In Loot’s “Mr. Congeniality,” episode 4, Benjamin Bratt makes an appearance that both plays up his romantic reputation and slyly parodies the bizarre nature of cameos in general.

This episode’s title alludes to Bratt’s part in the landmark action romance Miss Congeniality. Molly (Maya Rudolph), a frazzled heroine, has vowed to stay away from men from the outset. Unfortunately, she is only human, and her impulses are becoming uncontrollable. She heads to an exclusive wellness retreat, like any affluent philanthropist would do, to get over it. Molly feels at ease and everything is going great until someone shows up late for the meditation practice. Let’s introduce Benjamin Bratt.

Benjamin Bratt’s cameo plays on his history of advocacy.

“On the way here, my motorcycle broke down,” the Poker Face star recalls with a smirk. The final mile required me to haul it.” Molly reacts differently to the idea of Bratt towing a motorcycle; she looks at him as though she’s witnessing the mysteries of the cosmos being revealed. (This is where Rudolph’s mastery of physical humor and outrageous portrayal of feminine lust, akin to her amazing Prince cover band Princess, really shine through.)

“Hello, Molly,” he says, keeping his mischievous smile intact as he walks up to her with one arm crossed over his head.

Bratt’s objective isn’t to stand out from the start of the show, which opens with the sensual R&B hit “I Know What You Want” by Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, no less.

out but to fully engross himself in the Loot universe. Though cameos aren’t always integrated into the story and usually just have to make you laugh in one moment, Bratt wants to be Molly’s real love interest. And he executes it flawlessly.

As a fan of Bratt’s, Molly is overjoyed—and a little bit aroused—that he will be her meditation companion. However, Loot defies our expectations by making him appreciate her charitable endeavors just as much as she does. Both Molly and Bratt are in disbelief that they are speaking. Genuine excitement and trepidation are present when Bratt relates things about Molly that only a devoted fan would be aware of.

regarding the speech she gave in the first-season finale. Their relationship is really captivating. Bratt’s status as the ultimate sex symbol is used by Loot: What could be more attractive than a man who truly loves what they do and who can drag a motorcycle a mile without getting tired?

This is also where being somewhat more aware about Bratt’s personal life is useful. Okay, so that’s his jawline, but this essay he wrote about the wisdom of abuelas for Esquire is even more impressive. His breakthrough Law & Order role should be Peruvian American, as he particularly requested. He is a fervent supporter of Latinx and Indigenous representation on film. (His mother is of Quechua origin and was born in Peru.) He has embraced difficult and surprising parts, such as Miguel Piñero, the poet, in the 2001 film Piñero, which John Leguizamo declined to play after discovering the artist’s bisexuality. On the documentary Dolores, directed by his brother Peter and featuring activist Dolores Huerta, Bratt served as a consultant producer. The list is endless.

By He plays into the idea that he might fall in love with one of his fans, capitalizing on his reputation as a charming leading man with heart. (Imaginary millionaires: They are no different from us!)

Comedy gold can be found in self-parodies, from Al Pacino to Michael Cera.
A celebrity portraying themselves is most effective when they are bringing their persona to life. As these performers present ridiculous, extremely aggressive, or hilariously out-of-touch versions of themselves, camp is very much in action. That’s exactly what makes these performances entertaining; they add a surprising aspect that turns what we assume to be true into something unexpected.

These cameos are lucrative for a lot of actors. Legendary actor Al Pacino hammers it up to infinite degrees in Jack and Jill, taking his insane energy to new heights as an ardent Dunkin’ supporter. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck rejoin with Dogma director Kevin Smith for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where they play off their well-known friendship with hyper-bro parodies of themselves while filming an action-packed Good Will Hunting sequel. In Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler gets thrashed by the animal-lover Bob Barker. The charming and sophisticated James Marsden most recently indulges his egotistical side during his Jury Duty stint. Michael Cera in This Is the End is arguably the most outrageous example. His on-screen character, particularly prior to the 2013 release of the movie, was a stronghold of charming nerdy purity. On the other hand, Cera played against type in This Is the End, showcasing her as a sex fiend addicted to cocaine.

Benjamin Bratt as himself lays on the charm offensive. 

The two television shows that have most influenced Bratt’s public image are Miss Congeniality and Law & Order. Bratt played Detective Rey Curtis on Law & Order for four years. Detective Curtis was a devoted Catholic who did his best to uphold the law. He was pleasant and friendly, but he was also not afraid to show off his inner bad boy. He was punished multiple times for losing his anger. Additionally, he plays Eric Matthews, an FBI agent, as Gracie Hart’s love interest in Sandra Bullock’s Miss Congeniality. Bratt turns out to be the ideal romantic partner for a romantic comedy, providing much of the charm that would serve him well for many years to come.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s 24 greatest romantic comedies that will make you fall in love
Bratt’s contribution to the Loot challenges Our hopes for the star-studded cameo. Viewers have become accustomed to seeing inflated characters act in ways we wouldn’t anticipate seeing them do; one amusing example is Anna Faris portraying herself as a drug-addled supporter of gun violence in Keanu Reeves. But it starts to feel less like a surprise and more like an inevitable phenomenon when performers playing insane versions of themselves become the standard for the celebrity cameo. Bratt’s delivers us a real surprise and a genuine thrill by shattering this mold. Whether or not you are familiar with Bratt’s persona, the true brilliance of his performance lies in your ability to accept that his role is a fairly true representation of who he is in real life.

The best is saved until last by Bratt.
As he starts to show a more conceited side while courting Molly, Bratt’s charm offensive starts to show cracks towards the end of the episode. Particularly while attempting to entice Molly, Bratt just can’t help but bring up his job. Molly’s beauty is compared to “the Russian tundra at twilight,” he remarks, adding that he “just filmed there.” His part twists the basic setup of the love fantasy Molly is searching for with subtlety, something that is absent from the great majority of celebrity cameos. It also plays beautifully into the image of the egotistical actress. Bratt nevertheless treads carefully to maintain his attractiveness as a potential suitor for Molly. Bratt adds his own unique perspective to the usually heightened

expectations of a famous cameo, carefully hinting without overdoing it that he’s just another egotistical actor, and giving a subtle, nuanced performance that manages to keep him hilarious and unforgettable.

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