'Brooklyn Nine-Nine's' Andre Braugher on Season 2, His New Nemesis and Trying Not to Crack Up

Brooklyn 99 Still - H 2014
John Fleenor/FOX

Brooklyn 99 Still - H 2014

In the wake of Detective Jake Peralta's (Andy Samberg) undercover FBI assignment, the dynamics at Brooklyn's 99th precinct have changed — at least behind the scenes, co-star AndreBraugher says.

As the hit sophomore comedy kicks of its second season Sept. 28, the Emmy nominee behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Capt. Ray Holt says the cast of characters behind Fox's second-year comedy has turned into a finely tuned machine.

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"As we get to know each other, we're working faster and more efficiently," Braugher told reporters during a recent conference call. The actor, whose credits include Men of a Certain Age and Law & Order: SVU, says the ensemble cast has started to get a bit more playful in every take now that the series from Parks and Recreation duo Mike Schur and Dan Goor has found its rhythm.

"I pretty much stick to the script because that's my job, but they really take off," he said with a laugh regarding his co-stars, including Chelsea PerettiJo Lo Truglio and Terry Crews. "I consider them all to be my kites and I'm their string. … I hold them to the earth."

While Braugher's seemingly emotionless Holt often scores laughs for his deadpan delivery and comedic timing, the actor says it's not always easy to play the stoic, straight man of the group. "I've committed myself to perfecting the art of the straight man. I try really hard not to crack up," he said, admitting that it can sometimes be a Herculean task. "I'm off pace from last year, which was three crackups in 22 episodes. We've done eight episodes [this season] and I've cracked up twice. Obviously, Andy's gotten funnier."

In addition to bringing the funny, Braugher teased that season two would be packed with fun material, including the introduction of Kyra Sedgwick as Holt's nemesis. The twosome will go toe-to-toe starting in the second episode, when Sedgwick's Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch arrives to investigate Holt's ragtag group of misfits.

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"It's a longstanding feud," Braugher said, revealing that Holt and Wuntch may be more similar than they would like to admit. "They're alter egos for each other. They're both a little committed to excellence to a high degree. They're both intuitive detective types. They're both a little strange in their own ways, a little robotic and quirky."

Beyond their characters, Braugher and Sedgwick both previously starred on hit dramatic crime shows as well, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Closer, respectively. "The stakes are very high on dramas, and we have to enter worlds that are very much more life-threatening and much more serious," he said. "It's fun for both of us to get a chance to let our hair down, so to speak."

Braugher remained tight-lipped about what else to expect from Brooklyn's second season but did reveal that Holt's husband (played by Marc Evan Jackson) will return for an episode in whichPeralta invades the couple's home.

As for the changes in the precinct itself, Braugher noted that Holt is ready to move full-steam ahead. "He's a man who embraces change," and Holt is hopeful for what that could mean for the team. "The entire precinct is poised to get better, to leave the world of a sleepy, underperforming precinct and really become something better."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for its second season in its new time slot starting Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.