Andre Braugher (‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’): ‘I came to the sitcom to learn’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“There’s a lot of cop shows but there is only one cop comedy, and I happen to have stumbled upon it,” admits “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Andre Braugher. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “I’m looking forward to the kind of work we are going to do in the future based upon the fact that the world has changed and knowledge of police forces has changed. The question is: how is “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” going to confront this? How are we going to hold a mirror up to life and still produce an enormously funny show. I don’t have a formula for that but I know that creator Dan Goor is a terrific writer. I’m looking forward to reading the script and challenging ourselves.”

Having finished seven seasons, the Golden Globe winning NBC sitcom stars Andy Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta. Braugher plays Raymond Holt, the outwardly strict, robotic and professional captain of the precinct. The most recent season saw Holt suffer a demotion for some time and also celebrate the passing of his long-time nemesis, Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick). The actor says, “I came to the sitcom to learn and I’ve been handsomely rewarded over the years. You’ve got to make it funny now. The characters have grown in a way that allows us to do even wilder and crazier things than we did in the beginning. Now the audience understands where we’re coming from and feels our perspectives. The writing seems to be getting better and better on the show. I’ve been enjoying the attempts that it has been making to really explore issues around important social aspects. That’s when ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ is hitting its stride.”

Braugher received his fourth Best Comedy Supporting Actor nomination this year for playing Holt. So Emmy voters could consider his performance, he chose to submit the 12th episode of the season, “Ransom.” In the episode, he and his husband’s dog is kidnapped. Braugher explains, “It was a funny episode and showed off the bad-ass aspect to Captain Holt he usually keeps under wraps. He’s typically a very composed and taciturn character. This was an opportunity to get emotionally involved. The younger Holt was a real bad-ass. That episode gave me an opportunity to hook up with that aspect of his character again. He gets to be wild and emotional and gets to have a fist fight in the street over his ‘fluffy boy.’ It was more fun than what I’ve had in a long time.”

This Emmy nomination marks the actor’s 11th at the Emmys. He won a Best Drama Actor Emmy in 1998 for his work on the NBC gritty police drama “Homicide: Life of the Street.” His second trophy was for the miniseries “Thief.” Braugher confesses, ” I was interested in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ because I’ve played cops and authority figures for so many years. The chance to lighten this up and do a sitcom and make fun of the conventions of the police show was really attractive to me.”

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