‘This Is Us’: Sterling K Brown Tells Us All About the Beth-Centric Episode You’ve Been Waiting for

NBC drama star also gives TheWrap some intel on “her” and Randall’s employment prospects in Season 3

This is Us - Season 3
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “This Is Us” Season 3 premiere.)

The Pearsons are back, baby.

The Season 3 premiere of “This Is Us” aired Tuesday, bringing fans of crying up to speed with what is going on in the past, present and future with Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), Rebecca (Mandy Moore), Kate (Chrissy Metz), Toby (Chris Sullivan), Kevin (Justin Hartley), Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson).

Of course, in typical “This Is Us” fashion, we now have even more questions than answers about everyone’s favorite NBC family. Luckily, TheWrap was in attendance at the Dan Fogelman-created drama’s third season premiere in Los Angeles Tuesday night, where we were able to get a few concrete teases out of Brown.

The star spilled on the mysterious “her” that is concerning Future Tess and Future Randall, gave some intel on an upcoming episode that is all about Beth (and how awkward Randall was when he first met her) and told us his character is going to make yet another career change this year.

See our interview with Brown below.

TheWrap: OK, Tess and Randall are going to see “her” in the future, but if it’s someone that is important to them, wouldn’t it be someone who is important to Annie and Deja, too? Where are they?

Brown: OK, that’s a good question, that’s a very astute question. That’s the first time that’s been asked. Good for you. [laughs]

Thank you!

There’s a reason why he had to seek out Tess, in particular. Yes, there’s a reason why he had to seek out Tess in particular, because Tess hadn’t seen the “her” for some time. And so there’s a reason why it’s time to go and she’s like, ‘I can’t.’ There’s a reason. Other people may have been more easily galvanized, but Tess needed a little more coaxing.

It also seems like someone who is important to Toby, because Randall called him, right?

Yeah, Toby is part of our family now. So anybody who Randall cares about, Tobias would obviously care about as well. That’s my brother. [laughs] I can evade all day!

Beth and Randall have some really cute banter in this episode, and every episode, do you and Susan come up with any of that yourselves?

Oprah is written, but we come up with some stuff from time to time. Like if we just want to insert a little bit more Afro-Americaness to it, we have freedom to do it. And they have freedom to cut it if they don’t like it, but we gonna do it anyway! Know what I’m saying? [laughs].

Is Randall going to have any changes in his employment this year? He made so many big decisions to quit and buy that building last year.

He did, in buying the building. And then there is another possible turn that transpires fairly early on in the season as well. Something that he wouldn’t have seen himself doing willingly, but he sort of feels compelled to do it by circumstances. I can’t say too much about it. It’s something that surprised me because I was like, ‘Ah, I didn’t see this happening for this character!’ But the circumstances that lead him to this possible career shift make sense. And that’s all I can say about that.

We hear there are three standalone episodes for the significant others this season (Beth, Toby and Miguel). Do you know what we’re going to learn in Beth’s yet?

So I was in the writers’ room when they were breaking Beth’s story and I actually like texted Sue to be like, ‘Here come your episode!’ It’s really good and you get a real wonderful sense of ,like, how she came up. Like Beth as a young girl. What her passions were and how they sort of shifted over time. Yeah, it’s great. And it’s long overdo for everybody. For Toby, for Sue, for Miguel.

There’s so many talented people on this show. And what I love about Dan is that he doesn’t feel obligated to cram all of us into every episode. But some stories require that each person get their own time to be fully fleshed-out. And so now we’ve all had that as the Pearsons, and now our significants are getting that time as well. And it’s just sort of like enamors you to them even more — even Miguel.

We learned tonight Jack and Rebecca did not have a fairy tale first date, can we assume that when Randall first meets Beth it doesn’t go smoothly either?

Oh, there is nothing smooth about Randall Pearson in the present day, so definitely nothing smooth about him in the past. He says things like LL Cool K. So Randall trying to actually put the moves on somebody — like, I think Beth is pretty cool. She’s cool. So it’s not going to be pretty, but you know he made it work, baby! [laughs]

So, yeah, I’m sure it will be comedy. And unfortunately for me and for Sue we won’t get to do it. So I entrust Niles [Fitch, who plays teen Randall] with bringing all of the awkwardness to that initial meet that he can. And I’ll give him some pointers on how to be really strange, because he’s probably cooler than I am. But it’s gonna be fun to see.

You can read TheWrap‘s interview with “This Is Us” co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger about the Season 3 premiere here.

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