Andre Braugher recently picked up his seventh Emmy nomination -- and first in a comedy category -- for his supporting work as stoic precinct captain Ray Holt on the Fox ensemble cop show "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
The series' first season gave Braugher a chance to display his fine sense of comic timing, a gift he showcased often in a recent video chat at the Times' studio. Braugher, though, downplayed his abilities -- but even the act of doing this managed to highlight his dry sense of humor.
"I'm the string, they're the kites," Braugher said of his improv work with the show's comedic cast. "I'm really a believer in the script. I don't want to embarrass myself by jumping out here with professional comedians trying to catch up. They're much too swift for me. The best I can do at this moment really is to ride the rapids and try to stay afloat."
At this moment, right?
"Yeah," Braugher said, not missing a beat. "Two years from now I'm going to swagger in here wearing a porkpie hat, smoking a cigar and talking about comedy gold."
Braugher touched on many topics during our time together -- his thoughts on "Homicide: Life on the Street" as an office comedy, his "Nine-Nine" costars, thoughts on the upcoming season -- as well as proudly admitting that, yes, he has been known to sing duets with his dog on the set, "little howls," that sort of thing.
"R&B," Braugher elaborated when asked for a set list. "There's the whole Beyonce album, when that came out. We do a lot of Anthony Hamilton, some James Blake."
Said "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" lead Andy Samberg of his costar: "He understands timing; he not only finds jokes but accentuates them. He's one of the fastest learners I've ever seen."
Watch the chat and you'll see Braugher didn't have a steep learning curve.