“The good news is that the production team has drafted you as the female lead. I heard that the director said you weren’t bad plus Jiang Yin also recommended you. Moreover, I kept your remuneration to the minimum, only then did the producers agree. After you finish this film in seven, eight days, you can have dinner with the producers and in passing, sign the contract. As for the specific details, I’ll discuss it with the production team.” Liu jie said seriously.
Su Shen didn’t say anything and was a little curious, “What about Mu Yao?”
Liu jie on the other end sneered, “Her? She’s now demanding six hundred thousand per episode while Yang Zhi’s only five hundred and fifty thousand. Her ability to take on the lead role isn’t that strong either. Jiang Yin already took away 60 million for the drama. How are they going to be able to pay her high price?”
Liu jie continued, “Li Xue is currently in so much trouble while the other actresses were mediocre. I heard they were originally going to cast Zhang Li but because Jiang Yin recommended you, the director thought you guys would have great chemistry and decided on you after much consideration.”
Liu jie meant that hyping a cp by that time would be inevitable. But Su Shen was curious why Jiang Yin was so kind to recommend her.
“Did you get the script? Are there any intimate scenes?” She suddenly asked.
Liu jie at the other end conscientiously said, “I just got the script and after looking through it, there doesn’t seem to be any intimate scenes. There’s only a scene of kissing the forehead. I’ll come find you tomorrow.”
After hearing that, Su Shen coughed and said, “Tomorrow?”
She felt perplexed just at the thought of tomorrow’s kiss scene.
“The film crew will start shooting next month. After you finish with this film, I’ll have to find you a martial arts teacher. There are a lot of fighting scenes in that drama and this is also your first time shooting this kind of film so you have to be prepared. I’ll go give you the script tomorrow. Are you still shooting smoothly on set?” Liu jie asked.
Su Shen was somewhat embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. She could only perfunctorily answer, “It’s been okay.”
Liu jie didn’t say much and after exhorting a few words, she hung up.
She didn’t have many scenes in this film so she could finalize everything within seven or eight days. It’s just that tomorrow’s kiss scene…
As the night got darker, Su Shen went to shower and went to sleep early.
The next day, when she got to set, Liu jie also hurried over and threw her a file bag.
“I just heard from Xiao Zhou that you have a kiss scene with Xie Yan today?” Liu jie said while taking a sip of her coffee.
Tong Le was still getting her makeup applied. Su Shen sat at the side and looked through the new script. There were certainly not a lot of intimate scenes besides a kiss on the forehead. The rest were mostly fight scenes. For this, she had also wanted to find a professional martial arts teacher to train for a bit.
“I don’t want to film it, do you have any way?” She put away the script and looked at Liu jie frowningly.
The latter froze for a sec and after realizing that she was referring to the kiss scene, her expression changed. She placed her coffee on the table, her eyes fiery, “Are you stupid?”
“Yea Su Shen, let me know if you need a stand in for the kiss!” Tong Le immediately sounded while the makeup artist told her not to move.
“I don’t want my parents to see this. If not, they’re going to yell at me.” Su Shen blinked her eyes. At this moment, she could only use this as a shield.
Liu jie’s complexion improved when she heard that but her tone was still unassailable, “This is understandable and your sister had said this too. But you also have to be realistic. You’ve filmed this far and suddenly, you don’t want to film the kiss scene. What would the director think? You’ll definitely offend him. Also, I heard that Xie Yan finally relented and if you say no at this time, you will also offend Xie Yan. Do you think it’s worth it?”
If she offended the director, even if she weren’t replaced, a substantial amount of her scenes would definitely be edited out. From a third supporting character to an nth supporting role. Su Shen didn’t want all her efforts to go down the drain, furthermore Xie Yan also relented. If she said no now, she would certainly offend him.
“Forget it, I was just merely saying it.” Su Shen took a deep breath and began to scroll through her phone.
At this time, Li Xue’s company had issued a statement by mostly evading the crucial points stating that minor cosmetic enhancements were not considered to be plastic surgery. But most of the netizens didn’t believe that. The label of plastic surgery would be tagged to Li Xue henceforth.
She wondered if this could be considered as a sandpiper and a clam warring each other and the fisherman catches both. Su Shen didn’t expect that this pie would land on her. But like Liu jie said, Mu Yao’s fans would definitely hate on her once they found out that she snatched away their idol’s role.
“Everybody’s like this for their first time. It’s okay, try to pass in one take.” Liu jie patted her shoulder with a smile.
Su Shen helplessly smiled and went to change into her outfit.
This was a scene in which the male lead led a victorious battle and the Emperor held a welcome banquet for him. The male lead was still loyal to the imperial power so he did not refuse the wine conferred by the Emperor. Later, he unexpectedly got drunk. At this moment, the third supporting female lead went to find the Emperor but found that he was not there with only the male lead drunkenly collapsing there. She had a servant support the male lead to the side hall. At this time, the third supporting female lead had the harem in her hands so the others did not dare to think much and was sent down by her.
The third supporting female lead had someone bring some sobering tea for the male lead. Who knew that the male lead would mistook her for the female lead? Then, he slept with her.
When it was time to go over the script, the director leaned against the table while telling Xie Yan how to act as well as telling Su Shen how to react later in a serious manner.
“Su Shen, you have to remember that when the male lead calls the female lead’s name, there will be a close up of your face. You have to show your hate and reluctance, understand?” The director told her with sweat all over his head.
