Interview with Andre Braugher of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Andre Braugher of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Interview with Andre Braugher of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" on FOX 9/25/14

I spoke with Andre a few years ago, and he was quite intimidating, but he's actually a very nice man. What a fabulous actor! He does a great job on this show, and on every show, for that matter... he is a very gracious and thoughtful person in interviews, as you'll read here. I enjoyed getting another opportunity to speak with him.

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
September 25, 2014/12:30 p.m. PDT

Hayley Hindinger
Andre Braugher


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Brooklyn Nine-Nine conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I'd now like to turn the conference over to our host, Hayley Hindinger. Please go ahead.

Hayley: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining the Fox conference call with Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, Andre Braugher. Season 2 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres this Sunday, September 28th, at 8:30/7:30 Central on Fox, and at this time, I will turn it over to the operator for the first question.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our first question comes from the line of Kaitlin Milligan from BroadwayWorld TV. Please go ahead.

Kaitlin: Hi. What are you most excited about in this upcoming season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Any particular story line?

Andre: Story lines, I donít have a lot of information about because they pretty much keep that under wraps in order to give themselves the freedom to develop the story lines as they see fit, but I am excited about Kyra Sedgwick guest starring on the show. We had a really great time. She plays Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch, an archrival and a nemesis of Captain Holt. We did three or four episodes earlier this season and had a really great time.

Kaitlin: Thank you. Also, what initially drew you to play Captain Ray Holt?

Andre: Well, I think it was the reputation of Mike Schur and Dan Goor. I am a fan of Parks and Rec and I saw over the seasons they created, in my mind, an ever expanding world of loveable goofballs and they were quite adept at creating a mature kind of interesting comedy. I said to myself I felt like I would be in good hands playing this character with these guys at the helm. That was one of the main considerations, as was the opportunity to work with Andy.

Kaitlin: Thank you.

Andre: Sure.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Blaise Hopkins from Please go ahead.

Blaise: Hi. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. I just have one question for you.

Andre: Sure.

Blaise: Favorite episode of mine last season was Episode 16, ďThe Party,Ē where we got to see a little more into your characterís personal life with his birthday party and into his home. I know you just said that you have limited knowledge about the upcoming season, but do you think weíll get to see more into the background, the personal lives of any characters to sort of expand their depth?

Andre: I would only be speculating about that. Itís really a question for the creators, Mike and Dan. Iím sure theyíre going to continue to expand this universe. We see certain characters again and again, like Patton Oswalt and Fred Armisen, as parts of this Brooklyn universe. Iím hoping that weíll get a chance to see more of Kyra Sedgwick because sheís in the police hierarchy. Eva Longoria was with us for a little bit. We are opening up and expanding the personal lives, especially of Santiago and Peralta.

Iím sure weíll see more of him. I couldnít tell you exactly when itís going to happen or how itís going to happen, but Iím sure we will because itís part of the master plan for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to really create, I think, a full and complex universe for all of these characters, but in terms of particulars, thereís nothing I can share.

Blaise: All right. Sounds great. Thank you. Iím looking forward to the upcoming season.

Andre: Pleasure. Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Jim Halterman from Xfinity TV. Please go ahead.

Jim: Hi, Andre. Thanks for your time today. Appreciate it.

Andre: My pleasure.

Jim: I wanted to know what is the bone of contention between Holt and Kyra Sedgwickís character because I know theyíre nemesis, but I wasnít sure exactlyóIs it a longstanding feud because I know they have a history together?

Andre: Well, itís a longstanding feud. It seems like theyíre alter egos for each other. Theyíre both a little committed to excellence to a high degree. Theyíre both sort of intuitive detective types. Theyíre both a little strange in their own way, a little robotic and quirky in that way. There was an event way back in the past, back in 1989, you may not have been born back then, back in 1989, and thatís the genesis for their dispute, the bone of contention between the two of them.

Jim: Okay. I was born in 1989, so Iím a little older than that.

Andre: Okay.

Jim: I saw Dan Goor recently. He said Marc Evan Jackson was back. Heíd already shot an episode. Can you say anything about what weíll see in that episode?

Andre: Heís seen briefly in that episode. Itís mostly about Peralta sort of invading my house with [indiscernible] one case in particular and then we solve it in an all-night brainstorming session. We solve the case at my house, but itís a small role. I think weíre going to see Marc in more detail later in the season, but he has shot one episode, but it wouldnít be a large story board.

