The two directors watched the clip on the camera.
“I didn’t expect Xu Jiaojiao to master such a complex role so young. Originally, I was worried she wouldn’t be able to act out Wu Qinghe’s sharp and domineering aura. I even questioned Entertainment International’s decision to allow such a young actress to play such an important role,” Director Ma sighed.
“She switched her attitude between the female lead Qu Wen and male lead Gu Zhou very smoothly. It’s really hard to believe that she only started acting recently, she’s more like an experienced actress.”
Not only the directors were surprised, everyone in the crew who had watched the process was startled. Oh, except for Gu Zhou and those who had worked with her before.
Even Qu Wen couldn’t help but admit that Xu Jiaojiao really did have some talent and wasn’t just a pretty face. The biggest indicator was the expression in Xu Jiaojiao’s eyes when she was acting earlier. Xu Jiaojiao gave her the feeling that they were actually in the drama. She was Mu Jinyu, the one who was slowly advancing in power, while Jiaojiao was the lofty and rich Wu Qinghe.
It was remarkable for the first scene to have been completed without a single NG or anyone to fall out of character.
When it was time for their break, Sheng Jiaoyang was told that somebody had come to visit her on-set. When she heard it was a middle-aged man, she instantly knew it must be Mr. Zeng and called Zeng Huan to bring him in.
“Miss Zeng, both our surnames are Zeng, perhaps five hundred years ago, we were both one family. Please say a few kind words for me in front of Miss Xu! My stupid son…”
“You should speak for yourself. Your son thought he was a big guy and scolded our Jiaojiao with so many vicious words, it’s probably all over the internet already by now. Anyone with a logical mind would naturally know that our Jiaojiao is innocent, but who knows what the ignorant and suspicious people will twist this into?” Zeng Huan interrupted Zeng Daren.
“I truly apologize.” Zeng Daren felt helpless, helpless that he was the only logical person in his family.
Although on the surface, the little bastard only seemed to have offended a female celebrity, the powers behind her were influential. Just thinking deeper into it caused him more panic.
If there was one thing the brat was right about, it was that you should never offend a woman. But right after the brat wrote it himself, he turned around and forgot about it, even running into a pit himself.
“Alright, we’re here. You can speak for yourself.” Zeng Huan brought him to Sheng Jiaoyang.
“Miss Xu, I know you all are hard at work filming so I brought some refreshing drinks.” Zeng Daren put down a box of drinks.
“Mr. Zeng has enough to worry about already.” Sheng Jiaoyang had a strange smile.
Zeng Daren felt his face burn. His dignity had all been lost because of the little brat.
“I’m sorry, Miss Xu. I didn’t watch over my unruly son and he came to bother you. This time, I’ll definitely give him a harsh punishment.”
“Didn’t you already lock him up in his room? What, did you go soft when you saw him suffering?”
“It’s his mother… Sigh, Zeng Yuan was spoiled rotten by them. Now, I feel very helpless.” Zeng Daren was dejected. It was like trying to keep the family line well and wealthy, only to have your family trip you up.
“If you can’t strengthen your resolve now, it’ll be too late to regret it later.” Sheng Jiaoyang took a sip of water and slowly spoke.
“Miss Xu, in any case, I still want to apologize for my son in his place.” Zeng Daren acted very humbly, bowing deeply to Sheng Jiaoyang who was still sitting on a chair, “I know this isn’t enough, but as a father who failed to properly discipline his son, I truly apologise.”
In fact, if it wasn’t for Zeng Daren having a good attitude, there was no way Sheng Jiaoyang would’ve endured till now. Previously, Young Master Zeng had insulted her painting and today, he launched personal attacks against her. Even if Zeng Daren apologised to her a hundred times, it still wouldn’t satisfy her.
It seemed that she had been too low-key lately, making those predators think that she was an easy target.
“Your son was detained by my bodyguards. I'll call Zeng Huan to bring you to them,” Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Zeng Daren, a strange light in her eyes, “This time, make sure you watch him well. Otherwise… I can’t take responsibility for what might happen.”
Zeng Daren thought she was worried about the brat running out and making trouble again and hurriedly promised, “Definitely, definitely. This time, I’ll discipline him properly no matter what.”
Sheng Jiaoyang then told Zeng Huan to bring him to the bodyguards.
The director called her to talk about the script. There were many people in the next scene, where Wu Qinghe would be leading the imperial concubines on a walk around the Imperial Garden. They would run into Mu Jinyu playing chess alone with the Emperor in the pavilion. When the Emperor was called away by court matters, Wu Qinghe used the chance to find an excuse to punish Mu Jinyu and personally gave her a slap.
The director elaborated on the position arrangements. They would first film the scene of Wu Qinghe and the other consorts walking in the garden.
