Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 35: Please Call Me a Natural Acting Talent
Standing in the corner of the elevator, Gao Qiao was watching the official trailer. The melodious sounds of a flute could be heard. After he finished, he raised his head and said to Yan Qiuchi, “The data and responses are very good…”
Yan Qiuchi responded, “Ah.”
Their company had people who specialized in collecting data. They did public opinion research and had already given estimates long before the trailer was released. The estimated results were very ideal, so today’s feedback wasn’t unexpected.
The interviews with the visiting class and the media were conducted at the same time. After Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan finished filming, the interviews with others were over, and the media were waiting for them excitedly.
This was the highlight of today’s interview! Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai could attract everyone’s attention by standing together. What was more, the rivalry scene that they just played today was brilliant!
Shen Jintai had practiced vocals before, so he paid careful attention to the maintenance of his voice. His throat felt a bit weak, and his voice sounded fragile. He had so many scenes today that it exhausted him and he was starting to sound a little hoarse. He took a sip of water and went to the interview area under the guidance of the staff and happened to bump into Bai Qingquan getting out of his nanny car.
He smiled at Bai Qingquan, who handed him a cup of tea.
“Moisten your throat.”
Shen Jintai saw that there were malva nuts* inside.
*Also known as scaphium affine. In Chinese medicine, it’s used to remove heat from the lungs, cure sore throats, counteract toxicity, and moisten the bowels.
“Thank you.” Shen Jintai took it, unscrewed the lid and took a sip. The two of them walked to the interview site together.
This scene was already photographed by a Chinese media group, and both moonlight powders and gold powders saw it. The two sides looked at each other with complicated expressions.
That just happened!
It seemed like it did!
Moonlight powders, especially, thought so.
Wow, wow, wow. The elder brother of their family was a beautiful and kind-hearted person. After being bullied by Shen Jintai for so many years, he’s still kind to him. All those negative things in the world about him aren’t true!
The gold powders laughed.
Bai Qingquan’s white lotus-like style hadn’t changed at all in the past few years. It’s no wonder that before their brother retired a few years ago, he complained about Bai Qingquan’s hypocrisy in public.
There were many kinds of disagreement in the entertainment industry. While the stars may have a good relationship between them, with their fans tearing each other apart every day, it could create the illusion of discord. On the other hand, some fans were at peace while their idols privately stepped on each other.
Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan fans were like water and fire; natural enemies.
“The scene you guys played just now was astounding. Did the two of you exchange ideas in private?” The reporter asked with a smirk.
Shen Jintai glanced at Bai Qingquan and with a smile said, “There must be communication. We all did rehearsals before the filming.”
He moved the microphone to Bai Qingquan’s side, and Bai Qingquan also smiled and said, “A good performance may hinge on your opponent’s strength.”
Shen Jintai turned his head and asked him, “Are you praising me or yourself?”
Bai Qingquan responded through the laughter of the reporters, “All praises.”
The reporters were dumbfounded. When Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai debuted together as a group, the interviews back then were wonderful, mainly because Shen Jintai liked to mock, ridicule, and suppress Bai Qingquan every step of the way. It made Bai Qingquan seem weak and soft.
They were expecting that since the two were acting together again, they would tear each other apart. Unexpectedly, they witness a sight of brotherhood instead… No, wait. It may be a deeper sisterhood.
But this wasn’t the scene they wanted to see! They wanted to see stars pulling flowers! Shen Jintai, the master of flower pulling, hurry and come out!
“I don’t know if you two have heard of the rumors between the two of you before. In fact, everyone was quite surprised to see that the two of you were cooperating in this drama. Now that you guys are working together so happily, can you clarify the misunderstanding to everyone?” The female reporter with glasses was very clever. Her questions seemed to be for them, but it was obvious she was stirring the pot.
This was a loaded question. Bai Qingquan smiled at Shen Jintai. He felt it was safer if Shen Jintai answered it first.
Shen Jintai had never liked these kinds of feuds. It often embarrassed him.
Shen Jintai smiled and said, “It’s not a misunderstanding. The two of us really didn’t get along before.”
His words shocked the audience. The moonlight powders was cursing up a storm. As soon as he was given some good face, this hateful Shen Jintai revealed his old tricks again. The hot drama was about to start again!
The faces of Li Meilan and Xiao Tang, who were standing in front of the gold powders, paled.
Li Meilan kept frowning at Shen Jintai. God damn it! Shen Jintai can you not always tell the truth? Don’t you know how the entertainment industry works?! Even if you have MMP* in your heart, please have a smile on your face!
* [mā mài pī] (媽賣批) Acronym of a curse word due to censorship. It can mean various things based off of context (son of a bitch/wtf/your mother a whore ect.).
The audience turned to look at Bai Qingquan. Bai Qingquan’s smile froze, and he became slightly embarrassed. The reporters’ hearts were boiling.
Shen Touhua had finally reemerged!
Shen Jintai remained smiling as he continued, “I must tell the truth about this. Although we debuted together, I used to be very irritable and temperamental. I wasn’t friendly with Qingquan, while Qingquan was always nice to everyone.”
Li Meilan let out a long sigh. Although it was a bit dangerous to blacken yourself in this way, it was much better to do it yourself than to put it all on Bai Qingquan.
Young man, you are finally on the right track.
The makeup on Bai Qingquan’s face slightly solidified. He looked at Shen Jintai very seriously. Hearing what Shen Jintai just said made him surprised, as did the entire audience.
“Because I was only 18 years old when I first debuted, I wasn’t very sensible. I was still a child. Since retiring, a lot of things have happened to me, and I’ve grown and matured. I think now, I can be good friends with Qingquan.”
After speaking, Shen Jintai paused, turned his head and looked at Bai Qingquan. There was no hint of awkwardness at all. On the contrary, his face looked very sincere.
Bai Qingquan felt that what Shen Jintai said was true. He had witnessed the change with his own eyes.
Although they didn’t see a fight-to-the-death situation between the two, Shen Jintai’s words were enough. The reporters were satisfied.
The phrase “we did not get along before” could be cut into a trailer, creating a big enough explosion.
Shen Jintai said this not only to throw an olive branch to Bai Qingquan but also to give the reporters something. Being in the industry for so long, he understood the importance of mutual benefit. This was the job of an entertainment reporter, and they liked stars who met their expectations.
Today’s filming was very difficult. It consumed a lot of physical and mental energy. At the end of the day, everyone felt exhausted. Especially Song Wei, who was a lot older than the younger cast members. She was too tired and so the scheduled dinner was cancelled.
Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan were young and, after a little bit of rest, were fully recovered. The excitement from acting today was so enjoyable that it was hard to dissipate. Though Shen Jintai was very serious when filming, once he left the set, he became lively and joyful as he invited a group of people to dinner.
“Qingquan, do you want to go together?” He asked with a smile.
Bai Qingquan took off his makeup and came out. He was thin and tall, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. His eyes looked better after covering the lower half of his face. He said, with a smile, “Okay.”
Shen Jintai was stunned for a moment. This was a huge improvement. He wasn’t sure if it was because of his acting today or the interview just now that showed his sincerity that seemed to have made some change in Bai Qingquan. Thinking about this, he suddenly remembered his reward.
When Xiao Ai jumped out, he was still immersed in the play, so he didn’t pay any attention to it. Now that he remembered, he seemed to have received a lot of rewards.
Shen Jintai greeted everyone as they got into the car. Zheng Siqi said, “Let’s go together in my car.” Zheng Siqi came here in a luxury car. Despite being a newcomer, he was quite rich. His extravagance did not just stay with his looks.
Shen Jintai got into his car and called Xiao Ai as soon as he sat down.
“Dear!” Xiao Ai was very enthusiastic.
“What rewards did you say I got?”
“The killer waist, may cherries, sharp eyebrows, and gorgeous eyes. By the way, the killer waist also comes with a bonus of two venus dimples.”
Shen Jintai was a little embarrassed. “May cherries?”
Xiao Ai smirked. “Yes, because the favorability value had risen so quickly, it was too late to let you choose between two options. The system could only choose one for you, so I made it on your behalf. But dear, that’s not the point. You’ve also been rewarded with sharp eyebrows and gorgeous eyes!”
