Q&A with “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” stars Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” nabbed the Golden Globe for best television comedy, putting the police sitcom in the ranks of TV royalty. At SXSW Interactive, fans of the show got a treat with an intimate interview and meet-and-greet with two of its female stars Melissa Fumero (Detective Amy Santiago) and Stephanie Beatriz (Rosa Diaz).
Fumero and Beatriz talked about their rising stardom, favorite sitcoms and pride as Latina actresses.
Here are some highlights from their chat with fans:
How have you guys handled the recent success of the show?
M: It’s hard to wrap your mind around it. It’s crazy. When the good reviews came out and the Golden Globe, I was like, “Whose life am I living?”
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” features two Latina actresses in lead roles. This doesn’t happen often. How do you guys feel about that?
M: It was a happy surprise that there were two of us because that never happens. And it’s also great that the characters are detectives who happen to be Latinas. The show cares about great characters and making it look like New York. Stephanie and I talked about this at the beginning and said, “How great is this?” We’re proud.
S: Yes, casting two women of color in the same show doesn’t happen much. And yet in the show it’s very normal, and it’s only one small part of the role. It’s not the whole part. So we’re pumped about it.
Do you watch your own show?
S: Yes, I watch one episode about three times. Once to cringe, critique, feel self-hatred..all that. Then, the second time I can listen, pay attention more. Finally, the third time I can watch my friend’s performances. I also like to see what actually made it into the show.
M: We have sweet group texts when the show airs.
S: I respect my colleagues’ work, so it’s nice to hear from them when they think I’ve hit the mark.
Favorite scene together?
M: The episode where Amy and Rosa take a trip to visit a police department that has shown interest in hiring Rosa. That’s the first time our characters really bonded, and we even made up a song that goes, “Diaz and Santiago…F- yeah!”
Favorite television shows of all time?
S: Seinfeld. I have good memories of watching that with my truck driver dad.
M: Cheers and Seinfeld too.
What do you guys binge watch?
S: Sherlock and Game of Thrones
M: House of Cards
Dream guest star on the show?
M: Amy Poehler. She visited the set once and was just a big ball of sunshine, saying hi to everyone, being super friendly. Unfortunately, Stephanie and I were star struck and became total creepsters. We just stared at her the whole time.
S: I’m still mad at myself for that.
Any other celebrities who you have geeked out to see?
M: At the Golden Globes I saw Amy Adams. We made eye contact, and I just kept staring too! I was telling myself to look away or do something else. Ah, I have to get better at that.