Chapter 22: Human Relations Were So, It’s All Acting
What should have been a short nap turned into a long sleep until evening. When Xi Mo had gotten up, she was sore all over. Even as she walked she was out of it. She took a shower, changed into a skirt that matched, then did her makeup. Only then did she look more energetic, but her complexion was still rather pale. Yan Tinghuan gave her a call, so she prepared and made her way down to the dining room.
A banquet like this wasn’t all that formal. Everyone was a member of the crew, they would all have to eat lunch boxes with each other once they started working. The atmosphere was much like a communal meal, people did as they please.
When she made her way down, many people have already gathered. Coordinator, photographers, script supervisor, lighting technicians, makeup artists, sound recorders, and so on were all here. All of these people had their own groups within the crew. Since the project was rather large this time, each group had a lot of people. Most of the more energetic younger workers surrounded many tables and were happily chatting away.
Lin Qitang’s assistant was also there and called out greetings with the rest of the people at the scene. Since Yan Tinghuan and Xi Mo had taken a walk at Lin Qitang’s place before, they were somewhat familiar with each other at least. As such, they were given a enthusiastic wave, “Miss Ruan, Miss Yan, you guys finally came.”
Yan Tinghuan was a social butterfly, she warmed up and got close to people easily, so she greeted back much in the same way. The assistant and coordinator easily ate it up as Yan Tinghuan greeted back with a smile and even asked them to take care of “Ruan Yesheng” well. Everyone promptly replied back politely it was only natural to do so. Xi Mo was not in the best state. In the past, if he were to see Yan Tinghuan like this, she would mentally curse that she was losing all face. But as of now, all she did was stand beside her, too lazy to care and let her be.
The assistant introduced Xi Mo, then introduced the various crew members to her.
Xi Mo had never got in touch with this crew before, so she did not know a single person. As the Film Empress, she was so popular people simply couldn’t see her as they please. It was always other people coming over to fawn over her with thick faces and there were enough people to form long lines. She always felt it was annoying, so she never even bothered remembering their faces, let alone their names. But now, as the assistant introduced them to her, she politely smiled and greeted them, showing an amiable attitude. Perhaps she really was changing subtly, although she couldn’t remember all their names since there were too many and it wasn’t necessary, she at least carefully committed their faces to memory so she could recognize these crew members.
Ruan Yesheng’s body was a really sexy one, with Xi Mo also putting her face to use by smiling just right and replying amiably, the crew members were left in a great mood and felt she had a great character. They would be able to cooperate well in the future, and their favorable opinion of her rose sharply.
In any case, she was also an important female side character, so Xi Mo’s seat was arranged within a large private room. There were many celebrities there, each had their manager with them. Even the producer was there, they were all taken care of at least.
The private room could be described as beaming with starlight in the way it was arranged. Many of the supporting characters were actors and actresses that were currently popular. But Xi Mo was an experienced actress, what scenes had she not seen before? As she observed the people in the room, she did not feel it was particularly special. The actors and actresses inside all knew each other, some had worked together on several films together. As such, they were either giving perfunctory greetings, or talking about old times. They even needed to fawn over the film and the Director, they were all very busy. Since they were not very familiar with Ruan Yesheng, nobody came over to bother Xi Mo.
Xi Mo enjoyed this peace and sat in her seat with Yan Tinghuan. She swept her gaze across everyone and noticed that Ruan Yesheng had not arrived yet.
As she looked around, she found Yan Mu.
Yan Mu was tall with long legs, and had a pure and handsome appearance. He was surrounded by a couple actresses which made him stand out even more. She didn’t know what he said, but a couple actresses burst out into laughter. Yan Mu was also laughing with them, his eyes bright with starlight.
He had debuted a couple years now and had started out as a singer. After muddling along for a while with no major popularity, he took on a role as the main male lead. Through his role as a clever male lead and his outstanding appearance, he quickly became popular once the drama was broadcasted. He became one of the heartthrob at the top of the rankings of other celebrities. After he became popular, he made more films and did countless advertisements, capturing countless female fan’s hearts. Within the entertainment circle itself, he also obtained favorable opinions of many actresses.
His role this time was the male lead of Sui Ting, Emperor He of Han who was the backbone of this film. His importance could clearly be made out.
Xi Mo had worked with him a couple times before. But since she was a naturally cold person, she merely had a pretty good impression of him and did not really take him as her friend. In fact, she did not have true friends. The entertainment circle was fickle, she did not want to make any deep attachments. Those friend-like interactions she had with some people was merely a shell she had made.
Human relations were so, it’s all acting.
But Yan Mu seems to really take her as a friend. He was younger than her, and seemed to not care whether she accepted him or not. He would follow after her and call her sister, and would even send her some news from time to time. During Chinese New Years or other holidays, he would also send her his greetings and tell her some interesting events. Even if she doesn’t reply, he found amusement for himself easily.
Although she did not particularly care about Yan Mu who was the god of countless girl’s hearts, since they were acquaintances, Xi Mo deign to bestow upon him a longer look than others. Liu Yusi sat by Yan Mu, who was also rather famous. But it was rumored that the way he got famous was the alternative way, she slept her way up. This matter had long been dug up by the internet.
As Liu Yusi listened to Yan Mu talk, her eyes never left him. Her hands simply wished to cling onto him.
Someone gave Yan Mu some wine. Yan Mu was well known for his good temper within the circle. He did not act like a big shot and stood up with a smile to take it. When he sat back down he wordlessly shifted his seat a bit to give himself some space from Liu Yusi. He was probably really afraid she would start clinging onto him.
As Xi Mo watched the entertainment her face did not particularly change, but mentally she was sympathizing with him a bit.
