Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 10: Start the Face Slapping
Shen Jintai, who had been silent for two years, recently made a lot of small movements.
“Shen Jintai is really going to make a comeback. The recent hype has been wave after wave.”
“Are you in the DGLL group?”
“Can the cuckoo upstairs not use abbreviations? Every time I visit your group, it takes me a long time to solve your codes!”
“I don’t know why this information is being spread or cared about. Even if he hasn’t been unruly, it’s impossible for him to act in the same drama as Bai Yueguang, right?”
“Why is it spreading? Ha, ha, ha! What else could he do besides rub off the heat from Bai Yueguang in order to make a comeback. The gold powders will cue Bai Yueguang’s whole family crematorium*!”
*Clarity: I think it’s referring to gold fans wronging Bai Qingquan and eventually seeing the errors of their ways and seek his forgiveness.
“With his current popularity, would Bai Yueguang let his nemesis rub heat off him? Don’t think too much about it. It must be fake!”
“Moonlight powders are also shameless. The likes of Shen Touhua may not bother to lift Qingquan’s sedan chair.”
“The information about the TV series is fake, but Shen Jintai’s comeback must be true. His Weibo has just opened again. He hasn’t been active on Weibo for several years, yet suddenly there’s been a huge spike of activity. He must be making a comeback!”
“What’s the meaning behind Shen Jintai’s recent Weibo post? Is it related to his nickname?”
“Hahaha, I can’t believe you don’t even know. It’s true what you said. There’s really a big red flower on his head!”
“Is he going to rely on self-blackening1 then whitewashing2?”
1Blackening = Slandering and creating or spreading negative information to defame someone or some projects, usually done by anti-fans. Self-blackening is doing it yourself.
2Deliberately misleading people in various ways, causing them to forget a celebrity’s bad past. For instance, a celebrity with lots of scandals may whitewash themselves by doing a lot of charity work. Eventually, people will be overwhelmed with their positive energy and forget their past scandals.
“Can he even whitewash? Gay stone hammer*!”
*(石锤) Slang referring to conclusive evidence. || In this context, he’s saying there’s irrefutable evidence he’s gay, so it can’t be whitewashed. Since being gay is taboo in the entertainment industry, he won’t be able to deny his sexual orientation.
“Is there anyone in the entertainment industry more disgusting than him? He bought all that black material to slander Bai Qingquan. Did the gold powders forget the origin of the name of your family’s Shen Touhua?!”
When Shen Jintai went online, he was scolded so badly he quickly turned off his phone.
His tried-and-tested actor’s tricks didn’t work anymore!
“You still shouldn’t post on Weibo right now. I think many people have guessed that you’re going to act in the East Palace,” Li Meilan said on the phone. “Bear it for a few more days. Friday will be the opening conference. We’ll try to make a splash then.”
Before the official comeback, they should remain silent. Shen Jintai’s popularity was currently too low. To get any traction, they’d need hot spots but too much movement would look abnormal. Netizens would suspect that it was fake news.
Now that the heat was rising, they would break the news directly at the right time. In the past, Shen Jintai had naturally made it to the top of the hot searches. Li Meilan felt that she didn’t need to buy marketing accounts to push news of his comeback. The natural heat would detonate the hot search organically.
Shen Jintai hung up and read the script at home wholeheartedly. After he finished reading 20 episodes of the script, he was so itchy that he wanted to continue reading the rest of the story.
However, even top-tier celebrities, like Yang Lizhi, would rarely see the entire script when picking up a drama. Sometimes it was due to confidentiality issues; other times it was because the script was unfinished. Shen Jintai understood that this was the norm of the industry. However, he was really hung up on the plot and really wanted to see how it would develop next.
Impatiently, he searched for relevant information about <The East Palace is Coming> and discovered that this drama was adapted from a well-known IP.
Shen Jintai’s favorite thing to do when he had nothing to do was read novels. He immediately looked for the original work so he could read it.
“Damn.” The original work was classified as R18 on a novel website!
Isn’t this colored texts*?!
*Reference to vulgar materials.
Shen Jintai continued reading the novel and found that it was a conspiracy novel that had a particularly good mix of drama and plot. The author was even more bold and had a mixture of both BL and BG*. The plot of the novel was very different from the script version. In the original novel, his supporting role was more important, and there were many wonderful scenes that belonged to him. These scenes were all arranged for the female lead in the script adaptation.
*BL = Boy’s Love. || BG = Boy-Girl (love).
This was also reasonable since Yang Lizhi was a top-tier celebrity, they had to give her a much more impactful and heavier role so that she would be willing to accept it.
Shen Jintai continued reading, forgetting to sleep and eat until he reached the scene between the eunuch, Li Xu, and the exiled prince. He prided himself on having read many novels, but he was still embarrassed when he read about the eunuch’s penis*. Apparently, the author was an expert in this field because he wrote more than a thousand words about it. He had a hard time continuing.
*Car (车) = euphemism for penis/sex/doing the explicit ect.
The writing became very salacious. Since the eunuch lacked a penis, the bed scenes described would naturally be a bit different than an ordinary danmei. The author wrote in great detail about Li Xu’s physical defect and, because of it, how much it aroused the Crown Prince, Zhou Ying.
The innocent prince had such kinky taste. My god. Shen Jintai had to put down the phone, not daring to look at it anymore. While on the subject, the person who had the most scenes in the first twenty episodes was neither the female lead, Yang Lizhi, nor the male lead, Bai Qingquan, but was actually the third male lead, Prince Zhou Ying.
Shen Jintai didn’t know who would be playing Zhou Ying’s role.
<The East Palace is Coming> was this year’s most expensive costume drama* in China. The cast members encompassed three generations of old, middle-aged, and young actors who were well-known in the industry. Shen Jintai was to play the little eunuch who was known for his beauty. He felt like his current appearance was a bit unworthy for the role.
*A genre under historical drama. The costume drama is often separated into a genre of historical dramas. Early critics defined them as films focusing on romance and relationships in sumptuous surroundings, contrasting them with other historical dramas believed to have more serious themes.
He intended to go to bed early tonight in order to have a good look tomorrow. When taking a bath, he couldn’t help but touch his ass. ‘It’s so soft!’ Shen Jintai smiled and kept staring at it helplessly.
He really wanted to…
While he was distracted, the sound of his cell phone ringing brought him back to attention, startling him. He quickly put on his bathrobe and came out. The caller ID showed “old fairy”.
Who’s the old fairy?
A vague memory popped into his mind. The old fairy was Shen Jintai’s stepmother.
When it came to feelings, Shen Jintai and his stepmother had a very amicable relationship.
He coughed and picked up the phone.
“Xiao Jin,” A gentle and charming female voice cried. “What am I to do?!”
Shen Jintai: “What’s wrong?”
“Our house has been seized by the court. We have to move out by tomorrow,” His stepmother cried in a grandiose tone. “We have nothing left. No home, no car. It’s all gone! You must help your father. He’s going to be unable to survive!”
Shen Jintai frowned. “Stop going around in circles. Just say it directly.”
“Your house is so big just for just one person to live alone, right? Can you let us move in? When we have money in the future, we’ll definitely move out. It’s not a big deal for adults like us to live anywhere, but your sister is so young. She can’t be allowed to suffer with us…”
Before his stepmother finished speaking, a man snatched the phone away. “Your Aunt Liu is not begging you. She’s telling you that we are moving in tomorrow. Although the house is under your name, it was laozi* who bought it for you!”
*Reference an old master. Commonly used slang to referred to say “Your Father”. Basically, it’s saying this great one… but in this case above, the person speaking really is his father.
Before Shen Jintai could respond, the other party hung up the phone. Judging by the tone, it was Shen Jintai’s bankrupted father. He thought about it all night, whether he would agree to it or not.
He remembered that Shen Jintai in the original work only loved two people in this world. One was Yan Qiuchi, and the other was his half-sister.
Shen Jintai was a very ambitious person. If he had the opportunity in the future, he would most likely live with the crew. He would fly everywhere as a star and would rarely return home. Most likely, he would live in his home for only a few days throughout the year. It would indeed be empty. For the sake of the original owner, he did feel a little pity for his little sister.
When the Shen family went bankrupt, he didn’t know how he was able to keep this villa. Although the original owner used to be the top performer in the entertainment industry, he didn’t make much money. He mainly relied on his family’s money for support. Despite the poor relationship between father and son, his father had never been stingy about giving him money.
Shen Jintai checked the balance on his bank card. There were still more than 200,000 yuan left. He went to the garage to look at his luxury cars. There was still an Audi left. For a star like him, it was really a bit too poor. He had more money than this in his previous life when he was a third or fourth tier actor.
He didn’t want to meet with Father Shen and the others. He felt it would be too awkward. After all, these were the relatives of the original owner, but he had already died. According to the plot, he died the day Shen Jintai transmigrated over.
Shen Jintai left 100,000 yuan and the car keys at home. He sent a text message to Father Shen, carried his suitcase, and went to a motel.
The next day, when Li Meilan and Xiao Tang came to the motel to pick him up, they asked, “Why are you staying here?”
Shen Jintai got into the car and said, “Doesn’t matter. No one recognizes me.” No one in the country would expect a famous star like him to be living in a shabby little motel.
Xiao Tang looked at the dilapidated building, closed the car door, and said, “At least it’s very close to the crew.”
“What about your house?” Li Meilan knew about his family’s situation. “Was it also seized?”
“No, my dad and the others are moving there, and I don’t want to be a bother and live with them.” Shen Jintai said, “Anyways, I’ll be living with the crew in a few days… By the way, it’ll be covered by the crew, right?”
“It’s written in the contract. Food, clothing, housing, and transportation are included in the remuneration. It’s been several days since the contract was signed. If there are no surprises, they will pay a deposit today. They will pay 60% of the remuneration when the filming starts, 30% when it’s halfway done, and the rest when it finishes.”
They didn’t ask for a high salary this time. After all, this was his first job at the start of his comeback. The intangible benefits of being in this drama were more important than the fact that it would eventually pay in millions down the line.
Shen Jintai didn’t really have an opinion on film remuneration. If he liked the film, even if he didn’t get paid, he would still shoot it. Compared with ordinary jobs, being a celebrity was a lucrative business. If a star was willing to work hard, money would eventually land at their feet.
Shen Jintai was still reading the script in the car. Li Meilan picked up the book and flipped through it. She circled it and made a lot of annotations, some with a red-colored pen and some with a blue-colored pen. There were notes in the blank spaces written by Shen Jintai so he could reference them to better his understanding of the script when he was acting. The words were slightly scribbled and intermittent, so she couldn’t understand some of them.
It seemed like things were looking up. The bankruptcy of the Shen family and the loss of love must have hit Shen Jintai hard. His whole personality seemed to be reborn and he became highly motivated.
While they arrived early, there were already others who had arrived earlier than they did. The veteran star, Song Wei, who played the queen mother, was the first to arrive.
The staff introduced him to her, and Shen Jintai respectfully called her Teacher Song.
“So you are the final cast member,” Song Wei said with a smile. “Whether this drama will be good or not is highly dependent on your role. Director Guo had been looking for a long time to fill it. I didn’t expect he picked you.” The tone was not at all subtle.
Guo Rui himself was very fond of the second male lead, Li Xu, and the third male lead, Zhou Ying, so he was very cautious when choosing the actors. When the role of Li Xu was cast, everyone thought it would be some outstanding newcomer, but it turned out to be Shen Jintai.
The circle all knew Shen Jintai’s reputation and acting skills. Everyone understood why he got the role.
Song Wei thought silently, ‘With the current situation of the entertainment industry, anyone can become an actor. If the acting skill isn’t sufficient, the face can still be used as a vase*. Though Shen Jintai looked white and pure, in terms of beauty, don’t bother mentioning the entire entertainment industry; in their crew alone, he was simply average-looking.’
*Clarity: It means even if the acting sucks, they’ll still attract viewers anyway because they have a nice-looking face.
As the cast started to arrive, handsome men and beauties came in one by one, yet no matter how high ranked they were, everyone was still cordial. The late Yang Lizhi sat next to Shen Jintai and had a slightly perfunctory attitude. Among all the makeup, only hers was exquisite and gorgeous. When she tossed her hair carelessly, a wonderful fragrance could be smelled.
The last ones to arrive were the director, screenwriter, and Bai Qingquan. He was very considerate and gave all the actors and staff on the scene a bag of tea that was famous in the local area. Shen Jintai stared at him from his seat. Bai Qingquan looked very low-key. He wore a simple white T-shirt and jeans and had no makeup on.
Shen Jintai thought, despite this, his bare face looked better than others that had on makeup. With a full smile, lush red lips, and shiny white teeth, he truly was a heartthrob.
Because Shen Jintai was the last to be cast, not everyone knew the news, so many had faces of surprise that they couldn’t hide. An idol with a bad reputation and average appearance, let alone any acting skills. The only thing similar to Li Xu’s character was the identity of being gay.
When Guo Rui introduced Shen Jintai, he had a very satisfied look. He smiled and said, “Everyone should already know this person. Shen Jintai is our Li Xu. “
Shen Jintai stood up and bowed humbly. “It is an honor to participate in this drama. Please give me your guidance in the coming days.”
Yang Lizhi picked up her cup and took a sip of water, trying to suppress the urge to flip over a table at this moment. Her current position depended not only on the crew but also on the actors she collaborated with. The role of Li Xu was the second male lead, and in the later stages, the main villain. She had a lot of scenes with him. Guo Rui had promised her that he would be cautious in choosing the actor, and she’d been looking forward to it for a long time, only to find out that the result was Shen Jintai.
Shen Touhua… She often did the flower dance at Station B. Moreover, he squeezed out a younger brother from their company, who was much more beautiful than him. In the end, she maintained her celebrity demeanor, tossed her hair, and turned to look away.
Bai Qingquan was sitting on the other side of her. The two of them looked at each other, and Yang Lizhi gave him a shrug.
Many people saw this little gesture. They understood Yang Lizhi’s disdain. Even they were surprised by the result.
It was rumored that Young Master Shen Jintai had a bad temper and a bad personality. The image he gave now looked so warm and peaceful as he gave everyone a smile.
After bankruptcy, the young master also became a slave to the sedan chair, and his life was turned upside down. Many people could sympathize with it.
Under the leadership of the director, everyone got to know each other first, and then they started the script run-through. All the main actors were present, and the supporting roles in the script, which had very few lines, were temporarily played by the staff. When everyone was situated, the formal reading commenced.
Everyone was stunned during this round of reading, because Shen Jintai’s lines were too good.
The author has something to say:
Shen Jintai: I’m here for the acting.
Everyone was slapped in the face, starting from the supporting role.