on whether he thinks “Black Panther” will be part of the Oscar race in 2019

Last Updated: March 1, 2018 @ 8:17 AM

(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven’t seen the recent episodes of “This Is Us” or seen “Black Panther.”)

Sterling K. Brown has had to keep two giant secrets in recent months — his role in “Black Panther” and how Jack Pearson actually dies on “This Is Us.” But which one was the hardest one to keep?

“You know what? I got asked about how Jack dies so much, that was probably the harder one to answer,” Brown told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday. “With regards to ‘Black Panther,’ I just didn’t say anything because I knew the Marvel universe — like, I was not going to have the whole thing collapse because Brown has loose lips. So, I would say that Jack is probably the one that I got asked to keep closest to.”

But that doesn’t mean keeping quiet about his “Black Panther” character, N’Jobu, wasn’t hard — and he’s happy the movie is finally out so he can discuss one particular moment freely.

“The relationship with Killmonger was the thing we were trying most desperately to keep under wraps,” Brown said. “To recognize this complicated relationship between this African American youth and this mythical African country sort of exemplifies African Americans’ relationship with Africa today and this sense of disconnectedness that comes from that. And to see that in N’Jobu, you have someone who’s trying to — in his own misguided way — bridge that connection. His son took that a step further in maybe not the best way either.”

Does Brown think “Black Panther” will win an Oscar in 2019?

“The movie is an important part of cinematic history. It’s going to be studied for a long time to come, and it’s such an empowering film for people of color to see themselves in this universe and have such strength that it stands a chance,” he said. “I think Ryan Coogler is one of the great storytellers of this generation and he’s going to keep killing it for many years to come. One day, he’s going to get a statue. Whether it’s on this one or something to come in the future is not for me to determine.”

How Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died on “This Is Us” was finally revealed last month, after two years of build up and fan theories. Brown plays Randall, Jack’s adopted brother, on the hit show that also stars Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz.