Sterling K. Brown hasn’t made up his mind yet on the Academy’s new Oscar category honoring the year’s best achievement in popular film. During an appearance at a “This Is Us” FYC event (via Variety), Brown teased that the Academy’s popular category shouldn’t get in the way of a film like “Black Panther” also being a major contender for best picture.
“When I first heard of the category, the first question I had was, ‘What is the criterion for being nominated in this category?’” Brown said. “If it’s something that can give it some sort of merit and legitimacy, then I think it’s cool. But I think ‘Black Panther’ stands on its own merits regardless of its popularity as being a wonderful piece of art.
“Ryan Coogler is an artist,” Brown continued. “The man is three for three in his films thus far, and I don’t see him striking out anytime soon. So whether it’s in one category, the other, or both, the movie is worthy of recognition.”
Brown had a small but pivotal role as Killmonger’s father N’Jobu in Coogler’s acclaimed Marvel tentpole. The Academy said films nominated in the outstanding achievement in popular film category will be eligible to compete for best picture, which means a no-brainer contender for popular film like “Black Panther” still has a shot for the biggest Oscar. The superhero movie is only the third film to surpass $700 million at the U.S. box office.
The Academy said in its announcement of the new Oscar category that it would be detailing the eligibly rules at a later date. Brown won an Emmy for “This Is Us” last year and is back in the best drama actor race this year.