Shen Jintai’s attention was successfully distracted. The words “sharp eyebrows and gorgeous eyes” sounded so delightful that they instantly neutralized his anger for the may cherry.
“Yes, the eyebrows are well defined, and the eyes are exquisite. As the name suggests, you’re getting the sharpest and well-defined eyebrows and an attractive pair of eyes. You must know that, as an actor, the most important thing is your eyes. Your acting skills are good, and paired with these eyebrows and eyes, I believe that in the future, you’ll be able to withstand those close-up shots. It’ll make you look particularly expressive and moving!”
“When did you become so talkative?” He was very satisfied. He took out his phone, turned on the front camera, and looked into his eyes. It seems to have brightened up quite a bit. Paired with his rosy lips, his complexion looked very healthy and sunny.
He smiled for a long time, obviously in a good mood. He felt that his appearance had improved by miles, and with just a smile he could brighten the hearts of those who gazed upon him.
As for the other rewards, he couldn’t look at them now, nor did he care that much.
Shen Jintai shifted slightly to a more comfortable position when his loose T-shirt rubbed against his body. He suddenly felt……
This may cherry should only refer to the color, not the shape, right?
He didn’t have the courage to look down. He quickly turned on his phone to divert his attention. He hadn’t seen the trailer yet. He only heard Xiao Tang saying that the comments about him were good and the gold powders were pleased.
Li Meilan was overly excited, thinking that his comeback would definitely be successful.
Shen Jintai first read some popular Weibo comments. The top few hot comments were all fan-controlled comments, and the top three were all related to Bai Qingquan. This showed the combat effectiveness of the moonlight powders. Following this were comments about Yang Lizhi. Plum powders strength should not be underestimated.
After that, it was him. He retweeted the Weibo post and saw that his Weibo fans had risen by tens of thousands. He didn’t write any text but only used a few emoticons, which made him seem a bit restrained.
Then he opened the trailer and watched it again. Zheng Siqi, who was in front of him, heard the music and looked back. “Trailer?”
Shen Jintai said, “Nn”. He was very excited seeing the edited trailer with the soundtrack. The music was well matched, which made it suitable to be played in public streets and alleys. The colors in the trailer were a little thick but there weren’t any flaws. It remained elegant.
Guo Rui’s capture was like a painting.
The ending showed him raising his head as the music ended then lowering it slightly gave people an enchanting feeling.
“That’s not the only trailer from the official blog,” Zheng Siqi reminded him. “Both satellite TV stations have released their own version.”
“Really?” Shen Jintai immediately went to search for them.
The previews of the two satellite TV stations’ versions were basically the same as the official blog. The extra shots were some big scenes with no specific plot. Among them, there was a group of concubines stepping on the stage of the music festival. The scenes were melodious and grand, and contrasted with the aura of palace fights that were about to come, making people excited.
Weibo was the world of fans, so marketing was more focused on the young idols. TV stations were in the world of aunties, so the focus was more on the palace women’s dramas. His name was ranked very low. Even Bai Qingquan, as the male lead, came in second.
Shen Jintai became eager. He already wanted to watch the series. There was still more than half a month to go, assuming no accidents. More and more materials will surface within this half month.
The real-time comments still had a lot of his black powders. The most common response was, “A trailer can’t reveal what the problem is. He didn’t have any lines, so no acting skills were shown at all!”
Shen Jintai was excited when he saw this kind of black powder’s comment. He wanted to see what their reaction would be once the series airs.
“Shen Jintai’s career may really turn around with this drama,” Wei Ge said to Bai Qingquan in the nanny car.
Bai Qingquan was a little tired. He was lying on the seat with his eyes closed as he said lightly, “He’s really good at acting.”
Wei Ge paused, looked at him, and said, “Do you still hate him now?”
“Honestly?” Bai Qingquan opened his eyes. “When I look at him now, it’s not a feeling of disgust but of fear.”
“Fear? What are you afraid of?”
“I’m afraid that I’ll be suppressed by him all the time. I can’t match him. Sometimes his eyes are scary, and I get goosebumps all over my body.” Bai Qingquan leaned back on the seat. Feeling a little confused, he remembered Shen Jintai’s eyes when he was filming. Those eyes seemed to be full of adoration. “He used to act so wooden, but now he seems to be enlightened. There’s a mysterious aura coming from his body.”
Acting aura was something the ancestors would appreciate eating*. Many subjects had studied acting for years, but they could never reach that level.
*(祖师爷赏饭吃) Refers to doing something that takes a lot of hard work to succeed.
The aura was important.
Bai Qingquan thought he didn’t have this kind of aura. Although he was more suitable for acting than ordinary people, his empathetic ability wasn’t as good as Shen Jintai. He still needed to find that point, think about it, and figure out how to interpret the character. It was rare for him to be able to enter a character and forget about himself during filming.
For a young actor like him who was still making progress, the experience of entering into a character was particularly shocking. The weirdness, wonder, pleasure, and fear could not be described in words. It caused his scalp to go numb. When the scene was over, he would feel immense love for acting.
When filming <The East Palace> he had experienced this feeling twice. Once with Express Xiao when he had his rivalry scene with Song Wei, and once with Shen Jintai. This was what he wanted to pursue. If Shen Jintai had it, he could briefly forget the humiliation he had suffered and respect him in his heart.
Acting may look like a seemingly easy task, but in fact, it was quite difficult for ordinary people to be able to express themselves freely in front of a camera without any scruples. It required talent and training.
But training was never as good as talent. Shen Jintai had talent.
“He was born to eat this bowl of rice*, especially in front of a camera.” Guo Rui laid down on the chair and said to Yan Qiuchi.
*(这碗饭) Refers to a profession. Being able to “eat this bowl of rice” means he’s very good at his job.
Yan Qiuchi looked at the filming material on the computer and was at the climax of the show. The praying mantis hunts the cicada, unaware of the oriole is behind him. The crown prince had been framed, but just like the clever Li Xu, he did not know who was behind the murder. Shen Jintai on the screen had blood stains on his forehead. His hairpin was askew, loosening his hair. A few strands fell as he stared into the camera. His eyes were red, looking exhausted, yet the look had a kind of strength that could strike directly at people’s hearts.
The guards grabbed Prince Zhou Ying with one hand, and Zhou Ying whispered to him anxiously, “Go back to second brother.”
As soon as his voice fell, he was pulled away. His clothes rustled, and Li Xu wanted to grab the crown prince’s hand, but they only caught air. He knelt down to the ground, turned his head around to look at Zhou Jing, who was behind him, then glanced at the seats where the emperor’s relatives were sitting. Their expressions were flustered and hostile. He suddenly realized that everyone present was a murderer.
Too many people wanted to live in the East Palace and sit in the Phoenix Seat.
The empress crawled on the ground kowtowing and cried, “Your Majesty!”
Li Xu’s expression changed abruptly, and he suddenly looked in the direction of the prince. His lips trembled, and he clenched his fists.
Yan Qiuchi had read the script. The screenwriter, Meng Xiaosheng, once told him that crown prince Zhou Ying, as well as the little eunuch Li Xu, were “the kindest people to die and the most black-hearted demons.”
Before the start of filming, he couldn’t imagine what Shen Jintai’s Li Xu would look like.
Now he had it in his mind. He thought about Shen Jintai’s tearful appearance when he plotted to poison the prince. He was now looking forward to seeing Shen Jintai holding a rose and saying Li Xu’s most classic line.
The author has something to say:
Ah, ah, ah, what classic lines?!
I want to smile and watch each of you cry! (Yi Ping face*)
*I’m assuming it’s referring to an actress or character. I found this image on Google that I think is her.
One day, I will let everyone who has despised me kneel in front of me and beg me for forgiveness. I will step on the whole world under my feet! (Lan Zhen’s face*)
*I’m assuming it’s referring to an actress or character. I found this image on Google that I think is her.
Shen Jintai: I want to make each of you really fragrant!
Aww I’m glad Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai worked things out. I’m a’okay if the author decides to head in this direction with this pairing haha.