Exclusive: Joe Lo Truglio Talks ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ & ‘Beef’ Collaboration

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Joe Lo Truglio. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Scott Schafer/FOX
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Joe Lo Truglio. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Scott Schafer/FOX

The FOX series Brooklyn Nine-Nine is blessed with solid writing and an engaging cast of characters, which includes The State alum Joe Lo Truglio. One of the squad’s more eccentric and amiable members, Detective Charles Boyle (The State veteran Joe Lo Truglio), partook in a clandestine coupling with colleague Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), much to Jake’s (Andy Samberg) horror. Now that their casual relationship is out in the open, one wonders if Charles and Gina will return to the scene of their love crimes or permanently part ways.

Along with his work on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lo Truglio also co-wrote (with The State compadre Michael Ian Black) and stars in the downright funny digital series Beef, which is a cross between Judge Judy and the most gregarious butcher shop you’re bound to visit (Christopher Meloni is the judge and butcher shop owner in Beef).

I talked to Mr. Truglio about both projects during our brief talk.

I’m hooked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and one of the many things I love about the show is that each of the cast members get their moment to shine. These are really well written characters.

I agree. That’s a big strength  of the show – the ensemble cast. And specifically the characters that Daniel J. Goor and Michael Schur created. We were very lucky that in the first season, because we have terrific creators, to have characters that were very well defined from the get-go and were able to be kind of put up against each other and – they just work really well together. You can very easily see and get an idea of what these people stand for. And that goes a long way in creating all the crazy scenarios we end up getting stuck in.

It’s pretty cool that Stephen Root plays Charles Boyle’s dad and Sandra Bernhard is Gina’s mom.

Stephen Root is one of my favorite character actors of all time. And so the entire cast was over the moon when he signed on and Sandra Bernhard who – The King of Comedy is one of my favorite movies of all time!

And so we’ve just been really, really lucky with the caliber of guest talent that has taken interest and agreed to do the show with us. Yeah – Stephen is incredible.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Boyle's father (guest star Stephen Root, L) and Gina's mother (guest star Sandra Bernhard, R) meet in the "Jake and Sophia" episode airing Sunday, Nov. 9 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Eddy Chen/FOX
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Boyle’s father (guest star Stephen Root, L) and Gina’s mother (guest star Sandra Bernhard, R) meet in the “Jake and Sophia” episode airing Sunday, Nov. 9 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Eddy Chen/FOX

There’s also a ton of chemistry among the cast members on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Did that come out of the great writing or did it basically grow from the actors really getting to know each other? 

It’s a combination of both. You’re starting off with talented people, many of whom had experience working in the industry and working with other actors.

When you take the fact that everyone’s down to earth – (they’re) cool people that appreciate having a job and (understand) how rare it is to have one. As an actor you start to relax a little bit and enjoy the moment and what you’re doing – and then from there you have these great words that the writers are giving you.

So it’s a combination of appreciating the spot that you’re in, the experience you’ve had up until that point, and the writing.

How did your new digital series Beef come about?

Yeah, that particular series I co-wrote with my comedy brethren Michael Ian Black. I was on The State a long time ago and that was really the beginnings of understanding how important it was to collaborate for comedy and how much comedy benefits from that (collaboration).

With Beef, the writing consisted of Mike and I taking the leap from what other State members had set the bar with Reno 911. We just took the scenario of a case and wrote it in paragraph form. When our amazing improv actors and comedians came in, (we) had them read the paragraph.

We threw in a few jokes for them so they weren’t left high and dry but in terms of the writing we wrote about 15 different scenarios, in addition to the character histories of Lou (Christopher Meloni) and his family.

But the cases themselves were paragraphs we gave the actors and they jumped right into it. They really made the series what it is. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world of comedy with the amount of amazing talent we have on Beef.

Beef is currently available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

On tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX, 8:30 pm et/pt), the precinct is in lockdown mode during Thanksgiving night, with Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) in charge of minding the store. The always organized Detective Amy Santiago (organized, that is, unless she’s late due to a bank mishap) is less than confident about Jake’s managerial abilities, and of course chaos ensues in the department.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Detectives Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, L) and Peralta (Andy Samberg, R) are on lockdown mode on Thanksgiving night in the "Lockdown" episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Sunday, Nov. 16 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Detectives Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, L) and Peralta (Andy Samberg, R) are on lockdown mode on Thanksgiving night in the “Lockdown” episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Sunday, Nov. 16 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: John Fleenor/FOX

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