Sterling K. Brown Explains Why He’s ‘Totally Fine’ With Losing The Oscar To Robert Downey Jr.

 From left to right: a press image of Sterling K. Brown in American Fiction and a screenshot of Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer.
From left to right: a press image of Sterling K. Brown in American Fiction and a screenshot of Robert Downey Jr. in Oppenheimer.

Sterling K. Brown is truly living out the statement that it’s truly an honor to be nominated. The beloved actor received a 2024 Oscar nomination for his work in American Fiction, and when the awards ceremony airs on the 2024 TV schedule, he’ll be shown next to Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Gosling, Robert De Niro and Mark Ruffalo in the Best Supporting Actor Category. While any of these men could win, I mean surprises happen all the time at The Academy Awards, Brown is convinced his name won’t be called and RDJ’s will, and he explained why he’s “totally fine” with that.

It’s not very often that you see an actor so happily claim that they won’t win an Academy Award. Only a week after Sterling K. Brown received his first Oscar nomination, he appeared on The Graham Norton Show (via EW) to talk about his projects and his recognition for the work he did in the book-to-screen adaptation of American Fiction. While sitting with fellow nominee Colman Domingo (who is in the Lead Actor category for Rustin), Brown said:

Colman will probably win. I know that I’m not going to win.

Along with that declaration, the Huff Post noted that he said this on the British talk show:

There’s no losing yet. It will happen in its own good time. But I know I am not going to win, and I am totally fine with that.

While he truly seems happy to not win, Colman Domingo fired back saying that Brown can’t know for sure if his name will be called or not. However, the This Is Us star was adamant as he explained:

I’mma tell you: Robert Downey Jr.’s gonna win, and he’s incredibly deserving. He’s an incredible actor. Like, you should give him love. The fact that I get a chance to be nominated along with him and Mr. [Robert] De Niro and Ryan Gosling and [Mark] Ruffalo, I’m just happy to be in the room.

How To Watch This Year’s Nominated Movies

Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction
Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction

Make sure to check out our guide on how to stream the 2024 Oscar nominees. To specifically see American Fiction, you can catch it in theaters or buy/rent it online starting February 6. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer will be available with a Peacock subscription starting on February 16. 

Based on what we know about American Fiction and Oppenheimer, it’s clear that the Christopher Nolan-directed flick starring Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. stands a better chance of winning. While Brown’s film with Jeffrey Wright (who was also nominated for Lead Actor) is outstanding, Oppenheimer was prominently seen among the 2024 Golden Globes winners, which included a win for Downey, and it’s been picking up award after award on the circuit.

Since the release of Oppenheimer back in July, the big question has been about whether Robert Downey Jr. will win his first Oscar or if Ryan Gosling will pull an upset for his performance in Barbie. Sadly, the conversation around Brown in American Fiction, De Niro in Killers of the Flower Moon and Ruffalo in Poor Things has taken a backseat to RDJ and Gosling.

At this point, it truly feels like the script is written, and Robert Downey Jr. will take home a well-earned Oscar for his performance as the antagonist Lewis Strauss in the Oppenheimer cast. In the last two years, the heavy frontrunner in the Supporting Actor category has won, with Troy Kotsur winning for CODA and Ke Huy Quan taking home the gold for Everything Everywhere All At Once. It seems like that will happen for the Iron Man star too, and Sterling K. Brown believes that too.

However, while Sterling K. Brown is certain he won’t take home gold on March 10, the fact that he was nominated speaks to how brilliant he is in American Fiction. And ultimately, whether the movie wins or loses, being part of the Oscars race gives it the much-deserved attention it likely wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

To see who ends up taking home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, you can catch The 96th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.