"Army Wives" Revealed: Sterling Brown
Q: What was it that appealed to you most about your character, Roland? —Debbie, AZ
A: Most of the roles that I'm offered are usually either cops or criminals, etc. So the opportunity to play an African-American male of intelligence and warmth, that was the first and foremost thing that appealed to me.
Q: How do you feel being the only male spouse on the show? Is it challenging? —Barb, NY
A: It's an easy job to have to be surrounded by beautiful, talented women. But at the same time, how exactly do I fit into this world? The character feels that sort of thing, and as an actor I feel that way as well sometimes.
Q: How do you like portraying "Mr. Military Spouse"? —Joan, SC
A: I enjoy the challenges that my wife, Joan, and I have in the show, in terms of, how do you start over a marriage? How do you keep that fire going after years of separation? How do you open up the lines of communication again when people change from war and I as her spouse have changed from her absence? I think it is a very challenging and real dilemma that people in this situation have to deal with on a daily basis.
Q: What do you see are the obstacles for Roland, a military husband? —Nancy, VA
A: There's no real network and community of men that Roland has to lean on. There are not a whole lot of people that are in an exactly analogous situation as he is. So he finds himself bonding with these women, which is great because they have an understanding of what it's like to be married into the military, but there is still that degree of separation in that they are women and he is a man.
Q: I love the way you interact with the wives! Have you talked to any actual Army husbands? —Mindy, NY
A: I have. One of my best friends is an Army husband. His wife is a captain, and it's been very interesting talking to him because she will be deployed for several months at a time. He tells me about his routine that he has established in her absence and then how that routine changes when she returns.
Q: What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of playing an active duty member's spouse? —Mandy, NE
A: The challenging thing, and this is something specific to Roland, is the recognition that most of the spouses who go away are husbands who leave their families behind. In their husband's absence these wives still have their children to care for and don't have a sense of being completely alone. Whereas Roland, when his wife goes away, is indeed by himself and doesn't have that same sense of fulfillment in having a family.
I think the reward for Roland is the amount of pride that he has for his wife for accomplishing all that she has in a very male-dominated world. I think Roland brims with pride in knowing what a great deal she has achieved and that his support is one of the reasons she's able to succeed.