Meet The Secret Weapon(s) of 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

By JARETT WIESELMAN

October 22, 2013

Last week Fox picked up Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a full season, rewarding faithful fans of the cop comedy -- although watching the sublimely silly series, from Parks and Recreation's Daniel J. Goor & Mike Schur, is its own reward. Blisteringly funny, utterly irreverent and unlike anything else on television, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also boasts one of the most exciting new ensemble casts of the year.

Sure, Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher are great in their lead roles, but the supporting players have proven to be the show's not-so-secret weapons.

"I'm so used to being on TV shows or in movies where I do one scene and leave," Joe Lo Truglio, who plays Detective Charles Boyle, tells ETonline from the LA-based set. "Here, I'm getting to create a character and bring him over a long story arc. That's exciting on a personal level. On a creative level, you see the writers getting ideas for great combinations of characters. Now they’re mixing us up and as the writers discover the quirks of an actor, that's making it into scripts."

No one has provided the creators with as many character quirks as Terry Crews, who plays Sergeant Terry Jeffords. "I love my character because he's me," Crews enthuses. "I had an art scholarship before a football scholarship, and I told the writers that and they added it into the scrip that I was an artist. I also remember telling them that for me, a father of 5, a minivan was the perfect vehicle. They turned it around and made the team do a stakeout in the minivan. This is me, I am that sensitive. the audience thinks they're inventing Jeffords, but I exist -- and there are plenty of big guys who love to paint and drive minivans out there!"

And while Chelsea Peretti, who went from Parks and Rec scribe to Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, isn't in the writers room any longer, she's still inspiring on-screen stories as she tells me, "I had a fight with one of the Parks writers about what is the best kind of pie and now there's a pie fight in an upcoming episode." A storyline Stephanie Beatriz looks back on with much regret.

"There were a lot of pies on set that day, and I ended up eating an entire pie," she laughs. "But it was totally my fault because they warned me not to keep eating so fast, but I just kept telling them to bring me more slices. And it was so good at first. Then, around the eighth slice I realized they were right. It was a big mistake. Big."

Luckily no one can fault the way this cast has gelled. In fact, Melissa Fumero believes the cast's off-screen connection is why their on-screen chemistry is so strong. "Each of the characters is a little stunted in their own way," she says. "This is a dysfunctional group of detectives who are good at their jobs, but if you took them out of the precinct and tried to put them in a social situation, they'd fail! I mean, Rosa would be in a corner shooting death stares at everyone, Jake would be hitting on anything in a skirt, Charles would be talking everyone's ear off. It would be a mess, but that's why they work so well together in a weird way."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.



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