Chapter 25 - Like a Teenager
“Teacher Li, let’s go through this again. You should remember that you might be a dandy but your respect and admiration for your father is no less than other people. If the mood of your performance isn’t in place, the later twists and turns of your character’s emotions will be too abrupt.” The director of Sky Song was very satisfied with Li Zhao’s performance and was even pleasantly surprised.
Li Zhao could keep up with the veteran actor and they also got along very well in private. However, the director didn’t think that Li Zhao would have trouble with the prominent father-son scene.
“I’m sorry, Director Yang.” Li Zhao apologized to the director and opposing actor.
“It’s fine.” The veteran actor reached out and patted him on the shoulder. “It seems that your father is very strict with you at home. Thus, you look into my eyes and can’t show more respect, right?”
Li Zhao smiled, revealing his teeth.
“Teacher Li, let’s take a break while you look for the emotions.” Seeing that the child was stuck, Director Yang didn’t get angry. He stood up from behind the monitor and stepped towards Li Zhao. “Recently, you have been filming a lot and you might be too tired.”
Li Zhao smiled at the director and held a small stool to sit in a corner with his head down. The rest of the crew knew he was looking for a sense of the scene and didn’t bother him. Although no one in the crew blamed him, Li Zhao knew that he wasn’t tired. It was that he couldn’t get a sense of the character’s emotions.
Before when he was younger than 10 years old, his image of a father in his heart was gloomy, liked to drink and liked to punch and kick Li Zhao. Perhaps God suddenly discovered that Li Zhao had been delivered to the wrong family. The teachers and police protected him, saving him from a life of being beaten and scolded.
The parents who used to scold him weren’t his real parents. If his textbook didn’t deceive him, a mother and father would take their child to the zoo and buy the child beautiful new clothes to wear. He had lost his parents and couldn’t enjoy it at all.
During his years at the orphanage, he sometimes secretly fantasized that when he woke up the next morning, a loving couple would walk over to him and say, “I’m sorry, Mom and Dad accidentally lost you. We are here to take you home.”
Later, he didn’t wait for them and had a happy life at the welfare home. Every year, good Samaritans would come to visit and the mothers of other children would knit beautiful sweaters for them. He didn’t know how a father and son normally got along so he was timid when acting.
“I heard you NG more than a dozen times in one scene?” Song Yu came over in his costume. It was a spacious place so he didn’t sit. He had his assistant bring over a chair and sat face to face with Li Zhao.
Li Zhao raised his eyes and looked at the other person with bright eyes. He didn’t have the shame or redness that Song Yu expected. This made Song Yu instantly lose his sense of achievement. He heard that Li Zhao was acting badly so Song Yu excitedly rushed out of the lounge, afraid he would come too late and there wouldn’t be a lively scene to see.
Li Zhao’s eyes inexplicably made Song Yu feel some embarrassment and he snorted. “What is the use of looking at me? I’m not the one calling ‘cut’ in your scenes.”
“Brother Song, how do a father and son get along?” Li Zhao flattered Song Yu with a smile. “Can you tell me?”
Song Yu, “......”
The last time Li Zhao smiled at him, it was to ask him if he wanted to eat at night.
“Is that it?” Song Yu dragged the stool back, deciding to stay away from Li Zhao. “My old man doesn’t have much apart from money. If I don’t make mistakes then he will give me a lot of money. If I provoke him then he acts like a flying chicken or jumping dog.”
“Then will he take you to the zoo?”
“No.” Song Yu waved his hands.
Li Zhao suddenly realized that not all fathers would bring their children to the zoo.
“As a child, I hated zoos. Therefore, they usually took me to well-known amusement parks abroad.” Song Yu never forgot to show off his wealth. “Why are you asking about this?”
“It’s fine, no need to bother you.” Li Zhao suddenly felt that he didn’t want to know what a father-son relationship was like.
“Yes.” Song Yu only thought that Li Zhao was jealous of himself. “You can’t imagine the happiness of the rich.”
Li Zhao put his hand behind him and aimlessly walked through the studio until he saw a group actor talking on the phone to his family. The tone was a bit impatient but his eyes were very quiet. It was like as long as his parents were present, there would be a safe haven even if the road ahead was difficult and dangerous.
He stood in place for a while before turning back to find Director Yang. “Director Yang, let’s try again.”
“Yes, don’t be too psychologically stressed.” Director Yang comforted Li Zhao. “It is normal for your state to sometimes be bad.”
“Thank you.” Li Zhao took a deep breath and went to the shooting position.
They formally opened the shooting. Director Yang had the cameraman push the camera forward and nodded. “This is the feeling. Have the second machine pay attention to Li Zhao’s micro-expressions.”
The scene successfully finished filming and the veteran actor laughed. “Little Li, did you talk to your father on the phone and find that a father’s love is like a mountain?”
Li Zhao responded with a laugh.
The Spring Festival was approaching and the crew’s task was becoming heavier and heavier. Li Zhao was playing a well-known civil servant in history so there was a large number of lines. He was tired to death every time he finished shooting.
