This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown On How He’ll Feel While Watching The Final Episodes Of The Series

Randall, Beth, Annie, Tess and Deja Pearson are shown in front of Randall's 41st birthday cake on This Is Us.
(Image credit: NBC)

The end is near for This Is Us and, as fans prepare to see how the stories play out for each branch of the Pearson family tree, the ensemble cast is going through their own process of saying goodbye. Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson, is among those who have watched their television family grow — not just in age but in size — over the past five years, and he knows it’s going to hit him hard emotionally when it’s over. 

The actor spoke about the acclaimed show's upcoming sixth season on The Kelly Clarkson Show, saying it hasn’t quite hit him that this is really the end. But after seeing the three girls who play his daughters actually grow up on the show, he said when the realization hits, it’s not going to be a pretty sight.

Once we start to get to, like, the last two or three episodes, there’ll be something that happens that I won’t be able to stop from happening, because I know I’m actually saying goodbye. Right now, I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re having a great time, and blah, blah, blah.’ When it gets to the end, there’ll be no acting. …  It’ll be ugly [crying].

On This Is Us, Randall and Beth — Susan Kelechi Watson portraying the second half of one of television’s best couples — share daughters Annie, Tess and Deja. Faithe Herman, who plays the youngest daughter Annie, was only 8 years old when the series premiered in 2016. She’ll be 14 when Season 6 premieres next month — the same age that Lyric Ross was when we first met Deja in Season 2. Eris Baker was 11 when the show premiered, and fans have gotten to watch Tess navigate her sexuality and first relationship.

It’s easy to see why Sterling K. Brown says he won’t be acting when the tears start to flow. His love for his TV daughters is apparent, and there’s no way to turn that off completely when the cameras stop rolling. Check out his interview with Kelly Clarkson below:

I, for one, am going to have the tissues ready, as well, because Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore, who play the heads of the Pearson brood Jack and Rebecca, have already warned that the finale is going to “wreck people in the most heartfelt way.” Well, as long as it’s heartfelt! The show has definitely perfected the art of making fans cry over the seasons, so I don’t think there’s any concern about that.

Fans can always keep their hopes up for a spinoff, as the series has introduced us to plenty of characters who would be amazing to explore further. And Sterling K. Brown has already said a spinoff would be a project he’d consider, as long as creator Dan Fogelman were involved. So I guess there’s always the possibility of more Randall.

For now though, it will be goodbye, and the Emmy-winning actor already has his bags packed, ready to head to Hulu for his next project, Washington Black, an adaptation of the Esi Edugyan novel of the same name. The Black Panther alum is set to play Medwin Harris, a jovial man who grew up as a Black refugee in Nova Scotia, who will have his outlook on life changed when he crosses paths with the title character.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more on that project, and catch Sterling K. Brown in his last episodes as Randall Pearson, as This Is Us Season 6 premieres at 9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, January 4, on NBC. Check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what else is premiering early next year.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.