What has Benjamin Bratt been up to since leaving Law & Order?
Between 1995 and 1999, he portrayed Detective Rey Curtis on the hit crime procedural. Since his departure, he focused on both film and television. Just a year after he left the show, he snagged the role of Eric Matthews in Miss Congeniality. The movie became an instant classic and hit and surprisingly he didn’t return for its sequel.
For three years he portrayed Dr. Jake Reilly on Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. He joined The Cleaner as William Banks and starred in Modern Family as the recurring character Javier Delgado.
Bratt has made a name for himself in voiceover work in film. He voiced Manny in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and El Macho in Despicable Me 2. His role as Ernesto de la Cruz in Disney and Pixar’s Coco was groundbreaking.
“You come to a Pixar project when you’re invited, as a fan anyway, I have two kids and I’ve seen all of their movies,” he told Screen Rant. “And there’s no denying they’re master storyteller. That there are, at this moment, in this age, shining a light, a real rather bright light, on the beauty of the Mexican culture. It’s not only relief man. it’s just, I don’t know, I think it’s a game-changer, because what it will do is with all the power they have in their storytelling is reintroduce in a way this beautiful culture to a global community, and it will not only underscore that beauty but also share the connective tissue really that at the end of the day we’re all human beings. We all kind of traffic in the same wishes and desires. And it’s all relatable, so I’m really excited about that part of it.”
His most recent project is the television mini-series, DMZ, where he portrays Parco Delgado. The series takes place in a futuristic America and Manhattan becomes a demilitarized zone during a civil war.
Benjamin’s ‘Law & Order’ Exit
So why did Bratt leave Law & Order? It turns out, it was his choice. And he later appeared on the show once again in a single episode in 2009. His character was actually created to create tension between Jerry Orbach’s character, Detective Lennie Briscoe.
“Producers supposedly felt like the team of Briscoe and Noth’s Det. Mike Logan had become too buddy-buddy. (Of course, the off-screen clashes between Noth and series creator Dick Wolf might have had something to do with the actor’s departure, too.) But Curtis and Briscoe quickly became simpatico, making Noth’s exit seem all the more pointless,” Entertainment Weekly reported at the time.
Bratt said that he planned on returning occasionally, which he did not do. He said that his reason for his departure was to “spend more time with his family.” At the time, he was not married and did not have any children. He was dating Julia Roberts at the time, who guest-starred on the series 200th episode.