Proving that 2019 has become her breakout year, Daytime Emmy nominated actor Crystal Lee Brown has solidified herself as the star to watch in her Issa Rae distributed and Jussie Smollet produced series “Giants,” which was also nominated for 11 Daytime Emmys this year. No stranger to working alongside titans in the industry, Crystal is best known for her work with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Costner in the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated film HIDDEN FIGURES. Read her exclusive interview here.
How did your career start?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia and was always into the arts, but college is where I realized my love for theatre. I majored in sports journalism with a minor in theatre. I was a track star when I was younger and heavy into sports (ESPN all day long). I worked with all sport teams as an intern until I moved to NY and worked for the NBA and Arena Football League. I wanted to be like Robin Roberts on the sidelines, inside the NBA and interview athletes. That journey was 6 to 7 years, and throughout college I worked for the hometown team.
While in New York, I exercised my craft. I worked for the NBA and on the weekends, I went to acting school. It was always pulling at me, until I finally decided it was time for me to go to Los Angeles and give it a try. I bought a one-way ticket and here I am fifteen years later. I had some hesitation at first, before buying my ticket. It was only one-hundred and five dollars. My mom didn’t think I was actually going to do it, until she saw them picking up my car to ship it to LA. She thought they were repoing it. It was the funniest thing ever. I still had my hands a little bit on sports (with the NFL) when I first moved to LA, but I soon transitioned to theatre full time.
How was it transitioning from sports to theatre?
I had a few friends here. I stayed with a friend before moving to my own place. I moved during the holidays and it was the first Thanksgiving I spent without my family. It was a struggle because we had gone to the store trying to figure out what we were going to eat. That’s when it hit me that I was miles and miles away from my family. Luckily, I was with other people who felt the same way. We were all new to the environment and trying to get adjusted. The time change, parking and traffic. It took me a year to actually get used to it. LA grew on me. Now, it’s home!
What is your favorite movie that you have done?
Hidden Figures. The story and history behind it was what made it such a great experience. I wasn’t aware of the story and was kind of upset because why did we not learn about it in school? The more I learned about the story I became fascinated and wanted to be a part of such an important project. Working with Academy Award winners and nominees was phenomenal! They set the tone on how to navigate a powerful script and story and working with them was amazing. I would not change my experience for anything. It was my first studio film and I worked on that project for 5 weeks so everyday working with them and learning new things was a blessing.
What is something you do for fun?
I love to travel. I was just in South Africa, and it was such an amazing experience. If it’s not traveling, it’s always spending time with my family, catching up on Netflix shows, or just living life.
Favorite social media handle to share?
You can follow me on Instagram @ crystalleebrown
Thank you for interviewing with BSM Media.
Thank you for having me!
Crystal mentioned in the interview how excited she was for her Emmy nomination. Wishing her the very best!!
Interview by: Jasmin Urquiza Montiel
Photo credits: Anderson Group