Visiting Him on Set
Su Shen immediately froze but quickly reacted. She continued to eat while answering, “Yeah, we collaborated on two productions before—pretty familiar.”
Her tone was calm without any ups and downs. Seeing this, Mama Su could only hand over the phone to her, “Don’t get too close to these men. Everyone in the entertainment industry is messy.”
After taking her phone, Su Shen didn’t answer it immediately. Instead, she said to her mom in all seriousness, “You can’t tar with the same brush. I’m also part of the entertainment industry. Am I not a good person?”
“What kind of analogy is this? I’m saying most are. Do you think you can find a good needle in a haystack?” Mama Su placed her chopsticks down and became more stirred up the more she spoke about it.
Hearing this, Su Shen immediately countered, “Why do you not have faith in me? What if I can really find a good one?”
“Alright, alright. Stop arguing. The phone’s still ringing.” Papa Su immediately waved his hand, indicating for the two of them to stop talking.
Seeing this, Su Shen could only answer the phone and specially turned the volume down to the lowest. As soon as she answered, a deep and mellow voice came from the other end of the phone, “Have you eaten?”
“En. Happy New Year! You’re one year older,” said Su Shen as she ate and mumbled.
Xie Yan: “…….”
“How could you say that to someone!” Papa Su glared at her, “No manners!”
Su Shen: “……”
“When I come back, it’s necessary to let you see whether I’m old or not.” Xie Yan stressed.
Su Shen couldn’t help but blush. In order not to let her parents see her peculiarity, she kept her head down as she ate. She felt that Xie Yan had gotten corrupt.
Perhaps knowing that she was thin-skinned, Xie Yan coughed again and said insipidly, “Do you miss me?”
Su Shen immediately felt her face burning and didn’t dare say anything. When her dad looked at her again, she then said into the phone, “I’m eating dinner right now. Talk to you next time, bye.”
After saying that, she continued to eat while being afraid that her parents would see her peculiarity as her ears were a little red.
Papa Su took a sip of the baijiu*, and then picked up a piece of beef into his bowl. He suddenly looked up as if he remembered something, “Is this Xie Yan the actor that acted in Fleeting Time Like Water?”
baijiu – colorless Chinese liquor typically coming in between 35% and 60% alcohol by volume
At that, Su Shen was taken aback. She picked up the glass of water at the side and took a sip. She looked at the person sitting across from her curiously and asked, “You’ve seen it before?”
The film Fleeting Time Like Water was the one that Xie Yan worked on with Director Li. He played as a teacher in the olden days, but he fell in love with his own student. The film had won a lot of awards that year, but she didn’t expect that her dad had also watched it.
“You think I only know how to work every day? We also have to keep up with the times.” Papa Su snorted, picked up his glass, and took a sip of baijiu. He clicked his tongue and said, “I’ve even heard that a film could earn him hundreds of millions. What about you?”
Su Shen: “……”
“I’m still just starting my career. When I become famous in the future, I can also make a lot of money.” Su Shen pursed her lips and continued to pick up veggies into her bowl. She didn’t know how much she had to work to reach Xie Yan’s level, and it was also possible that she would never reach it.
Although it was quick to earn money in the entertainment industry, the fastest way was not to shoot films, but to take part in commercial productions, or to accept endorsements. For example, Wang Cheng earned ten million for one endorsement right now. He only needed to shoot a commercial and take part in some events. Additionally, taking part in variety shows was even more lucrative. For Wang Cheng, a season of a variety show would earn him 20 million. The time for shooting an entire season would be no more than 15 days added up, and 20 million would be in his hands.
But it would be a short-lived career. Once one’s fame diminished, there would definitely not be as many brands seeking one to endorse them. So now, many stars would invest behind the scenes, or they would change careers to be a director or producer.
“It’s already not bad that you can support yourself.” Papa Su smiled.
Hearing that, although Su Shen wanted to refute, she didn’t say anything more. Instead of words, she would prove it to him. She decided that she would buy an Aston Martin for her dad’s birthday when the time comes.
After dinner, she washed the dishes. The Spring Festival Gala was broadcasting live on TV, but Su Shen didn’t want to watch it, so she returned to her room to scroll on her phone.
