After ordering the food, Lu Wen read the detailed shooting notice. He planned to read the script in the hotel all day tomorrow. In the evening, the whole crew would hold a start-up banquet.
Sun Xiaojian said: “Make a good note of the daily makeup and shooting time. The boiling water room is on the first floor. The lunch box is greasy so rinsed off the oil before eating. The commonly used medicines and supplements are placed in the RV cabinet. If you feel uncomfortable, take them immediately.”
Lu Wen didn’t remember a single word: “Isn’t this all your job?”
“What if I’m not here?” Sun Xiaojian put his cheek on his hand, “Before you were just a small supporting role, and we were just nobody. Right now you are the number one male lead, We must work hard to make contacts.”
Lu Wen said: “For example?”
Sun Xiaojian replied: “First try to take a photo with the female lead.”
After several dishes were served, Lu Wen and Sun Xiaojian toasted to celebrate the start of new work. From participating in auditions, being selected, to discussing contract signing, the two of them had been celebrated for eight hundred times.
Sometimes they glanced at each other with heartfelt smiles. If it was not for the difference in face value, the passerby would think they were bursting with love.
Every time Sun Xiaojian couldn’t help but lament: “The entertainment industry is really unscientific. So many people go to the audition. There are people who are more popular than you, have strong backgrounds, and even know the producers. As a result, you surpassed them all!”
Lu Wen also repeated it every time: “This is the first time I have participated in such a fierce competition!”
The film crew made a public casing for the number one male lead, trying to find a fresh and new face. There were many newcomers and unpopular little actors flocked to grab this chance, everyone even ridiculed them saying they were taking an art exam.
Sun Xiaojian had few contacts and poor resources, but he was determined and bold enough to rush back and apply for an audition for Lu Wen. Whether the application was successful or not depended on the first round of screening which was the appearance conditions and Lu Wen passed it smoothly.
An audition was like an interview. There were a dozen people in the same group that day and they prepared for two performances. Lu Wen did not have much hope. He prepared for a day trip, memorized the lines, and then took out the comic book he brought with him and started reading.
At that time, a big brother passed by and asked him why he didn’t prepare?
He raised his head and started talking nonsense: “I am a person of Buddhism, so I’m contend with fate.”
Big Brother asked: “but you have to recite the line right?”
“Of course I have memorized it.” Lu Wen said proudly, “I memorized the words very fast. I only need to read a few times to remember it.”
That Big Brother said: “That means you have talent ah “
Lu Wen said: “I never memorized the lesson when I was in school. When the teacher checked it the next day, I only needed to practice it in a short time. It can’t be called talent. It is a special skill.”
He showed off to the other and waited for the formal audition. When he saw the director team, he learned that the big brother was actually the chief director, Ren Shu.
Ren Shu smiled and reminded him: “Don’t be nervous, we can be considered as acquaintances.”
Lu Wen was not nervous at all because he knew he was doomed. At the end of the audition, he felt sorry for Sun Xiaojian’s efforts and consciously abstained from carbon water for a week.
Unexpectedly, he was selected.
Recalling this moment, Lu Wen was still a little puzzled.
Sun Xiaojian’s mouth was stuffed with food: “Although…but…”
Lu Wen understood what the omitted part was-although “First Night” was a famous web series, it was still not as good as a TV series. It was not even comparable to big screen movies; the theme was not a happy family and there was no romance. Director Ren Shu was good at urban life dramas and had never tried other themes before.
But just as he lamented, the competition was really fierce, many actors got into dogfights for the role.
The reason was probably because the screenwriter was Qu Yanting.
At the same time, on the street next to the restaurant, a hot pot restaurant that has been open for more than ten years was packed. In the private room, Qu Yanting sat on a long bench and fished out a slice of beef from the boiling red soup.
He dipped it in the sesame oil sauce, then put it in his mouth and tasted it. The light-colored shirt paired with the slow movement gave off a kind of leisure air in the hot and fiery atmosphere.
Ren Shu sat opposite him. He took off his coat and only wore a short sleeves shirt. His stature was strong but right now he was drinking herbal tea profusely: “No, it’s too spicy!”
Qu Yanting raised his eyes, a pair of slender and charming phoenix eyes1Ruifeng eyes: 瑞凤眼. Very charming eyes according to Chinese aesthetic. The author used this term a lot so I’m going to use the term phoenix eyes. with slightly raised tails and drooping eyelashes that gave off a sense of distance. But his nose was very narrow, which was a bit delicate for a man, and the lines of his lips and jaw were also very gentle, which also neutralized the temperature of his eyes.
He added a tablespoon of dried chili to the sauce then wrapped a piece of yellow throat2T/N: A part of the cow organ. Essential ingredient for hotpot. in red sauce before putting it in his mouth and said with satisfaction: “I love it.”
