"Cut!" Director Cen clapped the slate board, ending tonight's shoot.
The two main leads, who’d ‘slept together on the bed’, got up.
"Thank you for your hard work everyone. Enjoy your evening and rest early," Gu Zhou said to the crew.
"Teacher Gu, you’re the one working harder than any of us,” everyone replied, one after another.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t have to leave. This was her room in the movie, but it was also her resting area on set. Other people had to make do with sleeping in tents because the nearby dwellings were a little far away and there were very few villagers living in this mountain area. Every household was situated quite far apart. There were more houses on the mountain hill, but they didn’t want to disturb those families.
Although March was approaching, it was still quite chilly during the nights. Everyone practically clothed themselves in overcoats, covering themselves thickly as they slept.
After washing up, Sheng Jiaoyang browsed her cell phone on the bed.
At present, she had over ten million Weibo followers, and her fanbase was about to reach twenty million. As expected, a popular TV series could indeed raise the actors popularity by a few notches. That, along with appearing on quite a few headlines, becoming a hot topic for discussion. Furthermore, since she had also participated in a few popular variety shows, her popularity was bound to increase at a rapid rate.
This was why Qin Fengyi wanted to prioritise the male lead role in the TV series.
In this mountain area, the signal wasn’t very good, and the internet speed was surprisingly slow at times. Sheng Jiaoyang replied to a few messages before turning off her cell phone and going to bed. After all, it wasn’t easy to recharge her phone once it was out of battery. Everyone in the crew carried at least two power banks with them. When power banks ran out of battery, they’d take them to a house nearby to recharge them.
The next day, when Sheng Jiaoyang woke up, she wrapped herself in a thick down-filled jacket and walked to the area where the rest of the crew was resting. She saw Gu Zhou and Cen Jin standing together and chatting, their expressions somewhat downcast.
As she approached them, she heard Cen Jin angrily say, "Who does he think he is, letting so many of us wait for him? If he doesn’t want to come, then he doesn’t need to come anymore!"
"Since he violated the contract first, let's not wait for him and replace him while it's early. In any case, he hasn’t taken any stills yet," Gu Zhou suggested.
"I'll ask my assistant to send out invitation letters later. Do you have any good recommendations?" Cen Jin glanced at Gu Zhou with an inquiring look. He believed in Gu Zhou’s foresight. After all, the so-called unreliable female lead had turned out to be a very reliable actress with remarkable acting skills, and she was recommended by Gu Zhou.
"You can start sending out the invitations. I'll check and see if I can find someone later," Gu Zhou responded.
"That’s the only way to go."
When Gu Zhou saw Sheng Jiaoyang, he smiled and greeted, "Morning, Jiaojiao, did you sleep well last night?"
"Mhmm, I slept well thanks."
Sheng Jiaoyang saw Cen Jin's gloomy expression and asked, "Director Cen, I overheard your conversation just now. Are you planning to replace the second male lead?"
"Yes." This was bound to happen anyway, so Director Cen admitted it straightforwardly.
"If that’s the case, you must find an even better looking guy. I have an intimate scene with him, so if he’s too ugly, I’m afraid that I won't be able to do it," Sheng Jiaoyang joked.
Cen Jin was amused by her words. "Don't worry, I'll definitely find you a fresh teen idol."
Gu Zhou also laughed.
After making Director Cen laugh, Sheng Jiaoyang walked around to tease others.
Cen Jin stared at her departing figure and sighed. "Looking at her behaviour makes me feel that my 18-year-old self was a piece of sh*t. Xu Jiaojiao didn’t come from an acting background, but her acting is much more refined than many professional actors."
"The word 'acting background' doesn’t mean anything. Actors who’ve graduated from an acting school could indeed act better than those who didn’t, but a person’s ‘innate acting skill’ has nothing to do with whether or not he or she came from an acting background. On the contrary, many actors with an acting background are bound by established rules and regulations."
Cen Jin nodded in agreement.
It started drizzling when they were about to start filming. The drizzle gradually increased and the rain obscured the view completely. Thus, they couldn’t continue filming. The cast and crew built a shed along the eaves with canvas and gathered together to warm themselves at the fire in the middle, waiting for the rain to stop.
While filming, they always had to take the weather into consideration. If the weather was bad, they could only shoot indoor scenes, but there weren’t many indoor scenes in this movie.
Moreover, with this downpour, the poor signal became even worse.
The cast and crew could only chat amongst themselves and play cards to pass the time.
Suddenly, several figures appeared on the small stone-paved path and slowly approached them through the heavy rain.
"There are people approaching!" someone warned.
Sheng Jiaoyang was sitting at a table with Gu Zhou, Director Cen, and Assistant Director Ma playing the card game ‘Fighting the Landlord’. When they heard this, they looked towards the stone-paved path.
The man in front was wearing a knee-length grey coat. Although the coat covered the proportions of his body, it still looked good on him and his model-like figure perfectly set off the characteristics of his outfit.
The edge of the large black umbrella partially covered his face, so they couldn’t make out who the person was.
Behind him were two sturdy men, each carrying a suitcase in hand. This scene appeared extremely imposing.
"The two men at the back are foreigners!” someone cried out in surprise.
Sheng Jiaoyang stood up because she’d recognised the person at the front from his physique.
