Rebirth of a Movie Star
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Chapter 21 – Coriander and Squid
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Rebirth of a Movie Star
Author :J112233
© Webnovel

Chapter 21 – Coriander and Squid

One week later “Outside Jade and Gold” had its opening ceremony. {T/N: Most Chinese dramas will have a ceremony where they burn incense and ask for luck prior to starting shooting with the actors/crew etc.}

In the event, other than the tradition of bowing to the heavens and asking for luck, the secondary cause was to promote the movie to the media as well as to announce some details about the movie such as its basic plot and introduction to the characters as well as to give a small taste of the character design.

So on that day Bai Lang received the male lead “Li ChuanQing’s” clothing in the movie. After all the important characters in the movie had changed into their clothing and lined up on site, Bai Lang understood what Zhu Kuan was trying to do.

If a movie couldn’t use the actor’s names to attract the audience, then there were still other methods to promote itself such as a unique plotline, special effects or interesting clips. And there were some movies where even if the audience didn’t have a deep impression of the actors, they would remember the clothing, atmosphere and set pieces from the movie. In that way as long as the actors were adequate, then the movie can still be called a small success.

“Gold” was the story of a princeling who had fallen on hard times. It also had the unusual plotline about a tailor. In terms of entertainment and freshness value, there was definitely enough. However what it was still missing was a visual element to help draw the audience in. That’s why Zhu Kuan had chosen this kind of effect this time.

Because of this, the ceremony was not held at the usual hotel but instead at a furniture store.

Due to the limited funding, the furniture store was a good choice. In the warehouse there were many types of high class furniture and looked like a period living room. There were high and grand crystal chandeliers, palace style brocade curtains, embroidered high back chairs, fringed pillows and etc. It almost looked like a set piece from the movie.

Combined with the actor’s elaborate, even slightly flamboyant outfits, the visual effect immediately showed off the film’s special characteristics.

Even the female lead Shen AiRu, whose features could not be said to be a top beauty, with the added effect of the period clothing and the backdrop, looked very stunning. A cascade of historical curls cascaded down her back and she wore dark moss green silk western jacket, a gray fur shawl, paired with a sets of pink pearls. As soon as she appeared the cameras immediately started flashing.

Bai Lang also changed quickly. He had arrived earlier to the venue. At this time when Shen AiRu saw him her face froze in an awkward position. He smiled gently and reached, like a true gentleman, held out his left elbow.

This wasn’t the pre-arranged move. It made Shen AiRu pause slightly. Her eyes could help but rove over the Bai Lang who was wearing a deep coloured suit.


His figure was tall and straight and his smile was benevolent. Inside the opulent hall, under the soft light of the chandeliers, Bai Lang’s lowered eyes were tender and elegant. Just like the character in the movie who was once high beyond all things. Even though he was now fallen he still appeared like something from a fairytale. This was the main character Li ChuanQing.

Shen AiRu’s heart couldn’t help but speed up. It was almost like she was being drawn into that tender gaze. She reached out her hand and gently laid it on Bai Lang’s offered elbow.

At that time [pa-cha-pa-cha], the cameras flashed furiously.

Many media picked this photo of Bai Lang and Shen AiRu’s tender and loving gaze. They used it to accompany “Outside Jade and Gold’s” introductory synopsis and wrote some favorable lines.

However it was a pity that this kind of news couldn’t climb onto the entertainment world’s headlines.

The headline for today was a report of “Emperor Feng” which had chosen the same day for its opening ceremony.

***

“Praise the Lord, Bai Lang has a new movie! I’m definitely going to watch.”

“When someone becomes famous they get better and better looking. This saying is definitely not wrong. Look how handsome Bai Lang’s face is on the newspaper.”

“Of course. I’ve been enamored with him since Jiang XinCheng. As I thought my eyes aren’t wrong. Oh, don’t you think Shen AiRu also got prettier? In her previous show I thought she was just ordinary. I didn’t think that if she dressed like this and stood next to Bai Lang, it would actually look pretty decent.”

“Everyone needs style and direction ba, look at this backdrop, it’s definitely going for an opulent and luxurious look. En en, I’m pretty interested in this…”

“Anyway I’ll definitely go to see it. Hehe, as for the “Emperor Feng” that you guys are talking about, I actually think it looks a bit too serious. Although it’s Su Quan, but isn’t it about some kind of political intrigue? It’s not really to my taste.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. “Emperor Feng” is a showcase of real skill. Other than the director Li ZiYuan, in the movie Su Quan also acts all the way from young to old. His acting ability is super advanced. They don’t need to sell any special opulent effects. It’s real ability and real skill.”

“Hey, are you trying to say that my Bai Lang is just a flower with no real skill!? Think about those down jackets from UNI in your closet. Who accompanied you to go buy them ah.”

“Okay big sister. I didn’t mean it like that. What I meant is these two movies have different styles. One is more for entertainment value, the other one is more deep ma.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I just want to watch what I like. If you don’t come with me to watch Bai Lang, then I also won’t come with you to watch Emperor Feng.”

