Gina Gershon: Who is Jake and Rosa’s idol Lt. Melanie Hawkins on Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

Gina Gershon smiles as Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins in Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Gina Gershon guest-starring as Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine sees Jake and Rosa meet their idol — Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins, played by guest star Gina Gershon.

You probably recognize Gershon, but if you can’t remember where from here’s a quick backgrounder on her career so far.

Gershon was born in LA into a Jewish family and grew up in LA’s San Fernando Valley, and first started acting when she was just 14.

She later moved to NYC and graduated with a BFA in drama and psychology/philosophy, before studying at the Circle in the Square Professional Theater School.

Despite always wanting to be an actress — and eventually becoming one — her first screen roles were as a dancer.

Andre Braugher's character Capt. Holt looks as Gina Gershon's character Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins walks through a door
Gershon’s Lieutenant Melanie Hawkins enters the room as Andre Braugher’s Capt. Holt looks on

Her first break came in 1986 when she got a bit part in Pretty in Pink, which then led to her getting bigger roles in movies like Cocktail with Tom Cruise and Sweet Revenge with Nancy Allen.

She has since gone on to work in dozens of films and TV series, with no major down time in her career in the past 30 years.

Her main big break came when she appeared as a predatory bisexual stripper in Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 classic film Showgirls.

She is also probably best known for fans for her roles in Face/Off, The Insider, Demonlover, P.S. I Love You, Five Minarets in New York, Killer Joe and as Donatella Versace in Lifetime’s House of Versace.

A talented musician, she has played the Jew’s harp on several songs, working with stars including the Scissor Sisters, Paul Simon and Christian McBride.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.

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