Jim: Okay. Got it. Thanks so much, Andre.

Andre: My pleasure.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) The next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Hi, Andre. Itís nice to speak with you again.

Andre: My pleasure.

Suzanne: I was wondering are there any major changes that you can tell us about, either behind the scenes or with the cast this year?

Andre: With the cast, we really get along and the show was cast for sanity, so itís running very smoothly. In terms of whatís happening with the cast in terms of their story lines, thatís really a question for the creators, but I will say that we have a good time on the set. We work very well together. The material is fantastic this season, so weíre all very pleased.

Suzanne: Good. I look forward to it. Thanks a lot.

Andre: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Teresa Roca from OK! and Radar. Please go ahead.

Teresa: Hi, Andre. How are you?

Andre: Iím doing great. You?

Teresa: Good. I just want to know what has been your favorite part of filming the show?

Andre: My favorite part of filming the show? Well, I enjoyed the episodes a lot outside the precinct where we go on our adventures and such. Iíve enjoyed our Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes. Iíve enjoyed ďThe PartyĒ particular. ďThe PartyĒ was really an opportunity to see everyone in a really drastically different atmosphere than the bullpen and I just found it to be a lot of fun. It was a great script and a lot of fun to film. In retrospect, ďThe PartyĒ maybe it was Episode 16, I canít remember, but towards the end of the season, I thought that was my favorite episode.

Teresa: Great. If I could just get one more question, so you directed Love Songs, do you think youíll be going behind the camera during any of the episodes this season?

Andre: I may. I directed Love Songs 13 or 14 years ago, so Iíve had plenty of opportunities to go behind the camera, but I have resisted it. Weíll see what happens, but itís not my first preoccupation.

Teresa: All right. Thank you.

Andre: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Kristina Lintz from Please go ahead.

Kristina: Hi, Andre. Thank you for talking. Iím sorry?

Andre: Hypable or Hyperbole?

Kristina: Hypable. Kind of a play on that word.

Andre: Okay.

Kristina: I was wondering what itís like to play Holt, the stoic man, opposite Jake, Andy Samberg, who just cracks everyone else up in the precinct.

Andre: I think itís difficult to say the least. Heís a very funny guy and a lot of great off the cuff humor. Iíve sort of committed myself to perfecting the art of the straight man, so Iím trying very hard to not crack up.

Weíve done eight episodes this year. Iíve cracked up twice. Iím off my pace from last year, which was 3 crack ups in 22 episodes. Obviously, Andyís getting funnier and Iím relaxing a little bit on the show, but Iíve decided to commit myself to really perfecting the art of the straight man. Iím getting better at it and I have a great cast of comedians. Between Chelsea and Andy and Joe and Terry, itís really a funny cast and we have a great time doing it.

When we get a chance to improv, we go at it wholeheartedly. I pretty much stick to the script because thatís my job, but they really take off and I consider them all to be my kites and I am their string and so I just give them a great opportunity to fly and I guess I hold them to the earth to help tell the story, but weíre having a really great time this season.

Kristina: Thatís great. I look forward to seeing it.

Andre: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Karen Moul from SciFi Vision. Please go ahead.

Karen: Thanks so much for being with us today and hello from Baltimore, Iím based in Baltimore.

Andre: Hi. Big shout out to B-Mo.

Karen: In fact, 20 years ago, I worked in South Point and spent a lot of time looking around the cast down there.

Andre: Oh, okay.

Karen: I wanted to ask you about, as you enter the second season, you talked last season about the opportunity that Brooklyn Nine-Nine gave you to study and learn from some really experienced and talented comedians, and I wonder as you guys enter now Season 2 with a successful season behind you, has the atmosphere or approach changed at all on the set?

Andre: No. I think theyíve developed a good way of working on the set and it was put into operation last year and weíre continuing with that. We, as a cast, as we get to know each other better, weíre working faster and more efficiently, which actually gives us more time really to play around. In any given scene, weíre going to do five or six takes of the material thatís scripted and really cover that thoroughly and then we have enough time to do what we call ďfun runsĒ and fun runs is where everyone pulls the craziest stuff they know out of a bag and throws it into the scene. Fun runs are unpredictable, but they really breathe a lot of life into the process of creating the comedy and it keeps it loose.