Su Shen was afraid to look at Xie Yan. She could only nod toward the director with a heavy heart.
“Then, get ready to film!” The director wiped the sweat on his forehead with the wet towel on his neck while pointing at the palace hall, “Why aren’t the candles there lit yet?!”
Although it was day right now, it was nighttime in the film so the windows in the palace were completely shut to avoid any sunlight coming in. But it was also very hot inside. In a bit, Su Shen has to get her makeup touched up.
Xie Yan was also getting his makeup retouched over there with a group of people surrounding him, handing him water and wiping his sweat. As for Wang Cheng and the rest, they didn’t go back to the dressing room to enjoy the AC but instead, sat near the director and stared at the monitor.
“Okay, all departments ready. Action!”
As the director’s voice fell, Su Shen slowly came out of the side hall. Unlike the previous scene, she changed into a pink muslin undergarment covered by a jade outer brocade with her waist long hair scattered down in light makeup.
“Niang niang, I heard that General Zhang has set a marriage with that Nangong Xue for the 15th of next month.” A palace maid leaned over and whispered.
Su Shen paused in her steps and the slender pale fingers within her sleeves gradually tightened, yet no sign of emotions could be seen on her face.
In the palace hall, the candlelights slowly burned. The luxurious and splendid decorations showcased the noble status of the owner of this palace. A man in a black brocade robe was currently lying on the violet wooden table. Su Shen slowly approached and looked at him from high above complicatedly.
Just at this moment, a maid suddenly came forward with a bowl of sobering tea, “Niang niang.”
Su Shen turned her gaze and took the bowl of sobering tea, then waved her hand, “You all withdraw.”
The palace maid bowed adherently, stepped back and then turned away.
Until they were the only two left in the entire palace hall, Su Shen then slowly crouched down and looked at the once familiar face in front of her. She bitterly laughed, “Zhang ge ge…”
ge ge* [哥哥] – a term for older brother
As if he heard something, Xie Yan slowly opened his eyes but before he had any expression, he suddenly looked up and said, “Sorry.”
Su Shen didn’t expect for him to unexpectedly stop and before she could collect her thoughts, the director shouted into the megaphone, “It’s okay, let’s shoot it one more time.”
Xie Yan rarely got cut but this time, he requested it too. The crew members awkwardly laughed along. It seemed like their Film Emperor was really not used to filming kiss scenes.
Su Shen didn’t expect that he was even more stressed than her. She was also helpless so she sat down on the floor and waited for him to readjust himself.
“Are you okay?” Su Shen couldn’t help but asked.
Zhao Tong just so happened to bring his teapot over. After a sip of tea, Xie Yan then glanced at her insipidly: “An accident.”
Zhao Tong silently took the teapot away and left. He was also very curious how this kiss scene would turn out.
Su Shen didn’t dare look at him anymore as she only felt embarrassed. Fortunately, the director started filming again.
“Change the candle over there! Yep, okay, all departments ready. Action!”
As the director’s words fell, the camera once again swept through. Just at this moment, that palace maid once again brought that bowl of sobering tea over, “Niang niang.”
Su Shen looked at the man on the table complicatedly and then took that bowl of sobering tea. She waved her hand, “You all withdraw.”
The maid once again adhered and quietly turned around and left.
When they were the only two left in the hall, Su Shen slowly crouched down and bitterly laughed as she looked at the man in front of her, “Zhang ge ge…”
Xie Yan mumbled as he slowly opened his eyes. As if he was dazzled by the flame of the candle, he closed his eyes again and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again, seemingly as if he saw a certain someone, his expression immediately softened, “Xue-er*?”
er* (儿) – a Chinese diminutive suffix attached to a person’s name, an endearment form of pet names between a close relationship, between confidantes, lovers, couples or family members (elder to younger)
When the camera was directed at her, Su Shen looked up and pursed her lips. Her jealousy and unwillingness was evident in the darkness but in the end, her expression was once again tranquil.
“Zhang ge ge, you’re drunk…” She calmly held that bowl of sobering tea, preparing to feed him with a spoon.
“Xue-er!” Xie Yan suddenly held her hand, knocking the sobering tea to the floor.
Their eyes met and Su Shen’s expression slightly changed, “Zhang ge ge…”
All of a sudden, Su Shen felt a hold on her waist. When she returned to her senses, she was already confined under. She blinked her eyes with her palms sweating from nervousness.
His hands were propped up on her side. The woman underneath him was fair, her red lips slightly parted and her eyes were full of his reflection. But her slightly quivering lashes showed her nervousness.
Everyone peered over to this side but Xie Yan suddenly stopped.
The director waved his hand, “CUTTT!”
Another cut, the rest of the crew quietly laughed once more.
Xie Yan immediately got up and Su Shen also got up from the floor. She couldn’t look at Xie Yan because it was too embarrassing.
Just at this time, the director came over and crouched down. He seriously said to Xie Yan, “You’re drunk right now and your lover is in front of you. Think of how a wedding night looks like, then act upon it. A kiss scene is also part of performing arts.”
Xie Yan nodded with sweat all over his forehead, “I know.”
“Also Su Shen, you’re too nervous. You gotta relax, or else, the more nervous you are, the more difficult it will be.” The director turned around and looked at Su Shen.
The latter nodded slightly, “Okay”.
The director was right, rather than stopping here and there, it’d be better to just relax and strive for one take.
“Okay, let’s do it again.”