Chapter 19 — Enlightenment
Edited by Planetes
To Yun Jinshu, smiling was much easier than crying. He could maintain this smiling mask for the rest of his life, but he was completely unable to cry pitifully and be looked down upon. As such, when they started modelling for the poster, he found himself in a predicament.
Two sets of images were required for the posters. The first one was the elder brother, Ruan Kun, carrying his younger brother on his back, and the two of them were chatting happily as they walked. To Yun Jinshu and Gu Yan, this was very easy, and they only needed one try.
However, for the second set of images, things became a little troublesome. Wen Zeyun wanted an image of Ruan Ning leaning in his elder brother’s chest, crying. But no matter what Yun Jinshu did, Wen Zeyun felt that it was not right. He would critique Yun Jinshu’s crying for not being aesthetically pleasing enough, or that his crying was too fake. In any case, his portrayal was just not up to standard, and photos were taken only to be deleted, and after deleting them, more photos were taken. This dragged on for the entire morning, and still nothing was achieved.
Shooting this for the entire morning meant that Yun Jinshu had to be professional and cry for the entire morning. In the end, everyone was exhausted, and Gu Yan’s chest was soaked with Yun Jinshu’s tears. There was a huge, wet patch on his white shirt, and it happened to be right over his nipple. Moviestar Gu could neither laugh nor cry, and he started teasing Yun Jinshu. As such, the scene no longer had an atmosphere that was good for “cultivating” tears.
As for Wen Zeyun, his expression became more and more awful. Walking over to Yun Jinshu, he said, “Jinshu, we’re friends, so I didn’t want to say this. However, time and time again, you’ve wasted everyone’s time, and you’re making things very difficult for me.”
Yun Jinshu was clearly aware that he was deliberately picking faults, but he did not wish to say anything. This was because with regards to such situations, Wen Zeyun was very clever. He would not make any random move, but once he did, it would be accurate and deadly. Just like how he picked at the photos that had already been taken, it was undeniable that there were problems with his portrayal. Even if people were to speak about it, they would not feel that there were any grudges or conflicts between the two people. At the very most, they would say that this director was too much of a perfectionist.
Furthermore, right now, he was only a newcomer. If he were to fall out with the director on his first film, in the future, he would not be able to get rid of the diva label.
As such, Yun Jinshu smiled with light humour, shrugging as he said, “I’m sorry. Give me a bit of time. I would like to rest for a bit and search for the emotion.”
Wen Zeyun sighed, handing him a cup of hot jujube tea. “Actually, I’m not being hard on you. I’m only afraid of wasting Gu-dage’s time, causing him to be prejudiced against you. Don’t think too much about it.”
Yun Jinshu laughed aloud, accepting the cup of tea and spoke, his words having a double meaning, “Zeyun, you’ve stolen the words right out of my mouth. You should be the one who shouldn’t be thinking too much about it, right?”
Yun Jinshu then drank a mouthful of the jujube tea and left the studio. Just as his foot crossed the doorway, his face immediately puckered up.
Fuck, this cup of tea isn’t just ordinarily sour!
He found a spot with no one around, using his phone as a mirror to look at his current appearance. His eyes were swollen badly, the skin around them red. His face was all smeared with tears, and in any case, he looked so tragic that his appearance was not suitable for others to look at at all.
As a man, to be forced to cry for the entire morning by his love rival, Yun Jinshu was probably the only person to experience such a thing.
Exactly how much of a kink did Wen Zeyun have, to like to see other people cry and cry again in front of him? Was it that by doing so, he would have a great sense of accomplishment? If that was the case, he would definitely seek an opportunity and try it on Han Jiang.
He started imagining Han Jiang kneeling in front of him, crying and whimpering with snot all over his face. As expected… Mn… It felt awesome.
When Gu Yan walked over, he happened to see the disturbing smile on Yun Jinshu’s face. Immediately, he wanted to laugh. Was there someone, while trying to make themself cry, end up making themself laugh instead?
“Hey hey, time to return to reality. What are you all amused about?”
“Huh?” Yun Jinshu only snapped out of his dreams with the pat on his back from Gu Yan. Thinking about what he was imagining, on the spot, he had a feeling of being completely exposed. He scratched his head awkwardly, saying, “No… nothing. Why are you here?”
Gu Yan sat down next to him, handing him a can of ice-cold coke. “Just now, I happened to see a certain fool looking a little upset, so I came out to take a look. In the end, I found out that that person really was a fool.”
