‘This Is Us’: Sterling K. Brown Reveals the Surprising Inspiration for Randall and Kevin’s Fight

Okay, it might not be as a big a mystery as “How did Jack die?” or “Why did Rebecca marry Miguel?” but the latest This Is Us mystery is “Why aren’t Kevin and Randall speaking?” A flash-forward in the winter finale revealed that there’s a feud between the Big Three siblings so bad that they don’t even spend holidays together anymore. Sterling K. Brown knows the root of the conflict, and it was partly his idea.

Sterling K. Brown on This Is Us
Sterling K. Brown | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Brown was on a This Is Us panel for the Television Critics Association on Jan. 11. After the panel, he spoke with reporters more about what’s coming up on the show. This Is Us airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on NBC.

There haven’t been any clues to Kevin and Randall’s fight on ‘This Is Us’ yet

Don’t bother analyzing previous episodes of This Is Us to find out why Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) are fighting. Brown says they have yet to reveal the root of it.

“No, it’s something that you haven’t seen yet,” Brown said. “I’ll say that.”

Sterling K. Brown’s brother inspired Kevin and Randall’s fight

This Is Us is all about the Pearson family but they’ve inherited this from the Brown family. Sterling K. Brown said he contributed to this storyline, from an idea he had with his brother. 

Sterling K. Brown | Evans Vestal Ward/NBCUniversal

“I know what the source of it is and it actually kinda came from a pitch that I have with my own brother in real life,” Brown said. “So I can’t talk about it too much but as you see what the nature of the friction is between the two of them, then I can address it more later on in life.”

Kevin is still dealing with Rebecca’s health issues

Fighting with Kevin isn’t the only stress on Randall’s plate in This Is Us. He also learned that his mother (Mandy Moore) is suffering memory losses. For someone already dealing with his own anxiety, Sterling K. Brown says Randall has trouble coping with his ailing mother.

Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown
Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“He was already on edge. He lives with anxiety, he lives with a baseline level of fear that I think makes it difficult for him to feel comfortable. I think even a lot of his sense of humor is about him just sort of wanting to be liked and accepted and put a good face on things. This is stressful. It’s stressful when you’re dealing with a parent getting older and different things that they have to deal with as a result of getting over. I think it will cause tension for everybody.”

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us Television Critics Association panel, 1/11/2020

At least Beth and Randall are back on track in ‘This Is Us’

Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Randall had a rough Season 3 on This Is S=Us. Randall’s city council job pulled them apart, but Sterling K. Brown says it just made them earn their love.

“I love black love. Last season was tough. We were like, should we be talking to each other? We’re going to be mad with each other right now but we’re like, ‘I know, we’re going to earn it. We’re going to earn these goals.’ So hopefully we’re in an even better place than we were in Seasons 1 and 2.”

This Is Us
(l-r) Susan Kelechi Watson and Sterling K. Brown | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Watson was on board with Brown on this.

“I love getting a chance play with Susan Kelechi Watson,” Brown said. “We both went to the same school. We speak the same language in terms of how we approach the craft of acting. She’s such a beautiful soul and we have such a kinship with one another that it’s easy to play it out on screen.”