Craig Robinson may be embracing his inner python hunter in Peacock's new comedy Killing It, but the actor actually has a deep appreciation for the scaly creatures. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, The Office alum opened up about reuniting with Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor and longtime writer Luke Del Tredici for the "absurd" new series and conquering his fear of snakes.
In Killing It, Robinson plays Craig, a down-on-his-luck divorced dad who combats his own fear of snakes to try and get one of his elaborate business plans off the ground with the winnings from Florida's python bounty competition. Hearing the pitch from Goor and Del Tredici, Robinson told PopCulture the idea behind Killing It immediately stood out to him. "It was funny, it was absurd, it was interesting," he said. "I was like, 'Yeah, let's go with that. Let's see what happens.'"
Working with Goor and Del Tredici again after his portrayal of Doug Judy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a no-brainer for Robinson. "I trust those guys, so it was great," he said. "They're funny. They're great with story and it's a good time. So it was fun, it was exciting. I love collaborating with them, I love making them laugh."
When it came to working with his snake co-stars, Robinson also didn't have any hesitation. "About three years ago I got over my fear of snakes because I was in Australia with my band and we went to an animal sanctuary – I ended up holding snakes," he recalled. "I realized that the snakes don't mean me any harm. I've been lied to by the Bible and Indiana Jones. So ever since then, I've been cool ... I was looking forward to playing with some snakes."
Robinson's co-stars, including Claudia O'Doherty (Jillian G.), Rell Battle (Isaiah) and Scott MacArthur (Brock), had similarly fond feelings when it comes to their slithery castmates. "I like snakes because I hate rats," O'Doherty joked to PopCulture, "and snakes are rats' enemies, so I consider snakes to be allies. I love snakes." Battle chimed in, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." MacArthur noted, "I'm kind of a 'one foot in front of the other' kind of guy, so didn't have an opinion on snakes until I had one in my hands and then it was kind of like, 'Yeah, I like it.' Why wouldn't I like it?" Killing It is available to stream now on Peacock.