MONTREAL – As one of the most exciting new sitcoms to hit the major networks in a years, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has quickly garnered a well-deserved reputation for being smart, hip, and extremely hilarious. Therefore, it’s perhaps not too surprising to see that the remarkable cast chemistry translates to something equally as electric offscreen as well as on. Sitting down for a panel discussion of the show with New York Times culture columnist Dave Itzkoff playing moderator, the cast and executive producer/series creator Michael Schur delved deep into the show’s origins and creative history. As a Saturday Night Live alum, Schur was already connected to Andy Samberg by proxy (though their tenures at the comedy institution never overlapped), and the rest of the cast fell into place organically, thanks to stellar casting director work.
Quite possibly the most interesting revelation to unveil itself during this hour long Q&A was the notion of race and gender identity – or rather, lack thereof, when it came to originally writing the characters and choosing actors to fill their shoes. According to Schur, most of the ensemble was initially written without specified gender or race criteria, and some of the actors even read for roles that ended up molding into opposite gendered characters. While diversity wasn’t a primary objective, the show’s creators knew that they had to create a realistic looking police force – a staff full of stuffy white guys just wasn’t going to cut it. The ensemble show stars Samberg, along with Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Chelsea Peretti, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio and more.
But hands down the best portion of the panel discussion was just watching the cast interact in platonic ease with each other. It’s clear they’ve all become close behind the cameras, and teasing ran rampant. Chelsea Peretti even let slip that Joe Lo Truglio had walked into a glass door earlier in the day. As Joe himself said, we should probably expect to see the exact same thing happen to his character later on in season two.