Chapter 119 - The Pride of Men

Chapter 119: The Pride of Men

Translator: Lonelytree  Editor: Millman97

Ye Shuang had always known that things were rough for her cousin, but without seeing it in person, she had no idea how rough it had actually been. Ou Qianru flew in and out of the nation every three days, bringing gifts like wine from France, handmade chocolate, and more. But what about Brother Luo Ce‽

Ye family only saw the man during big holidays like Chinese New Year. Most of the time, the man was busy taking his artists to casting, auditions, and meeting people.

After meeting Luo Ce, Ye Shuang understood why her cousin refused to marry Ou Qianru before he made a name for himself. They both had the same starting point, but their development was vastly different. If they got married, Ye Shuang could see people talking about how he was living of his wife. Any man’s pride would be hurt by rumors like that.

After a short silence, Ye Shuang patted Luo Ce’s shoulder. “I just arrived today, and I’m supposed to treat Director Zhou and the crew to dinner tonight. If Brother Luo doesn’t mind the crowd, why not join us? Help me save the trouble of clearing my schedule to treat you another time.”

Luo Ce understood this was Ye Shuang doing him a favor. Normally, people would not drag a stranger to a dinner meeting. If Ye Shuang was really a selfish person, she could have not done this; after all, there would be chances for Luo Ce to interact with the film crew in the future. However, stating her stance and allowing things to happen naturally were two different things. For the former, even if Director Zhou was not impressed by Luo Ce, he would be kind toward him, and if he had no use for Luo Ce, he might introduce him to his friends out of giving face to Ye Shuang. While for the latter, if Luo Ce did not come with Ye Shuang’s recommendation, Director Zhou might not even glance at Luo Ce.

Luo Ce, who understood Ye Shuang’s meaning, was naturally incredibly appreciative. “Of course, I won’t mind. Many people in the industry hope to have dinner with Director Zhou, but will it be too troublesome for you?”

“It’s no problem. We’re family, right?” Ye Shuang sighed and used the toilet as an excuse to leave. Then, she found a spot that was quiet to make a call. The dinner was not planned, but for her cousin, she had to make it happen.

“Dinner‽ Thanks, but that won’t be necessary. You’re not familiar with Jing Hu City, and most of the crew are staying at the bungalow. We’ll just buy some ingredients for steamboat; it’s more economic and less troublesome.” Director Zhou did not get what Ye Shuang meant. After hearing Ye Shuang’s invitation, he rejected it quickly.

Ye Shuang thought about it; eloquence and persuasion were not really her forte, and even if they were, she would not be able to rival this old fox who had been in the business for decades already, so she decided to be forward about it. “Dinner is not that important, but I have a close friend who is a manager, and the artists under him haven’t had any good job opportunities. I’m wondering if Director Zhou could lend him some help.”

Director Zhou did not know how to respond for a moment. This was also the first time someone had been so forward with asking for a character from him. Even the most famous director had friends and families. No matter how hard Director Zhou tried to keep it professional, to say he had not done a professional favor for others like fitting a friend into his movie was going to be a lie.

For a normal-sized movie, after the first ten actors, the rest of the casting list could be used to do favors like including the sponsors’ people or some new artist from agencies that he had a close working relationship.

After all, extras that might not even have a name would not affect the quality of the film, and people would not recommend him people who were too horrible to be even seen on screen. If someone insisted on photobombing his shoots, then of course, Director Zhou would still kick said person out of his set. However, no matter their intention, those who wanted to squeeze people into his movie were also tactful and polite… not because they were afraid of Director Zhou but because they gave face to the director.

Facing Ye Shuang, who made her request as straight as an arrow, Director Zhou had a hard time responding.

“Help… you say… Let me think…” Director Zhou paused for half a minute before he recovered. At the end of the day, he still needed extras to fill up some scenes, so adding in a new character with some lines was totally fine. However, he was afraid Ye Shuang’s people wanted a complete role with full characterization.

After some thought, Director Zhou decided to clear the air first. “You said your close friend is a manager? Half of the movie has been done already, so fitting in an extra is easy, but a full character would be difficult.”

Extras could be added to the background, but fill characters were involved with the plot.

“So even if I really use any of his artists, the people who benefits will be the artists and not your friend,” Director Zhou explained clearly. “Before asking me, you should have thought about it properly. I don’t want you to end up doing a favor for the wrong person and it only benefitting a stranger.”

Unless Ye Shuang decided to use the rest of her life to make introductions for Luo Ce, a manager without contacts had zero competition power.

Director Zhou wanted Ye Shuang to think about it carefully and closely. When it had nothing to do with filming, Director Zhou was a friendly person. Ye Shuang was still young, so he did not mind giving him some advice.

Ye Shuang understood what Director Zhou was getting at, but she just wanted to give her cousin a head start—what he did after that was his own problem. After making the connection and getting the role… if Luo Ce was really talented, with this introduction and a few more meetings with these influential people in the business, when they needed casting, they would think of Luo Ce and perhaps give his artists the opportunity. If Luo Ce still could not make anything of himself after Ye Shuang had done him this favor, then perhaps he was not meant to be in this business, and Ye Shuang would advise him to switch for a different path in life.

Ye Shuang explained her intention to Director Zhou. The role was not that important—she just wanted to introduce her friend to the crew.

“Fine, fine. If you want to treat us, do you think we’ll say no?” Director Zhou did not mind it. “Bring the actor along and have the set manager make the necessary arrangements. Send me a message when you’ve booked the place for dinner.”

After settling things with Director Zhou, Ye Shuang used her phone to search for famous eateries in Jing Hu City. She used her credit card to book a restaurant with a private room. After that, she sent Director Zhou the message, and Director Zhou would help her inform the rest of the crew.

Pocketing her pocket, Ye Shuang put her glasses back on and returned to the room. While she was gone, the audition had finished. Everyone was sitting and chatting among themselves. A fat man who sat in the middle, yelled loudly when he saw Ye Shuang return, “You’re the last one. Quick, it’s time for your audition. After that, we’ll decide the characters.”

He seemed to be the one who was responsible for casting.

This was merely a formality. When had an audition director waited for one artist before‽ Basically, the crew had already decided to take on Ye Shuang, and they needed her to go through the audition so that it would look formal to the other hopefuls.

“Audition‽” Ye Shuang turned to look at Luo Ce before shrugging. “I think there’s a misunderstanding; I came here to find someone, not for an audition.”

“If you’re not here for an audition, why did you take a number card?” The fat man was unhappy. “Do you know how much time we’ve wasted just waiting for you? A newbie has to be humble, polite, and make sure that not one opportunity slips through his fingers. Take off those sunglasses and read this scene for me.”

Ye Shuang did not remove her sunglasses. Her lips curved upwards, and she scoffed, “I’m sorry, but I’m not an actor.”

Then, before the fat man could say anything, she turned to Luo Ce. “Brother Luo, time to go! I’ve booked the place for dinner.”

Having booked a place meant going to meet Director Zhou. This was such a rare opportunity, so even if it might fail, Luo Ce would have to give it a try. Furthermore, in comparison, he would rather have a chance at a real movie than whatever this was supposed to be.

Bringing his artist, Luo Ce followed behind Ye Shuang without hesitation, ignoring the angry threats of the fat man behind them. It was not until they left the place that Ye Shuang shook her head at Luo Ce. “Brother Luo, your patience is amazing. That kind of crew seems to treat their actors so badly, and even if your people got selected, it would only become a black mark on their resume.”

“Which actor doesn’t have a black mark in the entertainment business?” Luo Ce smiled. It seemed like he had gotten used to this lifestyle. Ye Shuang glanced at him and did not say anything.

Luo Ce was willing to take the heat from this kind of unofficial filming crew, lower his face to ask for help from a newbie, and follow his artists to traipse all over the country just for a chance at a big break. He could lower himself to do so many things, but the one thing he would not do was accept the help from Ou Qianru.

If Luo Ce just went around the place using the name of Ou Qianru’s fiancé, even if he might not reach Ou Qianru’s standard instantly, it would definitely be better than how he was now.

But he did not want people to say that he was relying on his fiancée, and she wanted to help her fiancé preserve his manly pride, so both were suffering due to face. Luo Ce ended up having to audition for these kinds of crappy films, and Ou Qianru chose to ignore it because she did not have the heart to see Luo Ce’s suffer.

He was willing to bend over backwards so much for outsiders, so why couldn’t he just accept the help from his own woman?

Ye Shuang could not understand the pride of men, but since Luo Ce was family, no matter how confused she was by his actions, she would be on his side.

The young man who followed Luo Ce could not understand why they would suddenly leave the casting site. He wanted to say something but stopped himself. When he finally got enough courage to open his lips, a car stopped beside the three of them and honked.

Then, the window of the backseat rolled down. When half of the face of the person sitting inside was revealed, it was enough to make the young man scream like a fan girl. “Celebrity Luo‽”