No matter what he said, Xie Yan did not react. He just kept making annotations on the script.
Meanwhile, Su Shen returned to her dressing room. Tong Le just finished getting her makeup done and when she saw Su Shen, she pulled her aside and gossiped: “I heard that the Director wanted to add a sex scene for Xie Yan. My god, I don’t want my idol to be stained by Fan Meng!”
She hadn’t expected news to travel so fast in the film crew, but Su Shen was rather indifferent, “It’s what the market is like. What movie now doesn’t have a gimmick or two.”
“That’s not it at all!” Tong Le shouted, agitated. She saw that the makeup artist was still packing up so she whispered, close to Su Shen’s ear, “I heard someone say that Fan Meng is the producer’s niece and now that she has the chance, she obviously wants to hype up a cp with Xie Yan. Later, when the sex scene comes out she’ll definitely hype it up like crazy.”
It was unexpected that Fan Meng was the producer’s niece. Actually, her acting was one of the best among the actresses born after -85s and she’d already gotten Film Empress once. The only thing she lacked was a bit of popularity, and hyping up a cp with Xie Yan would definitely give her a lot of publicity.
“That Fan Meng has had plastic surgery on her nose and she goes overseas to get whitening shots a lot. Did you guys see her at the opening ceremony today still wearing a face mask? She definitely hasn’t recovered yet.” Makeup artists were obviously more than familiar with actor’s faces. If they’d had plastic surgery, it was obvious once in close contact.
Tong Le couldn’t stop giggling as she’d obtained another astonishing piece of gossip: “Before, when I saw her pictures on the internet I thought something was off. When the netizens said she had plastic surgery she wouldn’t even admit it. She actually looks alright, why would she go get surgery.”
“What would you young girls know.” The makeup artist said knowingly, “Obviously in the entertainment industry, the more beautiful the better. Everybody wants to be perfect. Not to mention plastic surgery is addicting, once you get it done once you want to do it again. Take my advice though, don’t get plastic surgery on your face in the future, not even injections, otherwise there will be side effects.”
“Ah, I wanted to get epicanthoplasty too. Nevermind, I won’t get it done.” Tong Le patted her face with lingering fear.
epicanthoplasty – eye-slit surgery, reshapes the inner corners of the eyes to make the eyes appear bigger and brighter
She turned and saw that Su Shen was still reading the script, and couldn’t help staring at her blankly: “People like Su Shen are blessed by her ancestors. Basically flawless from all 360 degrees, her hairline especially is just too perfect. My hairline is so high, I’m almost balding.”
Su Shen smiled and didn’t speak. Seeing that Tong Le was still chattering to the makeup artist about health maintenance, she waited for a while then went out to start filming.
This scene was one where the third female supporting character looked back on her past with the male lead. At the time, the character wanted to marry the male lead, but her father wouldn’t agree, and even wanted to marry her off to another man from the village.
They were going the film the third female supporting character and the male lead trying to persuade the father. The character would then be slapped in the face by her father and the male lead would be chased out with a broom. Due to the big conflict in the scene, even a little delay in reaction would result in the whole scene needing to be filmed again.
The Director had basically told all the departments to get into position. Su Shen arrived outside the fenced courtyard and got ready to rush inside with the male lead.
Then, Xie Yan came to stand next to her and the person controlling the lighting stood to the side as well.
The Director stared intently at the monitor. Once he saw that all the departments were about ready, he then said, “Action!”
Su Shen rushed into the fenced courtyard. Behind her, Xie Yan followed closely. Immediately, an old farmer, about fifty, walked out of the house.
When she saw the solemn expression on her father’s face, Su Shen seemed slightly scared and even inched backwards. However, once she thought about having to marry somebody else, she stepped forward again, ready to take the risk. “Father, I don’t want to marry Da Zhu ge, I like…”
The sharp, clear sound of the slap echoed through the entire set. The Director kept a close eye on the monitor.
Immediately, Xie Yan stepped forward and grabbed Su Shen by the hand. His thick brows were locked tight in a frown, his eyes filled with discontent, and his lips pressed tightly together. It completely expressed the strong attachment of a young man to his lover. “Uncle* Liu, Xiao Yuan and I have played together since childhood, why won’t you let us be together?”
Uncle is used by children and young adults to address adults that they are close to, not specifically those they are related to.
Xie Yan had never disappointed with his attention to details in his performance.
“In your dreams!” Yuan Zhenhua laughed coldly, then pointed at Xie Yan and shouted at the top of his voice, “With your means and situation, you want to marry my Xiao Yuan. Do you want Xiao Yuan to suffer and live a hard life with you forever?!”
At that moment, Su Shen suddenly looked up. Her hand covered her face where she had been slapped. Her eyes, already filled with tears, were staring at Yuan Zhenhua stubbornly, “Even if I do suffer and live a hard life, it’s what I chose myself!”
