“It’s important to be diverse when you’re a freelancer,” says Jonathan Torrens about the many hats he wears. The 42-year old P.E.I native’s 25-plus years in the entertainment industry include 26 on-camera credits: everything from his seven-year run on the Emmy-award winning Street Cents to his current longstanding role as J-Roc in the worldwide hit Trailer Park Boys. His diversity extends offscreen as well: he’s a writer, producer, director, radio host and more.
“There’s a synergy, in the variety of work keeping me engaged and in a market this size, having to do numerous things in order to keep going.”
He gladly chose this smaller market, returning to the Maritimes after a stint in L.A. “I remember the day that the things I used to find suffocating and limiting about my home became comforting and familiar… Once the ‘I have to move home’ gene kicked in, I really didn’t care what I did for a living. It’s just so interesting when you make a decision for the right reasons, the universe rewards you – because work has flourished.”
Torrens hangs his hatwear in Truro, N.S., just six minutes from where TPB is shot and where he recently took on another role as owner of Rolling Productions Rentals for on-set accommodations.
Tune in to see Jonathan in his Canadian Screen Award-nominated role as vice principal Cheeley on CBC’s Mr. D (Season 4) and on Trailer Park Boys (Season 9) on Netflix, and hear him on the Taggart & Torrens podcast. He’s just finished shooting a reality pilot and is currently hunkered down in the TPB writing room for Season 10. Watch YTV this fall when Jonathan co-hosts Game On with Samantha Bee.
A numbers game…
ONE best piece of life advice?
On your deathbed, you won’t remember the things you tried and failed. You’ll only think about all the things you always wanted to try but never did.
TWO for the road: cross country car trip — who’s your co-pilot?
My first choice is my wife Carole. She’s fun, funny and hotter than the hot springs in the Rockies. Plus we have the same taste in music. Otherwise, I’d take my podcast partner from Taggart & Torrens, Jeremy Taggart. We’ve even invented a word to sum up our mutual love of this great country: Canadianity.
THREE for the show: your choice triple bill — what’s playing?
The Big Picture — Kevin Bacon plays a self-absorbed film school grad who only achieves success when he remembers what’s really important in life. The cameo by Martin Short as his slick Hollywood agent is worth the price of admission. Rushmore — totally offbeat yet hyper-endearing. Bill Murray is a supporting actor in the truest sense of the word and young Jason Schwartzman shines. There’s A Girl in My Soup — starring Peter Sellers and Goldie Hawn. Sellers attempts a charming leading man role in this romantic comedy but comes off smug. A great reminder to stick to what you’re good at.
FOUR seasons: which one is your favourite?
Summer, if you mean the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Otherwise, the one in New York on 57th (close to the Central Park Zoo) if you mean the Four Seasons Hotel. Unless you mean the band. In which case, it’s Frankie Valli.
FIVE-alarm fire: five things you would take?
My Gibson Hummingbird guitar. A painting of a cow by S.D. Richardson that Carole bought me for my 40th birthday. It hung on the wall at Chives restaurant in Halifax and I commented on it every time we ate there. Our 12ft. tamarind dining room table from The Dunes Gallery on P.E.I. Heavy, yes, but worth fighting for. Lots of great memories at that table. Our log canopy bed. Again, on the heavy side but very unique. It was handcrafted in Lisle, Ontario. And, the entire Street Cents/Jonovision library on VHS. Pretty sure I’m the only one in the world who has it!