For This Brooklyn Nine-Nine Star, Social Media Is Like Smoking

Plus, the app that gives Chelsea Peretti a sense of freedom

Headshot of Jason Lynch


Age 37

Claim to fame Stars as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Sundays, 8:30 p.m. on Fox)

Base Los Angeles

Twitter @chelseaperetti

Adweek: How addicted are you to social media?

Chelsea Peretti: I've said on record, I'm waiting for some sort of charismatic leader to take me away from technology. But until that time, I do feel pretty powerless. I did a reading vacation with my boyfriend [Key & Peele's Jordan Peele] where we were just going to read books. I turned my phone off in the morning, and I think I went 40 minutes before I had to turn it back on. I was like, "I need to research something!"

How often are you on social media during a given day?

It's probably 70 percent [of the day]. I used to smoke cigarettes; anytime you're a little bored, you step outside and have a cigarette. Social media is like that. Any time there's any feeling of lacking in your life, you pop open some Web community for fulfillment.

Which platform do you go to first?

It rotates as things evolve. I tend to be a late adopter of things—like Twitter I was pretty late to—and then I get super obsessed with them. But now I've been using Snapchat.

Gina, your character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, is always on her phone. Are you actually texting during filming?

It depends on how complicated the scene is. If I'm in the background of a scene and I'm not speaking or needing to have a specific reaction to what's going on, frequently I will be texting or emailing. I heard that the people on The Office had computers that were dead for the first couple of seasons, and then they made them live so they were online shopping in the background of scenes all day.

What apps are you using right now?

Uber has definitely changed L.A. life forever because it gives you so much more mobility when there's traffic or parking issues. I'll walk somewhere and just know if I get tired or if I want to get groceries or do something, I can always Uber back. It gives you this incredible sense of flexibility and freedom.

What books are you reading?

The Circle [by Dave Eggers]. It touches on some of the stuff we're talking about, which is the ever-growing reach of technology.

How about TV?

My boyfriend got me into Big Brother. It's a parallel to Hollywood because it's this small pool of people that are all trapped together and making strategic alliances, even if they don't even like each other. And what keeps the show going season after season is that you can't predict who is going to win. You don't know if it's going to be the purely intellectual approach or the person who is very good at social relationships. It shows you that there's lots of different ways to win at whatever your game is.

Any other favorite shows?

There's a show on Nat Geo called The Legend of Mick Dodge, which I think is amazing. It's this older guy with a big white beard who lives in the woods, and he doesn't wear shoes. There are whole episodes that are just like, "Hey, where's my dog?" And then he finds his dog. Or he'll be like, "I want to see if I can find some mushrooms in the woods!" And then he does. Those are plotlines!

How do you stumble upon that?

I honestly don't remember, but if you Google Image search him, it's the most satisfying thing you can do!

This story first appeared in the Oct. 5 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.