Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the This Is Us episode “Birth Mother.”
Sterling K. Brown joined the “bare-bottom” club on the most recent episode of This Is Us.
In an installment that focused on the backstory of his character Randall Pearson’s birth mother Laurel (Jennifer C. Holmes) and her life in New Orleans, the 44-year-old shot a “baptismal” moment that had him stripping down past his skivvies and wading into a lake before encountering his late mother’s spirit for a reckoning in the waters she once found healing in.
While the Louisiana lake was actually a pool on a soundstage, the naked moment was the real deal.
In an interview with TV Line, Brown revealed that he was approached by writer Kay Oyegun, who told him she was planning a “baptismal thing” for Randall in the “Birth Mother” episode and thought maybe he could strip down to his boxers and get in the water. It was showrunner Dan Fogelman who pitched the idea of him stripping down to his birthday suit if he felt comfortable with it.
Brown revealed that after much thought, he felt that from a “spiritual aspect, of a rebirth or cleansing” it made more sense to not have anything stand between his character and that. But when he saw the completed scene, Brown said he was taken aback by the amount of “cake” on screen.
“More than I anticipated seeing in the primetime, 9 o’clock slot on the TV,” he said. He also thanked Peloton for assisting and “augmenting” his rear view.
In a photo from the shoot shared on the official This Is Us Instagram page, Brown was all smiles as he posed in the lake/pool with his co-star after stripping down to belt out the episode-ending “cathartic” scream.
This Is Us fans know that Brown is not the first male actor on the series to show a little skin. In the NBC drama’s 2016 pilot, his TV dad Milo Ventimiglia shot a memorable scene in which he was barely covered by a Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Brown noted that there is still plenty of time for some for his other male co-stars to join the bare-bottom club. He joked that with a season and a half of the series still left to go, he thinks Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan, and Jon Huertas should all get the chance to show their stuff.
“You never know, maybe all the men of TIU will come up with a calendar for you,” Brown joked.
And while he admitted that he did show off “a lot of cake for primetime,” he added, “Hopefully America and the world can deal.”