In the evening, he often chatted with Yan Ting and fell asleep. Yan Ting seemed used to this habit and let him sleep. Sometimes, seeing that he was too tired, Yan Ting would have someone bring over food and drinks. Therefore, although he was a tired dog every day, Li Zhao didn’t lose any weight.
During the period of filming, the finale of Overbearing Female President finally arrived. The drama fans were crying, reluctant to let Li Zhao end this lovely role. Some of Li Zhao’s fans wanted to see Li Zhao’s other dramas. They searched the Internet and found that Li Zhao had no other dramas.
Who was the son of Heaven who became famous with only one drama? There was a marketing account who wrote this and forwarded it with a photo of Li Zhao.
This type of Weibo seemed to help increase Li Zhao’s sense of existence but in fact, it was easy for passersby to feel that Li Zhao obtained everything too easily and this was bad for his long-term development.
Li Zhao’s team noticed this. They spent all night to find all the movie and television resources Li Zhao had participated in and edited a video overnight.
“Brother Zhang, Zhao Zhao also participated in Heroic Ruler? This show had a good reception and is probably the number one TV series this year.” The team’s staff looked at Li Zhao’s performance materials and couldn’t help sucking in a breath at the sight of Li Zhao’s workload. Even Zhang Xiaoyuan’s eyes were different.
There might be many Zhou the exploiter type agents in the industry but they weren’t so ruthless. Zhao Zhao was only 19 years old last year but he did dangerous actions as a substitute in order to make money.
“Outsiders all say that Zhao Junnan’s role in Heroic Ruler is very complete. I didn’t expect that several scenes I liked were done by Zhao Zhao.” There was a young man in the team who really liked Heroic Ruler. He even planned to recommend Zhao Junnan to take part in a big movie planned by the company.
“Didn’t Zhao Junnan claim that many of the difficult actions in Heroic Ruler were done by him and that he didn’t like to use a stand-in?” Another staff member sneered. “An artist’s mouth is a liar.”
“Don’t put out the news that Zhao Zhao is Zhao Junnan’s stand-in.” Zhang Xiaoyuan ordered. “Zhao Zhao’s popularity is currently based on his Internet drama. Zhao Junnan is a first-tier actor. This time, the success of Heroic Ruler meant he received many passersby fans. If this news comes out, people will only think that Zhao Zhao is attaching himself to Zhao Junnan’s heat and will be disgusted with him.”
“Brother Zhang is right.” The editor nodded. “However, we can cut the side shot for around a second in the video. The fans won’t notice it now but once Zhao Zhao rises...”
The world admired the strong but also sympathized with the suffering and grievances that the strong had suffered.
The current Zhao Junnan dared to face the media and place all the credit on his body. If it backfired on him later then he shouldn’t regret it.
Zhang Xiaoyuan had been upset after seeing Zhao Junnan’s interview. It was normal that artists didn’t want to let fans know they used a stand-in. However, it was clear that many wire and fighting scenes weren’t done by himself yet he liked to publicize about how dedicated he was and how he didn’t like to use doubles. It was a bit disgusting.
In the beginning, in the Heroic Ruler crew, Zhao Junnan used to say how much he appreciated Zhao Zhao a lot and there were suitable roles for Zhao Zhao. He would recommend Zhao Zhao for an audition. Later, he learned there was small role available in Heroic Ruler. The director saw that Zhao Zhao’s fight scenes were good and planned to give this role to Zhao Zhao. Then once Zhao Junnan heard about it, he went to the director and said that Zhao Zhao wasn’t suitable for the role and the matter was dropped.
If it wasn’t for a staff member’s unpleasant relationship with Zhao Junnan’s team, this matter wouldn’t have been known.
Chen Mingming was a fan of Li Zhao. Her baby might still be new but she would go and check his data every day. She hoped that her baby would have a place in the hot list.
That night, she searched through Li Zhao’s posts online and saw a video.
[No success is easy. Some people might look like light wind on the surface but behind them is a professional cannon fodder actor.]
She clicked on the video and saw the names of crews that were both famous and unknown.
In these dramas, Zhao Zhao played an eunuch, a passerby classmate, the rascal who flirted with the female protagonist and was kicked away by the male protagonist. He also jumped into amid pit again and again. Looking at Zhao Zhao wearing a costume and climbing out of the mud pit, shivering with cold, Chen Mingming was so distressed that she wanted to enter the video and put a thick coat around her baby.
Then she soon discovered that this wasn’t her baby’s worst experience.
He was dragged by a horse across the ground, breaking his knee. He hit the eaves when hanging from a wire and almost fainted when hit by a weapon on the ground. Every scene was the suffering of a stuntman.
Her baby, who she treated as a treasure, was so miserable. Chen Mingming couldn’t bear to watch the full video but she couldn’t help opening it again and again. The thing that poked at Chen Mingming’s heart the most was at the end, Zhao Zhao wore a white shirt and smiled at the camera, stating, “What’s wrong with you?”
The most touching thing was to go through thousands of experience but still be a teenager.
This smile firmly occupied Chen Mingming’s whole heart. In this instant, she understood what it meant to have the right heart.
The author has something to say:
Zhang Xiaoyuan: Sell it!
Baby Zhao: What to sell?
Zhang Xiaoyuan: Misery
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