Jake Peraltais one of those heroes where it’s just as funny to see him fail as it is to see him succeed. As played by Andy Samberg on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Peraltais a cocky, competent cop, who also seems to have the diet and lifestyle of a child. He’s had a few heartbreaks this year, what with quickly falling in love with Eva Longoria’s defense attorney, only to have her leave him a few episodes later, but he always seems to land on his feet. We talked to Samberg about life as Brooklyn’s best (at least in his mind) cop.
What’s coming up for Jake this season?
We’re going to see an episode with him and his dad, who’s played by Bradley Whitford.
We all know he left Jake as a kid, so maybe he’s not the best dad?
Not the best dad…but certainly not without his charms.
Jake always has these incredibly detailed backstories for the personas he takes on for undercover work. Do you invent any of those, or does that all come out of the writers’ room?
Writers room. They’re really good, man. They write things in a way that it would seem like we were making it up because it feels really spontaneous and creative and insane, but it’s better than that. It makes us all look like we’re really cool and smart, but we’re not. They are.
Is there much improvisation on the show generally?
Every now and again I’ll come up with a really intricate zinger on set and work it into the show, but I have full faith in our writing team. They’re incredible.
The cast has such a strong ensemble, but most of you guys come from comedy backgrounds. When did you realize Andre Braugher, who had been known for drama, could be such a funny guy?
It was the first line of the first table read. And the whole room just died laughing, and we were like, oh, this is handled, that’s done.
He’s so good at deadpan.
He’s born to play that part. He’s such a seasoned brilliant actor. He brings such a different element to what could be a really one note performance, but is not. There’s nuance to his deadpan, there’s humanity to his deadpan. He can do no wrong right now. It’s really exciting to watch.
Is he at all like his character?
He’s got everyone fooled. They all think he’s a stone wall, but he’s actually just a sweetheart.
What’s been your favorite case on the show?
Probably Pontiac Bandit. It’s not fair because it’s been twice already, but I’ve just loved how those episodes have come out. I really really love the dynamic between Craig Robinson’s character and Jake, the sort of push and pull of hating a guy and wanting to be him while also begrudgingly really loving him and thinking that in another life they’d be friends. They really do enjoy a lot of the same things. They’re just on opposite sides of the law.
Well, and Jake would be sad if he ever ended up in jail, right?
I think if he did get put in jail, there’s a part of Jake that would be a little sad. It’s like if Batman every truly got the Joker.
Have you talked to the show’s creators much about Jake’s future?
Me and Dan [Goor] and Mike [Schur] have those conversations, certainly. It usually consists of them going, “You know, we’re thinking this could be this,” and I go, “That sounds great, you guys are really really smart, thank you for putting me in your show.”