Yun Jinshu laughed. Accepting the coke, he gulped down a few mouthfuls, washing away the taste of that jujube tea lingering in his mouth.
“Tsk, Moviestar Gu, are you overwhelmed with love or something? In the past, were you like this when acting too? When you see your partner in a not very good condition, you will always come out and exude your saintly aura?”
Gu Yan chuckled as he shook his head. “Of course not. I’m only just curious. According to your performance during the screen test in the morning, you should be a good actor, but why is crying for you something so difficult today?”
Yun Jinshu gave him a look of exaggerated surprise. “I’ve already soaked a certain someone’s shirt with tears already, is it still not good enough? It’s clearly much better than using eye drops.”
“But there’s no emotions when you cry.” Gu Yan hit the critical spot with just one sentence. Looking at Yun Jinshu, he said seriously, “Although an actor is able to cry and laugh on demand, to force yourself to cry just because you have to, as though you’re completing a mission, isn’t it very painful?”
Yun Jinshu tidied away his jokey mood. He understood that what Gu Yan said was the truth. He truly did not use any shred of feelings when he was crying, and he even did not immerse himself in the character of Ruan Ning.
What Wen Zeyun said in the past was like a curse, constantly serving as a reminder to him.
He said, “No matter whether you admit it or not, we do share some similarities.” He even said, “There’s a big part of this character that comes from me.”
As such, Yun Jinshu tried his best to separate himself from the character Ruan Ning. Stubbornly, he insisted that he was not a substitute for anyone, and so his subconscious fell into a trap. Although he said that he could convince himself to come and act in this film, even deceiving Zhao Hanchuan and others, he had no ability to deceive himself.
Because, right to his very bones, he disliked Ruan Ning. Wen Zeyun managed to see this, and so he refused to let it go, forcing him to cry and cry over and over again, as though he was showing off his victory.
It turned out that his entire facade was only a waste of energy. Even Gu Yan, who had only met him for the first time, could see his weakness immediately. It was no wonder Yun Jinshu had always been at a disadvantage the whole time.
Seeing that he was not speaking, Gu Yan raised his hand, ruffling Yun Jinshu’s hair. Like a friendly older brother from next door, he said, “No matter what sort of gulf there is in your heart, you must remember that you’re an actor. Although we’re acting out the emotions of other people in front of the camera, if you cannot transform yourself to ‘him’, in this lifetime, you’ll never be able to move the audience.”
Yun Jinshu scratched his head, speaking a little uneasily, “Gu-dage… Uhh… If you’re willing to let me address you like that… I understand what you’re saying, but towards this character, Ruan Ning, I’ll never be able to do so.”
Gu Yan laughed, swallowing a few mouthfuls of coke before saying, “Actually, what I said just now was all nonsense to trick you. That was what my teacher had taught me, and I have no authorisation in copying it. Normally, after listening to me speak such nonsense for a while, the newcomers would all be so moved that they would cry. You’re the only one who didn’t fall for it. You’re forcing me to use my last resort!”
Yun Jinshu froze. Confused by Gu Yan’s nonsense, he did not know how to react. Please, you’re an A-list actor, alright? Don’t just come and act cute out of the blue!
“I’ve decided to take back that dage address I used just now. This sort of older brother is too unworthy. However, I can still spend some time to hear what your last resort is.”
Gu Yan was anxious, and he again ruffled through Yun Jinshu’s hair. His lips curled up in a smile, and he said, “I remember that when I was about your age, I always went with my teacher’s advice, treating myself as someone else. In the end, my performance was conservative and complacent, and even if I did bring the character to life, others would say that I didn’t have my own style. In the end, feeling the anxiety, I decided to just treat every role as myself, and I finally became famous.”
“So you’re saying… that I should be myself?”
“Yes. Who cares whether it’s good or bad. Just do it according to how you think it should be done, and treat ‘him’ as yourself. You’re the one experiencing everything, and all the emotions are yours. It has nothing to do with others.”
Yun Jinshu froze. Having been enlightened, he finally understood the crux of the issue.
In his subconscious, he had already treated himself as Wen Zeyun’s substitute, holding onto Han Jiang tightly and refusing to let go. He thought that since he had fallen in love, it deserved a reciprocation. However, how could love always be reciprocated? Receiving it was a success, but losing it could also not be considered a failure. Perhaps, it was a new beginning.
The hardest thing in life, as well as the easiest, was only the words “let go”.
However, could one let go just like that? He did not know.