By this time, the movie had been released for more than two hours, and the ratings online varied. However, the kiss scene between her and Xie Yan was ranked first on Hot Search again. But, this time, Xie Yan’s fans were calmer. After all, with the previous foreshadowing, the impact did not hit them so hard. Furthermore, ranked second on Hot Search were hers and Fan Meng’s names.
Netizen A: That imperial concubine’s actually Su Shen!!!
Netizen B: After watching the movie, I went to watch Su Shen’s previous works to calm down a bit. In the end, I could only come to the conclusion that Director Huang is really a wonder!
Netizen C: I used to dislike Su Shen since she didn’t have much fame yet liked to steal other people’s roles. But after watching this movie, I suddenly turned into a fan. Xiao jiejie’s acting is off the charts!!!
Netizen D: I unexpectedly ship Xie Yan and Su Shen’s CP. They’re too good-looking. [joy]
Netizen E: I cried when the imperial concubine died at the end. She was so pitiful. The male lead must’ve still liked her. Nevertheless, Su Shen’s performance was great. Fan Meng’s rigid face can’t be looked at anymore. [smiley face]
Netizen F: I just wanted to say when I saw that kiss scene, “Let go of that man, and let me do it!!!”
Netizen G: This is a huge leap forward for Su Shen, and I hope it can be maintained. After all, there are indeed too few starlets with the looks and acting now. [joy]
The movie was released not a while ago, but the agency would still need to control the comments later because Su Shen knew that there would be people who wanted to slander her again. Fan Meng would definitely be one of them. No one would be willing to let their limelight be taken away by a supporting actress.
The next day, movie sales exceeded 200 million in 12 hours since the movie aired. Naturally, pre-sales were included in that amount. The other movies were also very popular during the Spring Festival. However, the producer of this movie had connections that enabled the airing times of the movie to be increased across the country. Although some people said it was unfair online, it was a capitalist market where there was no fairness at all.
On Chinese New Year, she was still on set. The director and producer had given them red envelopes. As one of the youngest in the crew, Su Shen received not a small amount of red envelopes, but she also had Xiao Zhou go and give some to the staff. You couldn’t go wrong with making a good impression.
In the afternoon, when Liu jie came over, Su Shen wished her a prosperous year, and she took out two big red envelopes with a smile to give to her and Xiao Zhou. Although it was not a lot, it was still a festivity.
“On the eighth day of the Lunar Year, there will be an award ceremony. You will walk the red carpet with the rest of the cast. Although you won’t win an award, you can still have a bit of exposure. There’re some directors observing you now. If the following movie does well, your reputation will only then be reversed.” Sitting on the sofa, Liu jie took a sip of her piping hot tea and said earnestly, “However, popularity is still the most important thing. Your followers on social media accounts are increasing every day. You can post some videos of you cooking or short quotes to attract more fans.”
She knew that Liu jie wanted her to go the personality and image route, but Su Shen didn’t have much time to post on Weibo. She practically ate takeout lunch every day; there was simply no time to even cook.
“Send me the schedule, I’ll take a look at it,” said Su Shen while reading the script and taking notes.
There was a heater in the dressing room, so it was quite warm. Liu jie lazily leaned against the sofa in a red windbreaker, holding a cup of tea in hand, and glanced at her meaningfully, “Being together with Xie Yan, have you ever thought of going to the same agency as him?”
At that, Su Shen continued writing notes on the script, “It’s the same whether I go or not.”
Her tone was of indifference and seemed unconcerned. Liu jie stared at her for a while before putting down her teacup and standing up.
“Frankly, I don’t want you to leave. After all, I brought you to where you are at myself. However, your resources and access to better opportunities are definitely better if you follow Xie Yan. It depends on you.” After that, Liu jie picked up her bag and said, “I’m leaving first, remember to come back early.”
At that, Su Shen just uttered an “en,” and didn’t pay heed to Liu jie’s words. She knew that Liu jie certainly didn’t want her to leave, but there were some things that needed to be dealt with depending on the timing. When Starlight no longer suited her, Su Shen would definitely leave. But for the time being, she would not leave yet.
