The unintentional international artist
Even if today’s television audience is only aware of Joel Torre from the ABS-CBN top-rater 100 Days to Heaven, there is an older generation who remembers his very first step into the limelight in Peque Gallaga’s Oro, Plata, Mata in 1982. From his hometown in Bacolod, Joel eventually made the move to Manila and the rambunctious world of show business.
Through the years, he made his name first in the movies, then television when Filipino movies went into a slump, then in the indies, and now as part of an international market upsurge. Quality is what epitomizes Joel’s appearances no matter how brief, indicative of his “stick-to-it-iveness” while others his age have faded out of public attention.
His years since Oro have resulted in some 131 appearances in the likes of Batang West Side, Mumbaki, Bayaning Third World, Karnal, Init sa Magdamag, Tirad Pass as Aguinaldo, Jose Rizal as Ibarra, Tanging Yaman all of which have brought him five wins and 12 nominations from award-giving bodies. What is amazing is that he has never intentionally sought roles that would shove him into the limelight. When we ask him to elucidate on this and that film participation, he would at times laugh out saying that in this picture “I was dead in two minutes.”
It is certainly no surprise to those who know him well that he is now being rewarded with good fortune. There has been no incident of misconduct that has marred his reputation, and if ever there was any disorder in his personal life, Joel never gave the public any indication of it.