Actor Brandon Brown took a risk, leaving the comforts of his hometown for the bright lights of Los Angeles. And it paid off. Since his role as Malcolm in Power Book II: Ghost in 2020, he’s been steadily on the screen with the 2022 movie The Christmas Clapback and most recently on the second season of Bel-Air.

Even though he’s moved on from Buffalo, New York, Brown hasn’t and won’t forget the people who positively influenced who he hopes to become. EBONY spoke with the rising star about his slow and steady career in Hollywood and the man who is his role model.

I come from a big family. I’m one of 12 children, and I’m a father myself. I used to say my biggest fear was failure and inability to take care of my whole family. But the older I get, the more I realize I can do that progressively over time and that I cannot pour from an empty cup. I’m pursuing my dream to be in everything, everywhere, all the time.

Brandon Brown. Photographed by Keith Major for EBONY.
Brandon Brown. Image: Keith Major.

“I want to embrace our stories by telling real stories that actually matter and will positively affect the masses of my people.”

Brandon Brown

My dream role would be to play the lead as a series regular in a groundbreaking show. I want people to be able to grow with and appreciate my character week after week, and I want to challenge myself to a level of acting I haven’t yet seen. I have to be honest and do my due diligence. The artist’s job is to depict the current times with authenticity.

I had a mentor as a teen named Byron Stuckey in Buffalo who was maybe 10 years older than me and who I modeled myself to be like. He was hardworking and athletic. He drove motorcycles and did cool things. We’re still very good friends to this day. Talking to the people closest to me who know me personally, my strengths and weaknesses, helps me maintain my mental wellness, which can be crucial when navigating this business. That and meditating.

“Being a Black man in the entertainment industry can mean being submissive to certain tones or the ego that certain people have because they feel like they’re the gatekeepers to your success—but I truly believe I am the master of my fate.”

Brandon Brown

There is this ‘mandate’ to accept certain roles you don’t necessarily agree with but are advised to do so if you want to achieve “ultimate success” in Hollywood. Being self-aware, admitting when you’re wrong and apologizing, taking the high road and allowing yourself to be comfortable in your skin despite any criticism is what I follow. And it doesn’t take much to be kind. I have a charitable outlet: the Kappa League program sponsored by my frat Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., my favorite way to give back.