Life, Once Again! - Chapter 1001
Chapter 1001. Crank Up 10
He believed that nothing could change drastically overnight, yet he had to laugh in vain as he looked at his phone on the table. So things like this could happen. