The oddball cops over at the breakout TV ensemble comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, are back for a second season of so-called law “without the order,” debuting September 28 on City. Reprising their roles alongside Andy Samberg’s disorderly detective are Joe Lo Truglio, Terry Crews, Chelsea Peretti, Stephanie Beatriz and Homicide: Life on the Street legend, Andre Braugher. We quizzed co-creator Mike Schur, executive producer David Miner and the rather energetic cast about their dream guest stars, police bootcamp and if cop-show veteran Braugher made them break a sweat. —Erika David
Where did the idea for Brooklyn Nine-Nine come from?
Mike Schur: There were a thousand shows that were gritty and horrifying dramas about real-life crimes, but very little of that world was used for comedy. We thought now that the visual and actual vocabulary of police officers are well-known with viewers, we can use that to our advantage by simply transposing it into a comedy setting.
What made you guys want Andy Samberg to play Detective Jake Peralta?
Mike Schur: There aren’t many people who can be the centre of a network comedy show because they have to do a lot of things: they have to be really funny, they have to carry romance and do it convincingly, and they have to be very generous actors because it’s very important for the star to actively want their castmates to be funny. I used to write at Saturday Night Live, and I know how grueling the schedule is and how skilled the actors are when they come out of it. Coming from that world, Andy was the perfect person to build the show around.
If you could have any actor in the world play the villain in an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who would you choose?
Andre Braugher: I want Tom Hanks to play a mad bomber.
Chelsea Peretti: Jason Momoa. Look at him. He’d be this criminal I’d fall in love with and give confidential files.
Terry Crews: Sylvester Stallone is surprisingly funny!
Stephanie Beatriz: Norman Reedus. Have you seen him?
Joe Lo Truglio: Christopher Walken. He can do anything.
David Miner: Whoever can reel in viewers. It’s my job.
Mike Schur: So, like, Ryan Gosling’s character from Drive.
What makes Brooklyn Nine-Nine different from all the other comedies out there?
Stephanie Beatriz: The show doesn’t use our differences in gender, sexuality and race for the punchline. I love seeing different ethnicities on television, and it’s incredible to me that it’s so normal on our show.
Did you get any police training?
Stephanie Beatriz: The Glendale Police Department did a mini bootcamp with us.
Joe Lo Truglio: We went into this tactical shoot house… and I shot an innocent bystander.
Andre Braugher: We don’t want to get lazy and we want to play cops to the best of our ability because if we lose our credibility entirely, the comic foundations will fall apart. We want audiences to believe that we’re a bunch of goofball cops rather than comedians who decided to put on police uniforms.
Was it intimidating to work with a prolific actor like Andre Braugher?
Mike Schur: He’s scarier than a real cop.
Chelsea Peretti: There’s a warmth to the intimidation.
David Miner: He’s the greatest. He has a gigantic, goofy smile that lights up a room.
Joe Lo Truglio: The first time I had a one-on-one with him was after a table read, and I told him, “I’m thrilled you’re doing the show, but, why?” He said, “I want to learn the feathery world of comedy. I watch how you guys think and you’re spread out, you go from here to there. I want to be able to do that.”
If Captain Holt could have a catch phrase, what would it be?
Andre Braugher: “Poorly done.” With a hand gesture and a stern eyebrow.