“I’ll give it to you, give it all to you.” Ren Shu put the cooked meat in Qu Yanting bowl, “When we were in the same class and lived in the same dorm I took you back to my house for dinner on weekends. You were really shameless and ate half a bottle of hot sauce in one meal.”
That hot sauce was Mama Ren’s exclusive secret. Qu Yanting had eaten half a bottle and took the remaining half bottle back to school. Even though their contact with each other gradually decreased after graduation, during the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and New Year’s Eve, he kept sending gifts to Mama Ren.
Qu Yanting said: “Then this meal is on me.”
“Are you kidding me?” Ren Shu said, “What kind of friendship do we have? If you want to invite me to a meal, prepare a big one.”
Qu Yanting joked : “Should I buy you a house in Chongqing?”
“As expected of Editor Qu, The thing that came out of your mouth is a house.” Ren Shu also joked , “Tomorrow night is the start-up banquet, you can report the cost to me.”
Qu Yanting’s chopsticks stopped in midair and did not reach into the pot. He retracted his hand and gently put the chopsticks down. He wiped his mouth, and said with a little complaint hidden in his tone: “It’s such a coincidence.”
Ren Shu, unaware of the strange tone, said, “You are two day late it’s ok. Not only the actors, but the people from the co-producer will also come tomorrow. You have invested a lot of money in this drama and you are also the chief screenwriter so you have to personally attend the banquet.”
Ren Shu said with some dissatisfaction. “After graduation, you appear less and less in the circle. How many meals have we eaten together?”
Qu Yanting said: “You are doing well mixing around and I’m good on my own, that’s enough. This circle is full of ups and downs. If you get too close, you will have to form a beneficial relationship. If you stay far away, it will be good for everyone.”
Ren Shu smiled: “What do you mean? Are you willing to join me?”
A gentleman is not a party3T/N: 君子不党 Jūnzǐ bù dǎng: A gentleman is not a party is an old Chinese saying. Its original intention is to be a gentleman in the world, not to form cliques, not to form any small groups, to treat all people as equals, not to flatter, not to bully, not to fear the strong, not to bully the weak. In modern times, some of the more noble people still adhere to the principle of not being a gentleman, and even refuse to join all parties., and Qu Yanting hopes to be alone, saying: “But if you are in trouble, I will definitely not refuse to lend a hand.”
Ren Shu believed that Qu yanting was a sincere person. There were too many people in the circle who pretended to be familiar with each other and called themselves brothers and sisters. The enthusiasm may not be real and those who were genuine were very few. After graduating, he went smoothly and made a few life dramas with good reputations. He won awards and earned money but there were also bottlenecks that he could not break through with his own limitations.
When he was at a loss, Qu Yanting approached him and wanted to cooperate with him in this drama. From business negotiation to preparations, he never had the opportunity to ask. Now he asked curiously, “You are just like a fish in water in the movie circle, why do you suddenly want to make a web drama?”
This was not a game but a film and television project with capital flowing. The reason behind it was not whimsical. Qu Yanting lowered his eyes. His cold phoenix eyes turned lazy and sleepy. He said in a light tone: “I want to give it a try.”
Ren Shu understood his meaningful look and no longer asked. He turned his face and recalled his time in college.
He was very lazy. Qu Yanting helped him fetch food and water every day. When he borrowed books from the library and did not return it in time, Qu Yanting was scolded by the librarian every time because of him. He bought a second hand mobile phone to co-produce a short film. While he snored loudly in his sleep, Qu Yanting stayed up all night to write the script.
The red soup cooled, and the entangled heat dissipated a little bit. Ren Shu held up the cup: “It’s really daring to do this, I respect you.”
Qu Yanting possessed a refined and gentle air, he said: “I’m determined.”
Coming out of the hot pot restaurant, the night light of Chongqing was brighter than the overcast daylight.
The Porsche was parked by the road. The driver already got off work so Ren Shu personally drove Qu Yanting back to the hotel.
After getting on the road, Ren Shu asked: “Is this car comfortable to ride in?”
“Not too bad.” Qu Yanting sat in the co-driver seat with his elbows resting on the window and his wrists on his temples. “You can keep it for yourself. Give me a nanny car.”
Ren Shu yelled: “Forget it. I have been busy for several days without time to even change clothes. I’m afraid I will ruin this car. What about the driver, if there is no problem, let him take care of your transportation.”
Qu Yanting said: “Okay. Don’t bother Lao Liu anymore.”
Ren Shu laughed: “Oh I almost forgot. Lao Liu called me this afternoon and said that something went wrong when picking you up. Some actors from the crew got in the wrong car. I was busy at the time and didn’t pay attention. Is it true?”
The view of the city in the rearview mirror was like a series of continuous shots. Qu Yanting was staring at it and he was automatically frozen when he heard what Ren Shu said. His brain immediately flashed back to the scene at the airport.
He made a “hmm” sound and said: “Really.”
Ren Shu asked: “Who?”
Qu Yanting replied: “The male lead that you picked.”