In front of the monitor, the Director’s heart clenched. He had to say, Su Shen gave him a huge surprise. Her original voice* was great and as a rookie she didn’t even get stage fright. Her performance was very good as well, her tears came on command. It was a lot better than quite a few old actors.
original voice – normally in filming the actors voice over after filming and some find specific voice actors to do the voice over for their role. An actor with a good original voice is good for doing the voice over themselves
Su Shen stared tearfully at him. Although Yuan Zhenhua admired her acting, he very quickly raised his hand to hit her, his face filled with rage.
“Uncle!” Xie Yan frantically stood in front of Su Shen and blocked him.
“Zhang Quan ge ge*…” Su Shen was afraid he would be hurt in the crossfire and immediately went up and tugged lightly on his sleeve.
ge ge – older brother, but can be like the more popular korean “oppa”, where it’s also used for someone that you’re romantically interested in, or just a close male friend
Xie Yan turned and made eye contact with her. In front of him, the girl’s eyes were red with a thin sheen of tears. Her brows were tightly knit in worry and even the hand that tugged on his sleeve was light.
In that moment, even Xie Yan was shocked. This Su Shen seemed to have nothing to do with the words “bad acting”. As a rookie, it was almost unbelievable that she had such a powerful performance.
“Hmph! Boy, you’re the one who led my Xiao Yuan astray!” As if he had finally found the culprit, Yuan Zhenhua grabbed a broom from the courtyard and whacked Xie Yan’s legs in anger.
Su Shen ran up to defend him, arms outstretched, “Father, no!”
“Get out of the way!” Yuan Zhenhua shoved the weak Su Shen aside and continued to brandish the broom at Xie Yan, trying to hit him.
At this, Su Shen had been so anxious and cried so much, she was drenched in tears, “Zhang Quan ge ge, quickly leave! Leave!”
Xie Yan looked at Su Shen, his gaze seemed unwilling but he still turned and left the courtyard.
The cameraman immediately followed after him. Xie Yan’s fist was still tightly clenched, hard enough for people to see the bulging veins. It was clear that in his heart, he was not as calm as he appeared.
Right after the Director spoke, a few of the workers gave Su Shen strange looks. Before, there had even been those gui chu videos as well as the memes people had made. Why was she so different from the rumours online?
“Not bad, not bad. Is this your first production?” Yuan Zhenhua looked at her somewhat appreciatively as he knew nothing about her “past”.
Su Shen’s assistant hadn’t arrived yet so she had no tissues. She wiped the tear stains off her face with the back of her hand and smiled: “This is actually the third production I’ve participated in. I didn’t really understand acting before. What I acted was so bad that even I couldn’t bear to look at it.”
Yuan Zhenhua thought she was joking and then urgently pointed at her face and said, “This side of your face is all red. Quickly go get some ice for it. I even said not to hit for real, but the Director still insisted on it.”
At that, Su Shen just smiled and walked up to the Director to see if there was anything that she needed to change in the scene they had just filmed.
The Director saw her walking over and immediately moved his gaze away from the monitor and said to the assistant director, “Go get Su Shen some ice.”
Then, he looked at her, pleased, “Quite good, you handled the details very well. I thought you’d have to use eye drops. I didn’t expect you to be able to cry so quickly. However, your performance is still a little over the top, pay attention to that next time.”
To tell the truth, the Director was already prepared to have to refilm the first scene a couple of times. He didn’t expect that it would turn out so well.
In response, Su Shen nodded earnestly. Acting as someone else was different from acting as herself, she had behaved a bit too intentionally.
Su Shen had another scene to shoot at night. Since she wasn’t a main character, her scenes weren’t scheduled to be filmed together so she could only sit there and wait and take the opportunity to learn from the other actors’ experiences.
There was no stool to sit on, so Su Shen had to sit on the steps with her script and watch Fan Meng being surrounded by a horde of people helping her with makeup and clothing.
Su Shen sat there, making notes on her script of her insights, in case she forgot in the future.
“You’re not going to get ice?”
When a voice sounded next to her ear, Su Shen looked up and saw a familiar face. From this angle, his features were even more prominent than normal and they looked especially perfect, but Su Shen had no interest whatsoever.
“Oh, I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt.” She touched her face, unconcerned.
Xie Yan frowned in response. He had never met an actress who didn’t even care about her face. “Up to you.”
After he finished speaking, he walked back towards his dressing room. Su Shen didn’t really mind and continued to read her script.
Back in his dressing room, Xie Yan made himself a cup of tea. His male assistant stood behind him, still astonished, “That Su Shen is simply a weirdo, I’ve never seen an actress that doesn’t care about their face. Actresses rely on their face for their career!”
“But it’s weird, I’ve seen the videos of her online before and she acted quite badly. It was so gui chu. Now, it’s like she’s a completely different person. Did someone open her governor and conception vessels*?”
governor and conception vessels are part of traditional Chinese medicine theory and are acupuncture points, a martial arts technique which is believed to make the person all-powerful
Hearing his assistant still muttering away, Xie Yan took a sip of his tea and glanced at him, “Go get some ice.”
The assistant was still playing games on his phone. His grip suddenly loosened and he looked up, eyes wide and mouth agaped.
“You saw her and felt sorry for her.” As he spoke, Xie Yan put down his cup and got ready to leave. He turned back at the doorway and added, “Remember, it’s you.”