It’s a busy Saturday evening and Joel Torre is at JT’s Manukan on Ortigas Avenue in San Juan. “It’s near Valencia St. and Sampaguita Pictures. Malapit doon sa kung nagtitinda ng maraming parol,” Joel clarifies, as if the restaurant that he owns needs elaboration. JT’s is a familiar landmark among those who love Inasal. [firstpara]
He admits that due to his busy schedule, he cannot be present at JT’s two branches (the other one is along Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City) every day of the week. But this night, he has made an exception. “I have guests,” he says. In a span of 30 minutes, Joel, the gracious host is able to make time for an interview, entertain friends, and talk with a Japanese director. In between, he supervises the restaurant operations, gives instructions to the waiters.
His role tonight is similar to the female characters’ in Ang Beerhouse, a comedy which has the Pinoy beerhouse culture as a backdrop. Joel is the main producer of this film by director Jon Red. To fund the project, Joel talked to friends to invest and to take several TV projects. FHM.com.PH sat down with newbie producer to find out the dreams and hopes. Para nga siyang GRO na tumaybol sa amin! But he didn’t charge a cent!
How did Ang Beerhouse happen?
The concept was born right at this very spot! Originally, it was supposed to be a TV show. Noong tumagal, naging movie na. Jon (Red), the director, and his brother had an idea about a beerhouse. ‘Maraming kuwento sa loob.’ Parang rite of passage sa kanilang magkapatid. Our group of friends got excited. We pitched ideas. Sabi namin, ‘Ituloy na natin!’
But the film is not just about a beerhouse per se right?
It’s about life inside a beerhouse. But at the same time, it’s a microcosm of what’s happening today. In the world of the beerhouse, you’ll see the different characters in society: the corrupt people, the pimps, the women who seem to be helpless.
Our group agreed that women should be depicted positively in the film, kailangang may empowerment. In the beerhouse, you think it’s the women who are victims. But sometimes, it’s the females who have the upper hand. Lalo na kapag nalasing na ang mga lalaki and the men spend one month’s worth of salary in just one night. The guys come out of the beerhouse saying, ‘Ano ba yung ginawa ko?’
INTERVIEW BY: GAY DOMINGO
PHOTOS BY: MITCH MAURICIO