On July 14, Sterling K. Brown received his first-ever Emmy Award nomination for playing Christopher Darden in the critically acclaimed FX series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Although he wanted to avoid thinking about award nominations while filming, Brown tells EW there was a moment when he knew he was working on something amazing.

After filming the touching scene in “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” where he and Sarah Paulson, who played Marcia Clark, danced in her office, the director of photography told him that scene would earn him some awards love. “I was like, ‘Don’t talk like that. Let’s just concentrate on the work,'” says Brown in the video above. “But it did have that feeling of like, ‘Oh man, this feels really, really good.’ And anytime you get a chance to work with Sarah Paulson, it usually feels really, really good.”

The People v. O.J. Simpson received 22 nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series and eight nominations for its cast members — Brown, Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, and Courtney B. Vance.

Brown believes that playing Darden and being surrounded by such a talented group of actors helped him grow as an actor. His experience on the show pushed him “to not be intimidated by being in the room with those people, to have a sense of ownership that I belong in this room and that they hired me because they felt as if I could do job — that was a tremendous vote of confindence — and also just trusting my instincts.” he says.

He continues, “I’ve been doing this for a long time. Sometimes you have a tendency to doubt yourself, but I have to trust and believe that I am capable, that I can do the job people pay me to do,” he says.

Check out the entire video above to learn more about Brown’s hardest scene in the series.

Episode Recaps

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
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