By Marcus Jones
This week WSN was lucky enough to talk to comedian Chelsea Peretti, who plays Gina on FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and has a new comedy special that premiered on Friday, Nov. 14 on Netflix titled “One of the Greats.” Peretti shared some thoughts on her television character, the tropes of comedy specials, and her true feelings about certain dog owners.
WSN: How did you get involved with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and has your role gotten bigger as the show goes on?
Chelsea Peretti: I think that they really developed [Gina] and her relationships with other people in the office and within this season her friendship with Amy is developing, as you know, her and Charles are having their drama, so it’s nice. No one is an island in this ensemble, everyone is interconnected and it makes the comedy have a nice, deeper context
WSN: Exactly, and so I know was you came from writing for “Parks and Recreation” to acting on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and you do standup as well, your special “One of the Greats” is out this Friday on Netflix. Out of TV writing, acting, and stand-up do you have any preferences for which one you enjoy the most? Does it change at all?
CP: You know, they are all complimentary and I’ve felt like I have to make choice. I think stand-up; people forget that stand-up is both writing and acting because you are writing your material and then performing it, so I’ve never really let anything, any of those categories fall off completely. I really like all three and I think we are in a time where a lot of people do all three like Louis CK or Tina Fey, there are a lot of people who do it all.
WSN: Right and you, you’re great at it. So how much is Gina from Brooklyn Nine-Nine like you?
CP: I think there are a lot of similarities. I don’t know, I think in some ways she is based off of me and some ways she is a fictional character that the writers continue to develop. There is definitely crossover. Like we’re both hilarious, we both are on our phones all the time, but I think I’m probably a little more self-doubting than she is.
WSN: Right, so what can we expect from the Netflix special?
CP: Well you can expect some great stand-up, I really feel like the stand-up is solid and strong and then I also wanted to poke fun at some of the contrived aspects of comedy specials and particularly the reaction shots where they cut from a joke to someone in the audience and you have them kind of looking confused, so my special I wanted to kind of do a re-imagining of that and make fun of it and put like dogs in the audience and different Easter eggs that I kind of wrote out in advance, and so we have that whole different level of humor throughout the—I almost said episode, throughout the special. So, I’m really excited for people to see that. I think it is going to be fun to watch.
WSN: Yeah I’m excited for it. So I watched some of your stand-up and I saw the trailer for the Netflix special and I wanted to know are you a dog person because it seems like you have a beef with a lot of dog owners? There is the three-legged dog bit from earlier, and in the trailer you mention how owners will try to convince you their monster of a dog is nice.
CP: It is a great point you bring up. I’m a dog lover, but look I never said I was consistent, I have issues, but I think as a dog lover certain things drive you nuts like lately I just can’t take it when people have their dog off leash
WSN: Oh my god yes
CP: and they run around cars and stop signs, and you are trusting a lot in the world that your dog is not going to hear some loud sound and run off or you don’t think some other dog is going to get reckless and you dog gets—you know I don’t understand the mentality of some dog owners and I think the three-legged dog bit I was making fun of the mentality of that person who gets a three-legged dog and then they want to be seen as a saint, obviously there are exaggerations for the joke, but that kind of people can sometimes be the worst
WSN: Yeah definitely. Question – should I catch up on Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood? I’ve seen you’ve been tweeting about it and that one Vine you shared was so hilarious.
CP: Yes, it is so sick. The one where Moniece calmly grabs the girl’s hair from across the table, and the only thing you know about her from the start is that she has a restraining order out against her, and then in this scene it is like this girl keeps pushing her and pushing her. I’m like you know she has a restraining order, why are you pushing this person?
WSN: Yeah, did you learn any tips from that fight?
CP: I don’t know, but that is like my fantasy. I love women that are calm under fire, like Robin Wright on “House of Cards” or “Kill Bill” Uma Thurman; that is who I wish I was. I’ll just sit there and cry if something goes wrong
WSN: That would be interesting to see on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Like I feel like that would be something Rosa would do, be super calm as she grabbed someone, but it would be really funny to see Gina do that if she ever runs into her old dancing team again.
CP: Yeah I would love that. I mean I definitely do that on “Kroll Show.” I definitely draw from reality shows for this character Farley that I do on his show and so I get my violence out there.
WSN: That’s awesome. Are there any other projects you want to talk about?
CP: Um no I’m just sitting here doing a Google Image search of Cindy Crawford’s daughter because I saw some headline that she looks just like her and you know what, I can confirm
WSN: Well thanks. It has been great talking to you.
CP: Yeah likewise. Remember to Google Cindy Crawford’s daughter and I’ll talk to you later.
Marcus Jones is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.