La vida local

Oscar Torre: Miami boy makes it big in Hollywood


Oscar Torre is living the dream. He’s a working actor.

TV audiences may have seen him in the Jimmy Smits-led drama Cane, playing a street-smart Cuban immigrant. He’s also guest starred in The Mentalist, CSI: Miami, Cold Case and NCIS. In 2013, Torre hung with the big-screen boys as a police chief in The Hangover III. And in just last month alone, the Miami native had two films playing in limited release, the crime thriller Eenie Meenie Miney Moe and his directorial debut, Pretty Rosebud, about a woman torn between being a good wife and a bad girl. The screenplay was written by wife, actress Chuti Tiu ( The Internship, TV’s Miami Medical, the upcoming Rampart).

We talked to Torre, who grew up in the Gables area and graduated from Brito Miami Private, about his recent success:

You have a lot of projects going on. Do you prefer acting to directing?

In a perfect world, I’d direct a film every couple of years and act the rest of the time. As a director you’re responsible for the entire project, not just your role. I really enjoy that. Seeing my vision come to life and know that I have a say from the colors of the walls to what the actors are wearing to where I place the camera to choosing a song. As an actor, I like to do a lot of research about the person I’m playing, learn as much as I can about his world and then make it mine.

What’s next?

I’m starring in and directing a short film that I wrote and my wife will play the other lead role called Man/Woman. I’m also starring in a film that I co-wrote, Lunarticking. It’s an emotional horror story, a mixture of The Shining and King of Comedy meets Office Space. The main character is about to turn 40 and feels like he hasn’t accomplished anything with his life.

How is L.A. vs. Miami?

Los Angeles is much bigger and traffic is worse, although Miami is pretty bad as well! Out west, everything seems to be far away; it’s a very big city. When I’m home seeing family, I love to drink my Cuban coffee at any time and in 15 minutes hear about everything that is going on.

How is working with your wife?

I knew I was getting an excellent actress, but I didn’t know how she would take directions from her husband. I joke with her that while on the set, it was the only time she’s ever listened to me! It was also great that she had written the script. Whenever I had any doubts about what she was trying to say in a scene, I could just wake her up in the middle of the night and ask her [laughs].

What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into showbiz?

Don’t wait for someone else to give you a job. Work on your craft, take classes, get involved in the theater, get together with some friends who are equally passionate, write your stories, pick up a camera and shoot your films. If you choose this career because you think it’s glamorous and you want to be rich and famous, then do something else.

Who are some of your favorite actors?

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone, especially from the first two Rocky films. It made me believe that if somebody like Rocky Balboa could end up being champion of the world, anything is possible. Later, it was definitely [Al] Pacino and [Robert] De Niro, their commitment. I’ve read their biographies a million times. When I’m feeling a little lazy, I read about their preparation, and it reminds me to push myself.

How was working on the “Hangover III”? A blast?

I had been a fan of the first two films; I never imagined that I would be part of it. Working with the guys was a lot of fun; they are so good in these roles. It wasn’t hard to believe the situation and just have fun while I was trying to intimidate them!

Madeleine Marr

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity birthdays on July 22

    Actor Orson Bean is 86. Actress Louise Fletcher is 80. Actor Terence Stamp is 76. Game show host Alex Trebek is 74. Singer George Clinton is 73. Singer Bobby Sherman is 71. Actor Danny Glover is 68. Singer Don Henley is 67. Comedian-director Albert Brooks is 67. Composer Alan Menken is 65. Actor Willem Dafoe is 59. Actor David Spade is 50. Actor John Leguizamo is 50. Actor Rhys Ifans is 47. Singer Rufus Wainwright is 41. Actress Franka Potente is 40. Actress Selena Gomez is 22.

LeAnn Rimes at the Luli Fama at Swim Week at the Raleigh.

    La vida local

    LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian spotted at Swim Week, Mario Lopez parties on yacht

    LeAnn Rimes was impressed by the skimpy swimwear at the Luli Fama presentation at the Raleigh Sunday. She attended along with husband and LeAnn & Eddie costar Eddie Cibrian.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Dwayne Johnson attends a photocall for "Hercules" at Trafalgar Square on July 2, 2014 in London, England.

    The movie scene

    The Rock: He really is Hercules

    Dwayne Johnson is only human. Better known as The Rock, the former University of Miami football star turned pro wrestler and actor suffered a series of major injuries last year four weeks before filming began on Hercules, out Friday.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category