Raul Esparza steps down as Assistant District Attorney on Law & Order: SVU

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Actor Raul Esparza has quit Law & Order: SVU after six seasons.

Esparza, who portrays Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba on TV, resigned from his position on the small screen during an episode of SVU that aired in America on Wednesday (07Feb18), and now he has confirmed he won’t be back.

“I’ve done six seasons, I felt like it was time to go,” the 47-year-old told Entertainment Weekly. “I had explored a lot of what I thought Barba was about. I just felt it was time to move on.
“I was also feeling like the role has changed over the years in a way that has been an interesting experience for me. I’m a theatre guy, so it’s like having a script in front of you that keeps changing every time you go to do it.

“The learning process of how roles grow over a period of time with a series has been kind of fascinating, and I just felt I had reached the end of what I wanted to explore where they were writing.”
But the popular drama’s producers opted not to kill off his character – just in case Raul decides to return to the show in the future.

“It’s possible that there’s a life for him as the series goes on,” the actor added. “I’m glad they left that door open.”

 

Longtime castmate Mariska Hargitay offered up a farewell to the actor on Twitter shortly after Wednesday’s episode aired, writing: “One of the great honors of my life is to have shared the screen with the incredible scene partner, beautiful friend, giant heart, brilliant artist, kindest of men @RaulEEsparza. #SVU has been graced and great with you in it. Family always gets to come home… come home soon.”

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