The group majestically entered the Imperial Garden, headed by a tall, thin imperial consort. Her heavy makeup and grandiose dress couldn’t conceal her beauty. With a smooth face and straight posture, she appeared dignified and composed rather than showy and pretentious.
“In my opinion, you don’t have to come to the Imperial Garden to admire flowers. Just seeing the Imperial Consort’s appearance is more dazzling than any flower,” an imperial concubine walking right of Wu Qinghe said with a smile.
“Although Sister Li often says sweet words, I also agree with Sister Li’s words. No matter how beautiful a flower is, it really can’t compare to Imperial Consort’s,” the imperial concubine on the left of Wu Qinghe concurred.
Her words were followed by echoes of agreement.
Wu Qinghe stopped in front of a simple yet elegant flower and reached out, her fingertips brushing against its petals as she spoke indifferently, “The Emperor’s preferences are rather peculiar lately. He prefers plain congee instead.”
“This…” They looked at each other.
“It’s alright, since the Emperor likes it, he can eat more for now.” Wu Qinghe removed her hand from the flower stem.
“Cut!” the director yelled.
The director replayed the scene and signalled to continue after he saw there were no faults.
The actresses on the scene cleared their minds and moved to their arranged spots.
“Ah! The pavilion…” somebody suddenly stopped and cried out in surprise.
Everybody already looked over and saw two people sitting inside the pavilion. One was the recently favoured Noble Lady Mu while the other was the Emperor dressed in common robes.
While they were filming the pavilion, the director called stop.
“Cut! Start over and take note of Mu Jinyu’s expression. Don’t turn your head too much, just turn slightly like you noticed out of the corner of your eye. Your mood should be cautious and solemn.”
Qu Wen had acted for many years and quickly fixed her mistake.
After filming numerous scenes, it was finally time for Mu Jinyu’s punishment scene.
Wu Qinghe stood in front of Mu Jinyu and used her height superiority to look down on Mu Jinyu, bringing an overbearing sense of oppression on the other.
“You,” Wu Qinghe pinched Mu Jinyu’s chin, “You really are quite beautiful, but amongst our sisters, who’s below you in beauty? Tell this consort, how did you seduce the Emperor?!”
The camera lens zoomed in until even the pores of the two’s faces could clearly be seen.
Mu Jinyu just stared at Wu Qinghe, frowning from pain when the other’s fingernails dug into her skin.
Suddenly, Wu Qinghe raised her other hand to ruthlessly slap Mu Jinyu. The crisp echo resounded in the pavilion, startling everyone.
Mu Jinyu’s face was flung to one side.
“Imperial Consort, what wrong did my Mistress commit? Why did you hit my Mistress?” Mu Jinyu’s personal servant girl stepped forward, her face indignant.
Wu Qinghe closed her eyes and did not respond.
The palace maid beside her had already stepped forward, shouting, “Somebody come and cane this rude servant girl who dared to question her superior, the Imperial Consort, to death!”
“Imperial Consort, why take a human life just because of a sentence?” Mu Jinyu looked up and stared into Wu Qinghe’s eyes unyieldingly.
Wu Qinghe’s lips curved, “Why should I allow a person who doesn’t listen to orders to live? It’s a waste of the palace’s resources.”
“Back to the palace!” Wu Qinghe turned around, her dress flying up with the wind as she confidently walked away.
Of course, her dress couldn’t actually fly up by itself. It was all because of the fans.
“Cut! Everyone can take a break.” The director called to stop.
Qu Wen’s assistant hastily rushed in and asked worriedly, “Is your face alright?”
Her voice wasn’t quiet, causing everyone to look over. Everybody was actually startled when they heard the loud ‘Pa!’ sound. If it wasn’t for the cannon fodder servant girl promptly remembering to say her lines, the scene would’ve been cut short.
Gu Zhou had just walked to the director’s side and watched a replay of the scene. He smiled, “Don’t worry, Jiaojiao was faking it and used her own hand to create the sound.”
In fact, when they were filming the slapping scene in ‘Frost at Dawn’, Gu Zhou was the one who taught her how to fake a slap. Earlier, Jiaojiao actually spread the hand she used to pinch Qu Wen’s chin to cover half her face and slapped that hand with her other hand.
Hence, everyone could see that Qu Wen’s face didn’t have any handprint while Jiaojiao was taking a sip of water and kneading her own hand.
Qu Wen’s assistant shut her mouth.
Qu Wen glanced at her assistant before smiling, “It really sounded like an accident occurred. Jiaojiao never comes close to going out of character when she’s acting, I wonder how you do that?”
“I can testify on this, Jiaojiao never had an NG from breaking out of character before,” Gu Zhou said.
Sheng Jiaoyang took a gulp of water before speaking, “I just have a custom of wholeheartedly immersing myself into the character before filming.”
“It’s easy to get into character, but difficult to get out of it.” the director exclaimed, his eyes filled with admiration.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Kiki | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace