So, inexplicably Duan Xiubo accompanied Luo Ding into the crew.
Although Duan Xiubo didn’t have a pass, with his popularity, no security guard dared to stop him and they all smiled and let him in.
His arrival caused some uproar in the crew. No one knew why Duan Xiubo would come to the <<Tang Zhuan>> film site. Nevertheless, as Duan Xiubo and Luo Ding walked side by side their outstanding gentle and handsome appearance was very pleasing.
Luo Ding was currently aware that Duan Xiubo’s new film “Wolong” was actually being filmed at the film and television city. Even before Cao Dingkun’s death, news of “Wolong’s” filming was already a hot topic.
A martial arts film starring the king and queen of the silver screen was sure to be a classic, the likes of which had not been encountered in recent years. In fact, Xu Zhen deliberately delayed the filming of “Assassin” for three months out of fear of encountering Wolong at the box office. It could easily be determined how weighty “Wolong” was.
Even in this film and television city which was full of celebrities, as the Spring Festival award winner, Duan Xiubo was worthy of attention. Consequently, some of the actors in the crew stood afar and carefully viewed the interaction between Luo Ding and Duan Xiubo. Nervously, they wanted to come over to say hello but didn’t dare approach.
Duan Xiubo smiled all around and nodded to each crew member who cautiously greeted him. This kind of amiable attitude was well received, at least Luo Ding heard some subtle praise.
Luo Ding lowered his gaze and couldn’t help but admire Duan Xiubo. In these circles there was a lot of pretense but not many were at this level. Duan Xiubo was currently only about thirty years old yet he was so savvy.
When he was in his twenties an angry photo of him surrounded by the paparazzi was captured. This angry photo was used several times by the media and was repeatedly printed by the magazines that were mouthpieces for rival companies. Accordingly, Duan Xiubo learned from this experience and gradually grew into a seasoned old hand with deep and smooth connections.
After so many years in the industry Duan Xiubo had never made any big mistakes. Such a method of dealing with people could only be learned from childhood. As a result, there were rumors in the entertainment circle that Duan Xiubo was of extraordinary origin, but this has never really been confirmed by anyone.
This gossip flashed through Luo Ding’s mind and quickly disappeared. In any case, it had nothing to do with him.
Duan Xiubo spoke softly while looking down at Luo Ding from time to time.
In the morning light, the lean young man smiled quietly and listened to him talking about his film, echoing from time to time while looking very focused. Luo Ding’s facial features were exquisite and three-dimensional and looking from above, his thick eyelashes almost entirely covered his eyes. His fair skin was pale as though it had rarely seen sunlight and his lips with its distinctive lines were pale in color and slightly curved.
Probably moved by something Duan Xiubo had said, Luo Ding suddenly looked up and straight ahead with a grin.
His shell-like snow-white teeth were as clean as porcelain. His two front teeth were slightly larger than the others. His smile was a rounded arc that displayed a childishness that Duan Xiubo had never before seen in Luo Ding.
Duan Xiubo was stunned for a moment but before he could speak, he suddenly heard someone calling his name.
Looking around, he saw Zheng Kezhen standing close by and looking at him in surprise.
“Director Zheng.” Because Zheng Kezhen and Gong Liangguang had a good relationship, Duan Xiubo was also familiar with him, and thus his attitude was casual. “I met Luo Ding earlier at the gate and came in to explore your crew.”
Zheng Kezhen looked at Luo Ding and then at Duan Xiubo. He was quite puzzled.
He couldn’t understand the meaning of Duan Xiubo’s words. After all, as far as he knew, the two had only met at Gong Liangguang’s banquet. They had not known each other for a long time and Luo Ding was not a popular celebrity. Additionally, on the surface Luo Ding and Duan Xiubo did not appear to be so close so why is it that the two of them could appear together in the crew without him knowing about it at all?
Zheng Kezhen knew that Luo Ding was well-liked. For a complete newcomer without foundations to gain the favor of almost all the staff on the crew after joining was a rare thing in this complex entertainment circle. But he really did not expect that Luo Ding would be so well-connected that Duan Xiubo would be included in his social circle.
“… Welcome.” He smiled and nodded at Duan Xiubo. He then glanced at Luo Ding and thinking about what had happened recently, patted Luo Ding on the shoulder, and said ” Don’t take the comments on the internet seriously. Who hasn’t experienced this? Bad publicity is still publicity. Not to mention that with your talent you have no cause to worry. When the show is broadcast, who is right and who is wrong will be clear at a glance.”
Luo Ding smiled and replied, “I know.”
“That’s good. Then go change into your costume.” Finally relieved Zheng Kezhen nodded. Although Luo Ding had debuted for a few years now, he had no fame and no controversies and thus no experience. In his opinion, Luo Ding was no different from a newcomer. In this entertainment industry, if you wanted to mingle with famous people, how could you have no mental strength? The louder the applause, the louder the criticism. People always subconsciously pay attention to negative evaluations. This is unavoidable and like listening to advice the only thing that you can control is your own mentality.
Luo Ding’s rare unperturbed attitude was just right.
Zheng Kezhen turned his head and looked at Duan Xiubo, “No one outside the crew is allowed in the backstage dressing room.”
Zheng Kezhen has always been serious person who means what he says. When the rules are loud and clear he would not bend them for anyone. Fortunately, Duan Xiubo was aware of the character trait of these old industry people so he did not take offense. When he saw Luo Ding turn to leave, Duan Xiubo turned his head to look at him. His bright eyes reflecting the shining light of the surrounding spotlights.
Duan Xiubo began to wonder about Luo Ding’s appearance in this drama. He had read the original book, and like most readers, Fu Zhu’s character also impressed him very much.
Years ago, Fu Zhu was among the top few characters in the novel that he had wanted to embody, but as he got older, the differences between himself and the youthful role widened. Currently, even if he wanted to act as Fu Zhu, his appearance could no longer meet the requirements of the character in the book.
However, he was not surprised that the internet objected so strongly to Luo Ding’s casting as Fu Zhu. Because even in his opinion, Luo Ding did not have much in common with the character. Other than his good appearance and body structure, it was difficult to find any trace of Fu Zhu’s cool and indifferent disposition or the special ethereal and immortal temperament in Luo Ding.
In addition, apart from some less famous songs, Luo Ding did not have a lot of work in the public domain. The concerns of the audience were reasonable.
Thinking this way, Duan Xiubo did not want to leave any more and cheekily smiled at Zheng Kezhen: “I arrived early today and will only report to the set at eleven o’clock, so currently there’s nothing for me to do. I won’t enter the dressing room, I’ll just wait for him outside. “
As soon as he said this, Zheng Kezhen could no longer directly drive him away. Luo Ding saw that Zheng Kezhen was silent and unwilling to be the bad guy, so he smiled at Duan Xiubo and went straight to the dressing room.
The crowd of actors were to be in place by ten o’clock, thus there were a lot of people present. The cost of this drama was considerable. Therefore, on the first day after arriving at the film and television city the crew intended to shoot one of the most magnificent scenes in the whole drama—The scene where Li Shimin left Chang’an.
Other than Li Shimin and several fierce generals, Luo Ding was the other main protagonist in this scene. Thus, today, Luo Ding’s burden was very heavy. Hundreds of people were working to highlight these main roles. Every NG had a huge impact.
Several leading actors, including Luo Ding, seemed a little nervous. Wu Yuan entered the dressing room halfway and said a few words to Luo Ding, but he didn’t dare to take off his armor. After settling his mind, he recited his lines.
The makeup artist worked hard to make Luo Ding’s face look as pale as possible. In this scene, Fu Zhu had gone through a period of struggling with his heart and had decided to die for the sake of his righteousness, and thus his entire being was haggard.
Swords, armor, daggers, Carriages. Professional mass actors put on heavy armor to stand on top of the city wall, and the wind caused the huge flags to flutter. The feeling evoked by this scene was indescribable.
Duan Xiubo was invited to sit with the film crew. He was amazed at Zheng Kezhen’s attention to the small details. Today, such a huge set up was only for shooting a few scenes. Few TV directors were willing to make such a loss on their investment. Only Zheng Kezhen, who was extremely demanding on the details, could be regarded as a real artist.
The stills and scenes were to be shot together at this time and thus the amount of surrounding equipment was almost terrifying. Zheng Kezhen loudly commanded the staff to prepare to film. There was a commotion at the entrance, and they heard people shouting, “Incoming! Incoming!”
The starring actors were in place and thus Duan Xiubo looked back.
The crowd at the entrance scattered like birds and several costumed actors walked through the entryway.
He did not care about the awe-inspiring Wu Yuan and did not see the other solemnly dressed actors. Duan Xiubo’s eyes were attracted to Luo Ding who walked at the tail-end.
Luo Ding had put on a wig, and his hairline was not overly exaggerated. His hair was not capped but rather was scattered naturally, making his small face even more delicate and pale. He wore a white robe devoid of many patterns that was split open and loose in style. His robes were deliberately cut short to show his feet in the front while the back was long enough to sweep the ground.
The wind was strong on the wall, and his lean body fought against the breeze, his hair flying wildly. The oversized sleeves and the robes at his feet were also fluttered in the wind. His hands were held behind him. At first glance, he seemed like a fairy.
But that was just at a glance. The similarity was only superficial.
Duan Xiubo stared at him with interest for a while then he returned to his seat and propped up his chin. In his heart, he was a little disappointed.
However, this disappointment only lasted a brief moment when he recalled that he and Luo Ding had developed a good relationship that did not depend on the other’s acting skill.
“Let’s take the stills first!” Zheng Kezhen shouted, and the group of protagonists acknowledged loudly in response. After completing this scene, the still photos could officially be released.
Luo Ding and Wu Yuan looked at each other and then nodded to Zheng Kezhen at the same time.
Zheng Kezhen stepped back two steps, sat behind the monitor, adjusted the camera position, and solemnly gestured to the field. Under the city wall, all the actors were in place.
Luo Ding took a deep breath outside the film scene, loosened his clenched fists, and slowly opened his eyes. His gaze suddenly dimmed.
The sudden change of temperament stunned Duan Xiubo, who was still somewhat lazily watching.
He stared at the young man in white who was still expressionless and without any overt body language yet clearly displayed the message “I’m tired”.
He frowned deeply, filled with questions and doubt.
 NG simply stands for “No Good”. In a shot list, a take marked as NG is not usable due to some mistake or the Director’s preference.
TN: Just a quick note that the slowdown on RTEI posts will likely be temporary till i adjust to my post quarantine work schedule. Cheers. Office worker woes.