“Don’t get angry. I’m also interested in Bai Lang’s movie. It’s a small production but who knows it might have some unexpected surprises….”

***

Because “Outside Gold and Jade” and “Emperor Feng” had their opening ceremonies on the same day, it caused some of the E news channels to decide to compare these two completely different movies together for no good reason.

The reason for raising such a topic was to primarily stress that “Emperor Feng” was a large production, it was high anticipated and different from other ordinary movies.

After all in “Emperor Feng”, other than it’s director Li ZiYuan and the film emperor Su Quan, even the female lead was the newly crowned film empress Fei Hong. The supporting male was the young A-list actor OuYang Ri. Other than it’s outstanding crew, it also had the support of many other popular actors. Its opening ceremony was so grand and filled with so many important people that if you left one out accidentally, you’d definitely be offending someone.

The two movies actually a more strange connection. The villainous traitorous minister “Guang Ci” in “Emperor Feng” was originally supposed to be played by the veteran actor Que QiMing. However afterwards the actor was changed to Jiang YiLiang. Just as the audience was guessing the reason, Que QiMing’s company announced that he was to take part in “Outside Gold and Jade”.

This made the two movies intersect again. This news seemed to have the taste of gossip behind it.

However these comparisons actually allowed “Outside Gold and Jade” to jump on “Emperor Feng”’s wind of fortune and rise up quite a lot. With the addition of Bai Lang and Shen AiRu’s beautiful period photographs, it seemed after “Emperor Feng” the audience also had a lot of anticipation for “Gold”. So it was an unexpected good surprise.

***

Because of the limitations of funding, the filming schedule of “Gold” was very tight.

After all in the movie there were many opulent sets and furniture. These things were all rented and every day they cost money. The price was not low. So if Zhu Kuan could save money then he wouldn’t waste it so since the first day of filming the set was filled with a tight atmosphere.

Bai Lang saw this and to him it wasn’t unexpected.

He didn’t know when the news about the lack of funding would appear but if things got to the point where Zhu Kuan and the producer Zhao JingXuan would have to announce to them that the filming had to be stopped, then it probably already couldn’t be saved. So that’s why he had to enter Zhu Kuan’s friends circle and receive the news at the earliest opportunity. Thus Bai Lang had no choice but to use some methods.

However unlike his previous life Bai Lang was no longer an unfortunate little star. Instead he was the most famous person on set other than Que QiMing and thus everyone treated him very respectfully. Thus because of this, Zhu Kuan’s attitude towards him also became more polite and distant.

Based on Zhu Kuan’s personality, it was likely that as time went on they would naturally become closer however Bai Lang didn’t dare to delay the time. After thinking about it for a while he finally decided to use Kang Jian’s previous tactic and “attack” him using his stomach. In his previous life Bai Lang’s strongest impression of Zhu Kuan was his habit of eating a late night supper. That’s why Zhu Kuan had a big and round beer belly. Even ten years earlier there was already clear signs. When Bai Lang saw it he wasn’t surprised at all.

Thus Bai Lang began to prepare lunch boxes to take to set to eat.

The excuse was due to his body he couldn’t get used to the food from outside, so he could only eat the food he prepared himself to avoid having a stomach ache.

Even though this may be interpreted by some people as showing off however by bring food himself Bai Lang actually avoided bothering others. Also he would always remember to bring extra portions for others. Thus is was hard for people to criticize him. However in the beginning, other than the already familiar Hong Hong, no one would dare take food from him. However after several more times, the first of who approached was not the fatty Zhu Kuan but instead Que QiMing.

Today at lunch, Que QiMing came ambling over. He asked, “Mr Bai, looking at this dish it should be a local T city dish right?”

Que QiMing was slightly over 60 this year. His looks were very respectable and when he was younger he had been considered handsome. For his role in “Gold” he had dyed his hair white and his aura was very regal. His role was the villain who had kicked Li ChuanQing from from heaven to earth, his fourth uncle Li HaiYun. In the movie his scenes with Bai Lang were not less than the first male supporting role.

“Senior Que you’re too polite. Just call me Ah Lang. You’re right. This is a dish from T city. If you don’t mind then do you want to try it?” Bai Lang smiled.

“Ai ai, then I’ll be thick skinned and impolite. You can also call me Old Que,” Que QiMing said in a good mood. “Actually to be honest I’ve been staring at your lunch boxes for several days, really very envious.”

In his previous life Bai Lang didn’t have much contact with Que QiMing and wasn’t familiar with him. Also the rule in the entertainment circle was that if someone famous came to look for you then it wasn’t a problem, but if it was someone without fame then it would be considered “pandering to try and form a connection”. Thus Bai Lang’s attitude towards Que QiMing before had been very responsible. {T/N: As in he didn’t act overly familiar in case he looked as though he was trying too hard to climb up, since QQM is more established than him.}

Now that Que QiMing himself came to show interest, Bai Lang naturally went along with him. He hurried to open the extra portion he had prepared. The crispy fried food was placed inside a clean and round food box with green leaves accompanying. It looked very delicious.