Filming wrapped up at 8:00 pm, and it was snowing heavily again. Su Shen asked for five days’ leave, and it would take four days to fly there and back plus layovers. In actuality, she could only stay with Xie Yan for a day only.
After returning to the hotel, she packed her luggage with summer clothes and some sunscreen. The next day, when He Hua came to pick her up early in the morning, Su Shen paid her new year’s respects and received another red envelope. It was so thick that she thought there was a lot of money inside, but found it was all ones after taking a peek at it.
“Why are you bringing so many zhacai* and Lao Gan Ma*?”
zhacai – a Chinese mustard green usually spicy, but there are non-spicy options too, long known to the rest as “Sichuan preserved vegetables”
Lao Gan Ma – a very well-known and popular brand of chili oil, can cook it with anything, but not spicy enough for me (TL – plum) ahaha
Sitting in the back, Su Shen felt numb when she saw the large box of zhacai. Was he bringing this for Xie Yan to eat?
“Vegetables are expensive in Africa, and the filming site of their crew is pretty remote. They would only be able to have a meal of vegetables in four or five days. But you know that Xie Yan doesn’t eat meat, so he lives on these every day.” Even He Hua felt sad talking about it, but this was also what Xie Yan asked for.
Hearing this, Su Shen also felt somewhat rattled. Eating zhacai every day was not nutritious whatsoever. After driving for a while, she suddenly asked He Hua to stop the car and then went into a supermarket to buy some dehydrated vegetables. Although they were not as nutritious as fresh vegetables, it was better than nothing.
When they arrived at the airport, they sat for a 10-hour flight, then had a layover and switched to another plane before finally arriving at their destination the next day at 3:00 pm. As soon as they exited the airport, they felt the scorching sun burning their arms. There were many people at the airport from various countries. But as they got on the bus and arrived at the filming location of the crew, there were mainly Africans. The appearance of the petite and fair Su Shen was particularly conspicuous.
After sitting on a motorcycle for a while, they finally arrived at the filming site. From afar, they could see a huge forest. There were many tents pitched in front of a large open space in front of the forest. In order to prevent invaders, the crew hired many security guards. The security guards recognized He Hua and allowed them in after asking a few questions.
Su Shen broke into a sweat and could only wipe the sweat off her forehead with a tissue. As soon as she appeared, all the big men in the cast looked at her. She was really too fair, contrasting greatly against them tanned from being exposed to the sun for long durations of time.
“He Hua, why are you here again?!”
Just at this moment, a middle-aged man in a black tank top with a cigarette in his mouth suddenly came over. He was very tanned, perhaps because of the recent exposure to the sun. He looked coarse and rough, and people could hear him from miles away.
The other staff were checking the equipment. When He Hua saw who was coming over, he snorted impolitely, “I’m here to see how many arms and legs Xie Yan have left.”
As he said that, the staff passing by couldn’t help but laugh. When the man in the black tank top came near, he arched his thick eyebrow in disdain and said, “Whatcha mean by that? How can I cripple my leading actor?”
As he spoke, he took another smoke of his cigarette and looked at Su Shen. He then looked at He Hua with a smile, “This, your daughter?”
Su Shen: “……”
“My daughter’s only eleven! This is Xie Yan’s girlfriend!” He Hua was in an extremely bad mood, and on top of how hot it was, his temper became even more irritable.
Su Shen took a look at the middle-aged man and knew that he was the director of this film, Fang Kong, the leading figure of action films domestically.
“Xie Yan has a girlfriend?” All of a sudden, Fang Kong looked at Su Shen in surprise. Today, she was wearing a yellow dress. She was petite but very good-looking and fair. Even in the entertainment industry, her appearance was near the top.
“Why won’t Xie Yan have a girlfriend?” He Hua snorted and began to look around, “Where’s Xie Yan?”
Amidst the wide open space, there were staff moving props from time to time and a few actors drinking water. The sun above their heads would really bask them to death. Everyone in the crew was tanned, and Su Shen standing there was like a glowing candle.
Seeing that they were looking for Xie Yan, Fang Kong smiled. He then threw the cigarette butt onto the ground and stepped on it two times. Then, he turned around and looked at the forest behind him, “You guys go rest inside the tent first. He’s practicing skydiving over there. He’ll be back soon.”