Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andre Braugher Celebrated His Emmy Nomination by Going Grocery Shopping

Exclusive! The two-time Emmy winner talks to E! News about why he thinks the Fox sitcom was snubbed in the Outstanding Comedy category despite winning the Golden Globe earlier this year

By Tierney Bricker Jul 10, 2014 5:41 PMTags
Brooklyn Nine NinaFOX

Emmy nominee in aisle seven!

Though he was just nominated for his seventh Emmy, Andre Braugher didn't let his Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nod get in the way of his daily schedule. 

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, who plays the rigid, robotic and hilarious Captain Holt, graciously hopped on the phone with E! News while on the way home from a grocery run to chat about his "exciting" nomination and why he thinks the Fox sitcom was snubbed by Emmy voters after taking home the Golden Globe for Outstanding Comedy earlier this year. 

Plus, the two-time Emmy winner talked about why he might be celebrating pantsless at the cast's first table-read tomorrow for its upcoming second season and which of his co-stars is taking credit for his nomination...

Congratulations on your nomination! That must've been a great way to wake up this morning!
Thank you very much! It was. I was deep into the carpool when I learned the news, so I was surprised and pleased. And it's great for the show, so I am very happy today!

Are you one of those actors who actually pays attention to the nominations or just waits to receive a phone call and is pleasantly surprised?
I got a call and was pleasantly surprised. There's always some anticipation that goes into Emmy nominations, but I can't sort of like, wait around, waiting for it to happen. So I continue in good faith, just living my life just seeing what's going to happen, so I was riding my own personal rollercoaster when I was thrown onto the Emmy nomination rollercoaster. It's been an exciting morning, there's no doubt about it!


How will you celebrate? We hear going pantsless is a bit of a tradition on the Brooklyn set, maybe that's a possibility?
[Laughs.] Just shoes, socks and underwear. There's a possibility. I'm open to it, that's all I can say! But I'll see those guys tomorrow at the read-through, so I'll get a chance to celebrate with the cast, the writers and everyone because it's a terrific show and I'm really enjoying working on this half-hour comedy. I can't imagine a better situation, so it turns out really to be a double pleasant surprise to be nominated in an individual category and also to be able to share this with a show and people that I really dig.

While we're so excited you were nominated, we were bummed to see that the show was snubbed. Were you surprised that the series didn't receive a nomination, especially considering Brooklyn just won the Golden Globe?
It's just two different kinds of voters. The Foreign Press and the Emmy voters are just two different constituencies, so they are going to express themselves in different ways. Let me not look into the mind of the Globe voters [Laughs.], let me say this instead: the physical pattern is that shows are established and then they receive more Emmy recognition, so I'm not surprised at the level or the depth of the nominations today because I'm pretty confident that the show will survive into our third and fourth season and that the nominations will then be forthcoming because that's just the way the Emmy voters express themselves.

They also seem to favor cable, so do you ever worry about that on a network comedy? Or do you know pay attention to the cable vs. network debate?
I've been on cable and I've been on network and I have to say, the network has a mandate to deliver more viewers, there's no doubt about that, so therefore they're appealing to a wider audience. But I will say we're all we're trying to make the best shows we possibly can wherever we're going. So having been on cable and been through some of the triumphs and the disappointments with cable, I'm now experiencing some of the triumphs on broadcast and just last year I was experiencing some of the disappointments of being with broadcast because Last Resort was canceled. I've been through the ups and downs with both broadcast and cable, so it's all about making good work in a difficult environment period.

We have to ask: even after Brooklyn's successful first season, are people still surprised that you're funny?
[Laughs.] Well, people who know me are not surprised that I'm funny, but I haven't been called upon to be funny in the course of my career, so it strikes people as being oddly out of character, like, ‘Who is this guy?!' But I think I have a good sense of humor, so it's not out of character with people who know me. Then again, I'm not out and about very often, I'm a very private person, so it would be hard for people to know that anyway.

Eddy Chen/FOX

Have you heard from any of the cast yet? We know you said you'll be seeing them all tomorrow.
I have not. I believe I have an email from Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker and Stephanie Beatriz. Stephanie emailed me very early this morning. What did she say? It's worth sharing, I believe. Let me find it. Stephanie said, "Yay, congrats! This might be old hat for you now, all these awards shows, but this is the first time I've had a friend nominated, so I'm so excited. So yes, your Emmy nomination is all about me. Congratulations. The nom is so deserved." So that is from Stephanie, who is obviously monitoring the airwaves at five o'clock in the morning, but it was nice to receive that from her and she's a nice young comedian.

And she said this is old-hat for you and you've won two Emmys [Thief in 2006 and Homicide: Life in the Street in 1998], so where do you keep them?
My wife made me bring them down from my office on the third floor, so now they live on top of the piano in the living room.

Obviously, one of the pilot's biggest surprises was the reveal that Captain Holt was gay. How does it feel to represent a gay character on mainstream TV?
How does it feel to represent a gay character on television? I don't know, I have to say, the writing for the character…which is his orientation is one part of a complex whole rather than being his defining characteristic, which is one of the reasons why I love these Fox comedies. They've got a whole group of them, Mindy, New Girl, in which basically…hold on, one second. I gotta help with the groceries, be right back!

So where were we? Right, so these guys have designed characters that are so complex and so well-written, with such depth that you don't really notice it happening, Holt's orientation is not really an issue nor a defining characteristic. Also, these other things that these guys do and they do well is they jump into the middle of the season. There's not a lot that crazy introductory stuff, episodes after episode of recapping how we all started here. They jump right into the mess of the Brooklyn police precinct, so consequently, it never really became about particular boxes we're putting each other in. we were allowed to expand and grow. So what can I say? I represent a gay character, but his gayness fits right in line with the course of his personality, which is that it is an aspect rather than a defining characteristic. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns this fall on Fox.