Iím having a great time. Iím studying these guys like a hawk. There are a lot of great young comedians on the show and itís giving me a real thorough education on another aspect of my art form and Iím having a great time. Iím learning a lot and I feel reinvigorated by being on the show.

Karen: Great. Are there ways that your body of dramatic work that youíre able to draw on that or does that influence it? I know you play a serious a guy on the show.

Andre: Iím a serious guy. I guess I make my serious faces, my serious stares and such. Acting is the same in a certain way on comedies as well on dramas. It just has a different sort of lift, kind of a different spiritual dimension. The same sort of hard work and dedication and concentration goes into acting in comedies for me in comedy as well as drama. I find myself working in a similar way, but the effect is just much lighter. Itís a real crazy comedy. Itís a goofball comedy. The effect is much, much lighter, but I find myself drawing on the same techniques that I would use if I were doing a drama.

Karen: Well, youíre great on the show. I think youíre really funny and thanks again for being with us today.

Andre: Sure. My pleasure.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Paige Phelan from The Hollywood Reporter. Please go ahead.

Paige: Hi, Mr. Braugher. Thank you so much for talking with us today. My first question is youíve mentioned kind of Kyra Sedgwick coming on to play your nemesis. Both of you have kind of had this dramatic body of work in cop procedurals, both with her in The Closer and you with Homicide. I was wondering what it was like for you two to play kind of these similar troupes, but in a very different comedic-sphere?

Andre: Itís a lot of fun. The stakes are very high on dramas and we just have to enter into a whole imaginative world where the stakes are much more life threatening, much more serious, and I think we both appreciate being able to, in our own ways, have fun with the cop world that we created. We invested a lot of time in creating credible roles in these police dramas, but itís also fun for both of us to get a chance to let our hair down, so to speak, to play these roles.

I found it to be light and refreshing and Kyra is a very accomplished comedian and so it was a lot of fun working with her and the material is terrific. I enjoyed it immensely and Iím looking forward to Kyraís return sometime in the future.

Paige: Great. My other question was now that Peralta has been with the FBI and is going to presumably join the Nine-Nine again, I was wondering if there is anything that you can tease about how that dynamic might shift between Holt and Peralta as he rejoins the precinct?

Andre: I think it shifts slightly. I will say that Holt is a man who embraces change. As stoic as he seems, as conservative as he seems, he is a man who is interested in embracing change. With a new police commissioner and the return of my ace detective, Peralta, I feel as though the entire precinct is poised to get better, to leave the world of sleepy, underperforming Brooklyn precinct and really become something special.

Thatís what I see in the scripts to date and thatís what has been pitched to me in terms of whatís going to happen with Holt and the precinct in the future. I donít have any information about any episodes past the eight that we have done, but I will say that Holt is embracing the change thatís overcoming the entire department.

Paige: Great. Well, thank you so much for answering my questions.

Andre: Sure. My pleasure.

Moderator: We have a follow up question from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from the TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Hi. I was wondering if thereís a possibility of any of your previous costars, like Ray Romano or Kyle Secor, or anyone guest starring on the show?

Andre: I donít know. I couldnít say. As an actor, Iím just not in a position to put out an offer or to write the roles. It would be great to see some of these guys, but Iím not sure that Dan or Mike are planning those kind of reunions.

Suzanne: Great. Thanks a lot.

Andre: Sure. My pleasure.

Moderator: We also have a follow up question from the line of Jim Halterman from Xfinity TV. Please go ahead.

Jim: Hi again, Andre. I also talked to Dan Goor recently, asking him if he thought the character of Holt was groundbreaking, so Iíd like to ask you the same question. Do you feel like he is groundbreaking in any way?

Andre: Groundbreaking? Groundbreaking is different things for different people. I donít think heís groundbreaking. I just think he happens to be a fully fleshed out character. But because fully fleshed out characters arenít as common as weíd like them to be on television he seems groundbreaking, but in fact, I think heís simply a fully dimensional character.

Jim: Okay. Great. Thank you.

Andre: Yes.

Hayley: Okay. That concludes our call. Thank you, Andre, for your time, and we hope you all enjoy Season 2. As a reminder, it premieres this Sunday, September 28th, at 8:30.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be made available for replay after 2 p.m. Pacific today until October 2nd at midnight. That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation and using AT&T Executive TeleConference service. You may now disconnect.

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