Joel Torre definitely left a mark on movie audiences with his role as Tatang in the crime thriller On The Job. “I must have done something correct,” he said when asked how he feels that Tatang has been considered one of the most controversial characters of the Erik Matti-helmed hit.
Even before it was screened in the country last August, On The Job had already reaped commendations from critics abroad when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival last May. “That’s the good thing about On The Job actually. All the critics who love watching movies only have positive things to say about it. So damay na kami doon, it’s all a rippling effect,” he said.
The best thing about OTJ he thinks is the fact that it has rendered a lot of feisty critics silent in terms of spewing criticisms. “No matter where you look, even the toughest critic has something good to say. Kasi of course you have to nitpick and say something and say something bad about it otherwise you’re not a critic. But hey, there’s more positive than negative, I mean it’s the first time that I hear people say, ‘Yeah that’s a good one.’ Things have been favorable, critique-wise for the movie. We’re very happy,” he said.
For the first time, the well-respected actor spoke up about OTJ’s failure to be the country’s bet for the Foreign Language Film category at the 86th Academy Awards when a lot of fans and critics have already praised the movie. “Ako? I’m just surprised not disappointed. I haven’t seen Transit, which I want to. But it [OTJ] was the popular choice, [but then] there’s a jury choice. It’s their judgment call,” the Honesto star said.
Transit, the official Philippine bet to the prestigious award-giving body which failed to make it to the shortlist, was produced by director Paul Soriano.
“I’m just surprised that it didn’t get the nod which doesn’t follow dahil ang mahal mahal for you to sell your film abroad just to push it for a nomination, but this one [OTJ] there was already an American company that picked it up. It could’ve been a wiser choice, financially,” he reiterated, adding that, “If there’s a fighting chance, this could be it.”
An October report of Variety Magazine said that Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to Matti’s acclaimed crime drama OTJ with the remake said to be written, directed and produced by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur and produced by Scott Stuber.
At the end of the day though, despite OTJ being a popular choice, Joel said everything still boiled down to Film Academy of the Philippines’ vote which happened to be for the Jasmine Curtis-Smith-starrer flick, Transit.