Bai Lang even asked Hong Hong to pour another cup of warm barley tea and hand it to Que QiMing. “I’m allergic to some preservatives so I can only make some things myself. Old Que you must also be a foodie to recognize this coriander and squid straight away.”

Que QiMing didn’t reject him and happily took it. “Thank you. You’re very good at preparing things. I once shot a movie in T City for some time. Back then we often had this dish on our table, I got quite sick of it. But now when I see it I feel quite nostalgic.”

Bai Lang smiled and replied, “Old Que you were filming “Shout” at the pier right? Back then I recognized the scene at one glance.” As soon as the names of the actors were released, Bai Lang naturally found Que QiMing’s movies to watch. This was one of the things he had done to prepare.

Thus Que QiMing was quite surprised. “That’s a very old movie. You’ve seen it before?”

Bai Lang looked a bit embarrassed. “Ah, actually I went to find it after seeing the actors list.” His meaning was, I didn’t watch it because I was interested in it.

Que QiMing’s eyes brightened. “That’s still pretty good ah. Right now there’s not many young people who would do their homework so thoroughly. Keep up the good work and your career will be bright.”

Bai Lang thanked him sincerely. “I don’t dare. This junior has just entered the industry and will trouble senior for your help.”

Que QiMing smiled and nodded. He picked up a piece of squid with his chopsticks and ate his lunch together with Bai Lang.

The two people chatted together about their past filming experiences. Mostly Que QiMing talked and Bai Lang listened and also asked a lot of questions.

It was not until he put down his chopsticks and took a sip of barley tea that Que QiMing cleared his throat and said, “According to my observations you’re handling this role very well. Your movements and behaviour is all very out of the ordinary. Your expression in front of the camera is also completely adequate. As an old person I also don’t dare to give out random tips. However my opinion is you can still be a bit more thorough.”

Bai Lang never thought that Que QiMing would give him tips. He put down his chopstick and said, “Be more thorough?”

“Think about it. When we are acting, isn’t the closest audience member the person right in front of your eyes?” Que QiMing laughed warmly. “When you are speaking your lines, pay less attention to the camera and spend more time trying to convince the person that you’re acting with. Perhaps there will be an unexpected good effect.”

“The person that I’m acting with?” Bai Lang paused.

Que QiMing smiled then added, “On the day of the opening ceremony, didn’t you do very well?”

Bai Lang listened and immediately sank into his thoughts.

From that day, Bai Lang followed Que QiMing to learn the skill of “influencing others”. {T/N: i.e. to use your charisma to carry the person you’re acting with into the role, just like BL did with Shen AiRu at the opening ceremony by making her fall a bit in love with him haha.}

***

This unexpected gain made Bai Lang delve into a new area of acting.

By the time he recovered, the people that would crowd around him during lunch finally included, as Bai Lang wanted, the director Zhu Kuan.

But by this time it had already entered the end of the lunar year. {T/N: Remember Lunar Year ends in around Feb usually, not Dec like Gregorian calendar. Often Chinese people don’t take much break over Christmas/New Years but they will take their holidays during Lunar New Year instead. Future reference to “new year” in the following chapters usually refers to Lunar New Year.}

As planned, the crew finished filming the scenes at the villa before the end of the lunar year. After the holiday break, the set would be moved to the tailoring studio for the latter half of shooting. Thus any NG scenes taking place at the villa had to be reshot on the same day. It was quite a tightly packed schedule.

However this kind of schedule also ensured that the crew had a full two weeks annual leave. Thus more and more people began to discuss their holiday plans. Some wanted to return to their hometowns, others planned to go overseas. Bai Lang of course avoided being asked this question.

He would casually reply “going home” however as for the real answer, Bai Lang didn’t know either.

Especially because Qiu Qian also had to take Qiu XiaoHai home to Xindao to pass the new year. The day the two people left was new years eve. The apartment became so quiet it was frightening.

Bai Lang thus removed his watch and placed it into the draw.

Within the cluttered items inside the draw, Bai Lang saw the old mobile phone he had stopped using.

Unable to resist a voice inside his heart, Bai Lang charged it. Just as he expected he found the text message sent from Bai Li from a few days ago.

“Are you done being angry? You should come home during new years ba.”

The corners of Bai Lang’s lips jerked. He threw the old phone back into the draw and then also turned off his new one.

Then he forced himself to sleep for a long time and then ate hot pot on his own.

He thought, I will eventually get used to it.

***

It’s only that his peace and quiet only lasted until the third day after new year.

On that evening, the door to the apartment was violently kicked open. Qiu Qian strode in with an ugly expression. “What are you trying to do!? How come you’re not picking up the phone?”

Qiu XiaoHai was like a little artillery shell. He shot over and hugged Bai Lang’s leg. “Ah Bai don’t ignore me ah, I miss you~”

Bai Lang couldn’t help embracing Qiu XiaoHai with a lot more force than usual.

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