“Lu Wen?” Ren Shu turned the steering wheel and glanced at the car in the mirror when he turned to the corner and noticed something. “Why is there a pillow missing? I just bought the new authentic Shu embroidery pillows.”
Qu Yanting said: “Your male lead got out of the car and forgot to put it down. I let him keep it as a souvenir.”
“You are really generous.” Ren Shu turned into a commercial street. The hotel was not far away.
Ren Shu felt that something was wrong, “Hey, what do you mean the male lead that I picked? I showed you both the makeup photos and audition videos, and you were the one who nodded and gave your approval.”
It was true that Qu Yanting had seen Lu Wen’s photos early this morning and two performance videos in the auditions repeatedly but he knew nothing about Lu Wen himself.
He asked: “Why did you choose him?”
“Without the interference of capital, politics, and power, is it appropriate to choose a role?” Ren Shu slowed down and pulled over slowly. “On the day of the audition, everyone was preparing seriously and only Lu Wen was reading comic books.”
Qu Yanting: “…”
Ren Shu recalled: “He didn’t know that I was the director. I asked him why he didn’t prepare. He was really awkward and said that he could remember words quickly. I was afraid that he would be nervous when he saw me again during the audition. As a result, he didn’t know what nervousness was at all. During the audition, he was even more relaxed than when he was reading comics.”
“So you chose him?” Qu Yanting unfastened his seat belt.
“He got that kind of spirit. I don’t like to study, I just want to participate in the exam, I don’t care about strength at all, and It’s perfect.” Ren Shu paused and looked sideway at Qu yanting. “He is just like the living Ye Xiaowu.”
Qu Yanting was quiet for a moment then he slowly said, “It is quite like Ye Xiaowu.”
Ren Shu unlocked the door: “Ye Xiaowu is the male lead, isn’t that right?”
Qu Yanting said, “But Ye Xiaowu is a fool.”
When he opened the door and got out of the car, a cool night breeze rushed in. When Qu Yanting closed the door, Ren Shu interrupted him and asked if he wanted to attend the script reading tomorrow.
He shook his head and said, “You supervise it. I don’t mind.”
Qu Yanting returned to the hotel, and when he passed the lobby, he caught a glimpse of two people, one tall and one short. He didn’t pay attention and went straight into the elevator.
Sun Xiaojian checked in and instructed: “I live on the 53rd floor. It is already late so you should go back to your room and put on a facial mask and go to bed early. I will help you tidy up tomorrow morning.”
After running around all day, Lu Wen was a little sleepy. He grabbed his room card and walked away.
As soon as he got there, the elevator door had just closed so he took another one, took a picture through the gilded mirror door, and then stared at the rising numbers.
He arrived at the 62nd floor. There were only a few suites on the whole floor, which was very quiet. Lu Wen slowly stepped out of the elevator, turned around, and saw a figure a few steps away.
He didn’t like to look at others, but right now he was following that figure with his eyes.
The man was about one hundred and eighty centimeters tall. His neck was very slender, half of which was exposed from the collar of the oatmeal shirt. Downward was the body. He had a thin back. The shoulders were the shoulders, the waist was the waist, and the legs were the legs. They were just right everywhere, and they were so well-proportioned that they didn’t look like ordinary people.
Lu Wen unknowingly turned the corner and walked on another corridor. He was tall and had long legs. With just a few steps, he gradually shortened their distance.
Suddenly, the other person stopped and stood sideways outside the door of 6206.
Lu Wen recognized, “Is it you?”
The carpet was thick, and Qu Yanting didn’t notice the footsteps following behind him. He was looking for the room card. Hearing the sound, he turned his head and was faced with Lu Wen’s surprised expression. He froze for a moment.
The lighting was so good that they could see each other’s face clearly. Lu Wen realized that the other person’s face was so small that it made the sunglasses look big.
He stared at this face and did not meet the indifferent phoenix eyes, nor did he pay attention to the delicate and straight nose bridge. For a moment he only saw Qu Yanting’s slightly opened lips.
He didn’t know what he had eaten but the lips looked moist and bright red like two rose petals.
Qu Yanting recovered, without any reaction he turned back and took out the room card.
At this moment, Lu Wen asked behind his back: “Brother, which role are you playing?”
- 1Ruifeng eyes: 瑞凤眼. Very charming eyes according to Chinese aesthetic. The author used this term a lot so I’m going to use the term phoenix eyes.
- 2T/N: A part of the cow organ. Essential ingredient for hotpot.
- 3T/N: 君子不党 Jūnzǐ bù dǎng: A gentleman is not a party is an old Chinese saying. Its original intention is to be a gentleman in the world, not to form cliques, not to form any small groups, to treat all people as equals, not to flatter, not to bully, not to fear the strong, not to bully the weak. In modern times, some of the more noble people still adhere to the principle of not being a gentleman, and even refuse to join all parties.