Stepping into the bullpen of the 99th precinct, Stephanie Beatriz—who plays the tough and competitive Detective Rosa Diaz on the Fox network crime comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine—has flashbacks to one night in an actual New York precinct before she flew to Los Angeles to film the pilot for the hit series.
“The night before I was supposed to fly out to L.A,. my bag got stolen and I had to go to the police precinct,” she explains. “And then when I got to our set, I was just really amazed. The attention to detail—down to nicks in the wood of the gate in the office—was the kind of stuff I had just seen at the real NYPD precinct. I guess it was a good thing that my bag got stolen; it didn’t feel so great when I was at a police precinct at 7 A.M., but it was actually really cool research.”
Not only does Beatriz think the set in L.A. could pass for a true New York precinct, she says that the cast has cop behavior down to a science. And for good reason: The entire group had to go through training sessions with ex-detectives (who are now advisers on the show) before they began filming. “We don’t want to take anybody out of it,” Beatriz says. “We want the focus to be on the fun and the comedy. It would suck if someone was like, ‘They aren’t holding the gun right!’”
Not all of Beatriz’s adjustments to Los Angeles came on camera, however. One of the biggest changes for the actress came when it was time for her to learn to drive. “I figured I was going to move and then maybe have like six months to learn,” she explains. “Everybody…helped me. I had a little schedule. It was like cramming for a major test.”