Up Close and Personal With Benjamin
Bratt His Private Life
Part 2: Benjamin Bratt's Role
as Husband and Father
And Other Thoughts
Benjamin Bratt co-starred with Sandra Bullock in
"Miss Congeniality." Courtesy Photo
ecap of Credits & Background: Benjamin Bratt has been
a successful actor for over two decades, winning an Independent Spirit
Award for his work as producer and star of "La Mission,"
written and directed by his younger brother Peter. The film also
earned a Best Indie Film nomination from the NAACP and
GLAAD, as well as multiple Imagen Awards for Best Picture
and Best Actor. His work in Piñero received high
praise while "Traffic" received five Academy Award
nominations and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast.
Bratt has over 25 films to his credit some of which include:
"The River Wild," "Blood In, Blood Out," "Clear
and Present Danger," "Miss Congeniality," "Love
In The Time of Cholera," "Snitch," and did the voice
of Manny in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs."
Bratt as Captain Ramirez in "Clear and Present
Danger." Courtesy Photo
Bratt first became most recognizable when
he co-starred with the late Jerry Orbach in the iconic "Law
& Order" series. Other television credits include: "The
Cleaner," "Private Practice," "Modern
Family," and "24: Live Another Day."
L-R: Peter Bratt directed his brother Benjamin in
"La Mission," for which he won an Independent Spirit Award.
Bratt in his award-wining role as Che Rivera in
"La Mission." Courtesy Photo
Bratt, the son of a Peruvian mother
and a father of English, German, and Austrian descent,
grew up in San Francisco where he attended Lowell High School,
continuing his education at the University of California at Santa
Barbara and received theatre training at the American Conservatory
Theater in San Francisco. He is married to actress Taliso
Soto, has two children, Sophia and Mateo, and resides
in Los Angeles.
1, Bratt discussed his method for developing the character of
the Colombian drug lord Robert Alcaino in his latest film,
"The Infiltrator," directed by Brad Furman and
written by his mother Ellen Brown Furman. The cast includes Bryan
Cranston, Lara Decaro, Juliet Aubrey, Olympia Dukakis, John Leguizamo,
Simon Andreu, Ruben Ochandiano, Joseph Gilgun, Yul Vasquez, Diane Kruger,
and Elena Anaya.
Part 2, is a continuation of a recent interview
conducted by several select journalists. The following has been edited
for content and continuity for print purposes.
Picking out a pumpkin from a local pumpkin
Did you relate to the family aspect of your character
of Colombian drug lord Robert Alcaino and undercover federal agent Bob
Mazur's character of Bob Musella?
Bratt: That parallel was quite easy for me. I am a shamelessly
doting father. I have a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son and
am in love with both of them as much as I'm in love with my wife. I
have to be honest. It takes a lot to get me up in the morning to go
to work. I fantasize about retiring.
Journalists: No. Don't do that! (Laughter)
Bratt: (Laughing) I don't think that's really
possible. You gotta' put food on the table. I love working. I love actors.
I love creating with other talented people. That said, being a family
man, being there for my kids in these formative years, is irreplaceable.
I've seen too much fallout from too many other families where one parent
or the other has made the decision, not to be judgmental, to not be
there and the result often is not pretty. So, I want my kids to grow
up with the memory of actually having me there most days and so far,
we've been very lucky. For the last decade or more I've been fortunate
to only be away for short spurts of time, so I'm able to spend most
of my time with my family.
Benjamin Bratt with his beautiful wife Talisa Soto.
Bratt goes off with his son on a shopping adventure.
What brings out your passion for a project?
Bratt: My personal passion comes out when I'm associated
with projects that, beyond just the work, have an element of love to
them. I like working alongside people who share a similar life perspective
on the artistic process. Roles that give you the opportunity to develop
a character with complexities and three-dimensionality don't often come
around, especially for a man of color, so when they appear you have
to seize them and celebrate them.
What's the craziest thing you ever did in a movie?
Bratt: The craziest thing I ever did in a movie was
in a film called "Piñero," where I had one friend
this is all in the realm of the film, not in real life
who was shooting me up with cocaine, another shooting me up with heroin
in the other arm, while getting a blow job from an unnamed woman. So
I had three sensory experiences going at once, if you will. (Laughter)
That's not a normal day in my house. (Laughter) Nor was it a
normal day in any working environment I've ever been in before or since.
So that probably qualifies as the craziest thing I've ever done on film.
Someone showed me a clip of that out of context recently, the director
of that film, my dear friend Leon Ichaso. I think for a moment
he posted it on Instagram and I said, "What the fuck are
you doing?" (Laughter) "That's positively pornographic
out of context. Please remove it," which he did. (Laughter)
Have you come across a project that you would
like to direct?
Bratt: I really love performing and while I have an
appreciation for directing and while within any given scene I'm working
on with another actor or director I can sense if something is wrong
or off, and might have an idea of how to fix it, I don't believe I possess
the overall scope it takes to direct or to steer a narrative from beginning,
middle to the end. It's a huge responsibility and you really have to
answer to one hundred people or more at any given moment. Having watched
my brother do it, and other friends of mine, including Brad (Furman)
do it, it's stressful and I want to keep my hair. (Laughter)
We want you to keep your hair too, so just keep on
doing what you're doing.
Bratt: Thanks. I'll remember that. (Laughter)