SXSW Panel: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The SXSW Film Festival is known for its sprawling size and big name stars, so it's no surprise that an interview with two stars of FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine happened quietly in front of a small audience in the Austin Convention Center. Even so, audience members got an inside look at the recent Golden Globes Best Comedy Winner from Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz.

Fumero plays Detective Amy Santiago, a hard-working, eager-to-please detective that recently has been inching toward a romantic future with Andy Samberg's Detective Jake Peralta. Beatriz play Detective Rosa Diaz, a stern, tough-as-nails type that spent most of the season rebuking advances from fellow detective Charles Boyle. They were both eager to mention how much they enjoy working on the show, particularly one so loved by the critics. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has become known for its diverse cast, which consists of two black men in leadership positions, two Latinas, two white men and one white woman. Beatriz and Fumero said they were quick to notice this as well. When they both got the parts they mentioned that they were surprised two Latinas were hired. "That never happens!" they told the crowd.

As newcomers to the world of television, it was fun to see how excited they were. Beatriz is a trained Shakespearian actress while Fumero's last big role was on a soap opera, so doing comedy is fairly new to them. Beatriz mentioned she's constantly blown away by the improv skills of Andy Samberg, Joe Lo Truglio and Chelsea Peretti. Because Fumero has so many scenes with Samberg, he's always making her break, which is difficult when Detective Santiago often plays the exasperated straight woman. She mentioned that the worst instance of this was both times that Fred Armisen guest starred. The two of them are so good at riffing off one another that Fumero sweat through her clothes because she was so focused on not breaking.

One of the comedy's funniest actors is Andre Braugher, whose serious tone and gravitas adds humor to anything he says. Fumero hinted that much like his character, Braugher doesn't understand why everything he says is funny. Beatriz said that she's most envious of Joe Lo Truglio's physical comedy abilities. "He can calculate the exact right way to fall out of a chair so that it's at its funniest." She also mentioned that her favorite line was when Fumero was crawling along a club floor on Halloween and something spilled on her, prompting Amy to say, "How is it both hot and cold?!" Fumero said her favorite line was when Charles called the holes in his butt from when he got shot "buttholes". They both agreed that their dream guest star would be Amy Poehler and admitted that the one time she stopped by set they geeked out and were too star struck to talk to her even though she was incredibly warm and nice.

It's clear that both Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz feel lucky to be on such a well received television show. It was interesting to get insights from the two stars, especially considering how new the whole process is to them. I'm sure in a few years their names will be much more known, but for now they seemed content to enjoy the ride.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to FOX for its second season next fall.


About Katie Anaya

Katie Anaya

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