Yan Mu took a drink of his wine and looked around, and seemed to have noticed the situation over at Xi Mo’s spot. Xi Mo had already looked away and was looking at the eating and idle Yan Tinghuan.
“The appetizers are pretty good.” Yan Tinghuan pushed a dish of pickled radish to her, “Try it, get your appetite going.”
Xi Mo really wanted to shake Yan Tinghuan’s neck like one would to a duck and have her take a look at her conduct, then compare herself to how the other managers were acting.
Yet Yan Tinghuan’s heart was free of worries and concentrated on eating her radishes.
Xi Mo lost her anger and ate radish with her.
“Miss Ruan?” A man called for her next to her.
Xi Mo raised her head and found Yan Mu who had made his way over to her at some unknown time and was a bit startled. Maybe because she was dizzy from heatstroke, or maybe because the pickled radish at this hotel was really good, she was still thinking of herself as Xi Mo. Seeing him making his way over, she immediately thought about how she was going to be annoyed to death and how she should get rid of him.
After that she became aware that what he called her was Miss Ruan.
According to reason, Yan Mu made his debut in recent years. By that point, Ruan Yesheng had long been buried so they lived in completely different worlds. They were like two parallel lines that had no intersections, she didn’t expect Yan Mu to take the initiative to come over.
Xi Mo stood up, nodded at him, smiled and greeted him.
Smiling here, smiling there, her face was going to be rigid from all this smiling today.
“I am Yan Mu.” Yan Mu’s opening greeting was very natural, very frank, and very foolish.
Xi Mo continued smiling, “With your well-known reputation, how could I not know you? You sure are funny god.”
Yan Mu acted as if he was suddenly shoved a candy, sweetened up so much even his eyes were shining, “Do you take me as your god too?”
Xi Mo: “…”
A leopard really can’t change its spots!
You naive idiot! You even believed polite greetings?
Xi Mo continued on with perfect defense, “You are everyone’s god.”
“What god and so on, everyone really put me up too high.” Yan Mu smiled, “You can call me Xiao Mu.”
Xi Mo: “…”
Why don’t you straight up tell me to call you Xiao Ming!
Xi Mo put on an ill-at-ease appearance. Anyone that took a look at her would really think she was a polite and modest newcomer, her aura was pure and made people want to help her, “You are too polite. To tell the truth, I am a bit nervous since I’m not very familiar with this crew and decided to just sit here. I didn’t expect you to come and greet me.”
Yan Mu spoke, “In a crew, everyone is family. Even if you aren’t familiar with everyone you will be eventually. Relax, don’t be nervous.”
Xi Mo’s heart made a detour and seized this chance to make a polite joke, “Thank you. With you taking care of me so much, if your fans find out, they might just eat me.”
“We are all part of this crew and need to make a film, taking care of each other is only natural.”
Xi Mo mentally thought, ‘Only ghosts would believe you.’
Although Yan Mu looked like the sweet naive type, he was only like that with people he felt familiar with and really had a good opinion of. The sweet naiveness isn’t really naive. Yan Mu did not put on an air of arrogance within this circle and it was the way he decided to take things. It did not mean he did not understand his own high position. From the point of view of a highly popular star, it was not worthwhile to specifically make friends with an actress that was both past her prime and someone he was unfamiliar with.
Perhaps Yan Mu really does know Ruan Yesheng?
It doesn’t seem so either. Yan Mu’s attitude towards her did not seem like they were familiar. He greeted her politely and called her Miss Ruan. His followup chat were all things a stranger would say, this does seems to be their first meeting.
As such, Xi Mo started to politely try to worm her way out, “I thought nobody here would recognize me, I didn’t expect you to know my name, it is indeed an honor. Really, I am a bit overwhelmed by this.”
Yan Mu continued smiling, “I saw your information from Director Lin.”
“Oh?” Xi Mo put on an act of surprise.
If it’s not important, why did you look at someone’s information? You were too bored and got nothing to do?
Yan Mu probably also knew that him coming to greet her like this was suspicious. With so many celebrities around, he just had to take the initiative to talk to her of all people. How could people not be suspicious? As such, he explained, “Back then, when the crew got in contact with me and gave me the script, I had immediately liked it and accepted. Afterwards, I carefully finished reading the script and really liked the character Ding E. I was always curious who would take the role, but Director Lin was always pretty picky about who would take it and never made a decision. Afterwards, I heard you were chosen for the role, so I asked about you. I heard from Director Lin about your circumstances.”
He smiled very warmly, “I am Ding E’s fan.”
Xi Mo stared at him.
This smile made Xi Mo feel that he was very sincere. It really was a type of like, and it was really the type of like from a fan. When it comes to Yan Mu, if he liked something, then he liked something. If he didn’t, then he didn’t. For him to get to his current position within this circle and still be so clean, it was very rare.
Yan Mu was a spotlight. With his appearance by her, other people quickly made their way over as well. These people were usually realistic, they were probably coming over to check out who had Yan Mu take the initiative to find and whether or not they should make friends with them. What they found was a face that they had no impressions of.
Liu Yusi stood by, sizing up Xi Mo in a peculiar manner.
The changes within the entertainment circle was quick, people would quickly come and go. Some would disappear forever, while others would pop out from some corner and instantly become famous. With so many faces within this circle, and not all of them could withstand the test of time. People would quickly be thrown to the back of the memory and forgotten.
The present new actors and actresses all have never seen Ruan Yesheng act before. Ruan Yesheng became famous early and lost it fast as well. These people were pretty much still doodling in their school books when she had become known. They simply could not recognize her. And even if some people among them had seen her before when she was popular, Ruan Yesheng’s current face was different from her younger one. Her features were now like a mature and well-bloom flower, with so many years between then and now, even if they thought her face looked familiar, no one could immediately remember her.
Xiao Ming is often used as the name of comedy character.