Born in Rouen, to a teacher mother, and filling station attendant father, Torreton grew up in a suburb of the city. A student at the lycée Val de Seine de Grand-Quevilly, he discovered there a certain liking for the theater that he nurtured, thanks to his teachers, - he often cites one in particular, - M.Désir. A student of CNSAD, he would return there, this time as a teacher, in October 2008.
Torreton entered the Comédie-Française in 1990 as a pensionnaire (salaried actor having no share in the profits) and became a sociétaire (shareholding member of the Comédie-Française) in 1994. He left in 1999 having played many prestigious roles including Scapin, Lorenzaccio, Hamlet, Henry V, Tartuffe.