Pretty Rosebud promises to crush stereotypes as it tracks a woman trying to find her way, and thanks to his many roles in Spanish and English films, we already know that Oscar Torre has got what it takes when it comes to movies. Now, as the actor/director prepares for his next big release, The Boatman, we took a minute to sit down with him and get the scoop on where he’s been and where he’s going. He was gracious enough to talk to us while on set filming, and he had plenty of exciting things to say about his past projects, as well as some great news about future endeavors. You won’t want to miss this…
Tell us about Pretty Rosebud. What was directing it like?
It’s the story of a career woman drowning in an unhappy marriage. It’s about her journey to discover who she truly is, and the mistakes she makes along the way. The film deals with overcoming family expectations, religious beliefs, and societal taboos. I was looking for something to direct, and my wife, Chuti Tiu, had written a wonderful script. Initially, I was not planning on directing it, but eventually I felt that I had the right sensibility and luckily she agreed with me, because not only had she written the screenplay, but she also stars in the film. It was a 19-day shoot, but I was blessed to have a great actress for my lead (whom I happen to be married to) and also a wonderful cast of people who either I or Chuti had worked with in the past. They were all willing to take this journey with us. Although I didn’t know what it was going to be like directing my wife, I couldn’t have asked for a more prepared leading lady. I joke with her that the only time she has ever listened to me was while we were shooting this film.
Now, you also are starring in The Boatman. What can you tell us to get us excited about that?
It’s a film that was directed by Greg Morgan, and I’m very excited to have been a part of it. I play the lead role, Miguel, a ‘Coyote’ with a perfect record. A man so adept at sneaking immigrants across the border that none of his ‘mojados,’ his people, have ever been caught. Despite this perfect record, Miguel is no stranger to death. His nickname, ‘El Maldito’, hints of what we will soon see for ourselves, for Miguel seems haunted by the dead and dying.
We were shooting in the desert, so we always had to keep our eyes open for rattlesnakes. A couple of them decided to visit the set at different times, but in reality nothing too crazy happened while we were shooting.
Who do you consider to be your greatest influences?
My parents are my greatest influences. They taught me the difference between right and wrong, and the value of hard work.
Well spoken. You’ve done some comedy in your day, how is serious acting different from comedy? Do you prefer one or the other?
Not necessarily. I enjoy playing great roles, regardless of the genre. I just want to be part of a great story. I go about prepping for comedy in much the same way that I prep for a drama. In fact, when doing drama, I look for the humor, and when I’m doing comedy the humor is already there, so I look for the drama. Most actors will tell you that comedy is more difficult than drama because everybody’s sense of humor is different, so for me it’s important to anchor the humor in reality and find the drama. In many ways that’s what makes the comedy work.
What does being Latino mean to you?
To me specifically, I was born and raised in Miami, therefore I grew up speaking both English and Spanish. I am grateful that my parents taught me early on not only to love the country that I was born in, but also be proud of my cultural roots and not ever lose them, because that’s what makes me who I am.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently shooting a film in the Dominican Republic – It’s an action/comedy. I play one of the lead roles. Unfortunately, the studio has not announced it yet, so I can’t disclose anything, but it’s going to be a fun ride!
Well, we’re excited to get more news soon hopefully! We don’t want to keep you away from your work, but we have one last question. Do you have any messages for your fans?
I’d really like to thank them for all their support always. It is not lost on me that thanks to their support I get to be part of all these amazing projects. I’m very excited about all my films that are being released in 2015, including Pretty Rosebud, which will have a one week theatrical engagement at the Arena Theater in Hollywood opening on January 16th before being released February 3rd on cable VOD and soon after on iTunes.
Well, you heard the man! Be sure to check out Pretty Rosebud in the New Year (you can also visit the film’s site here).