At this moment, the man at the front lifted the umbrella, revealing a magnificent countenance.
His facial features were prominent and faultless. As one looked, that shallow smile of his appeared like an ingenious landscape painting, making one yearn for it.
"Wow~" a female staff member exclaimed in admiration.
"Director, is this the second male lead that you invited?" someone asked curiously.
Cen Jin was also surprised as he didn’t understand why a prominent-looking man like him would appear in this mountain area. When he heard the question, his eyes lit up. But, he gave up on the idea soon after. He didn't look like a person from the entertainment industry. Now, he truly didn’t know where this man had come from.
"Jiaojiao, do you know him?" Gu Zhou asked when he saw her standing up.
Sheng Jiaoyang acknowledged with a soft ‘mhmm’ before looking up at the person approaching her, feeling a bit complicated.
"Oh, he’s here to visit you on-set. He's not from the entertainment industry, is he?" Cen Jin's eyes lit up again.
"No," Sheng Jiaoyang answered while the three people stopped in front of them.
"Lin Yan, what are you doing here?"
"I had some time on my hands, so I came to see you," Lin Yan walked up to her and answered.
Sheng Jiaoyang noticed that he was drenched, particularly the lower part of his trousers.
"Lin Yan, come here and warm yourself up by the fire." She reached for the umbrella in his hand. When her fingertips touched the back of his cold hand, she was startled. She hurriedly took his umbrella and pulled him to the stove under the eaves.
"I brought you some food." Lin Yan looked at her gently and motioned towards the two bodyguards behind him.
The two men put away their umbrellas and walked into the shed with the suitcases. They then opened the suitcases, which were filled with Italian snacks. She saw at a glance that he’d brought them from Italy.
Gu Zhou looked at Lin Yan, somewhat astounded.
The rest didn’t know Italian and thought that since these two suitcases were filled with snacks brought back from abroad, they must be very expensive snacks. However, they didn’t know what kind of snacks those were.
"Lin Yan, sit down and dry your clothes." Sheng Jiaoyang then turned and said to Lin Yan's two bodyguards in Italian, "Come sit down by the fire and let the heat ward off the cold."
The bodyguards looked at Lin Yan. After the latter nodded in approval, they walked over and sat down. The two sturdy bodyguards occupied half of the seating area when they sat down, so the rest of the crew could only cram together to the side.
Afterwards, Sheng Jiaoyang started to hand out the snacks. She wasn’t a snack lover, so she wouldn’t be able to eat everything by herself. It seemed that Lin Yan had also brought these snacks over for her to share. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have opened the suitcases in public.
"These are potato chips, dried eel slices, dried fruit…" Every time she took out a packet, she’d tell the crew what kind of snack it was to let them choose.
After each person had picked a snack, there were still leftovers. Sheng Jiaoyang then told them that she’d give these to the children who resided in the deeper parts of the mountain.
The makeup artist and stylist were women, and they were rather close with Sheng Jiaoyang, so they couldn’t help but ask, "Jiaojiao, you’re not planning to keep them for yourself to enjoy?"
"That’s right, he brought them here especially for you."
Sheng Jiaoyang turned to look at Lin Yan, who was smiling at her.
"Since these are for Jiaojiao, she can deal with them however she wants." He had on an ‘It’s up to you’ expression.
The makeup artist and stylist looked at each other, and both saw traces of envy in each other's eyes. Look at Jiaojiao’s boyfriend. He’s good-looking and only has Jiaojiao in his eyes. Look at that doting gaze…how envious~
Sheng Jiaoyang smiled back before putting away the rest of the snacks and placing the suitcases aside. She then sat on the seat next to Lin Yan and introduced him to Cen Jin and Gu Zhou. "This is my friend."
"You don’t need to say it in such a reserved manner. He’s your boyfriend, isn't he?" someone sitting near her teasingly called out.
Because everyone liked to crack jokes from time to time, and the majority of the crew members were old comrades who’d followed Cen Jin for a long time already, they were more straightforward when they spoke. Moreover, Sheng Jiaoyang was normally very amiable and approachable, so they didn’t have to worry too much when teasing her.
Lin Yan’s smile deepened, but he didn’t say a word.
Sheng Jiaoyang found it a bit awkward and hurriedly answered, "He's just a male friend."
"No need to explain, we get it, we get it." The others laughed while making fun of her.
If you’re just ordinary friends, would he need to go through so much trouble to visit you on-set in the mountains? And, based on how familiar you are with one another and the affection in the handsome man’s eyes, how can this be an ordinary friendship? Everyone silently thought.
Following this, Cen Jin looked at Lin Yan and asked, "How should I address you?"
"My last name is Lin, the ‘Lin’ character meaning forest," Lin Yan replied.
"Oh, nice to meet you, Mr Lin." Cen Jin nodded. "Are you planning to go back today?"
Lin Yan turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang and asked expectantly, "Jiaojiao, how long do you want me to stay?"
"Lin Yan, I know that you’re a busy person. I’m already very happy that you came to visit me on-set, but the conditions here are quite bad. You should…"
"Since the conditions are so-so, we can create better conditions! What's more, after experiencing so many pleasant days, it's another kind of enjoyment to experience this poor life in the mountains," Cen Jin promptly interrupted her.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace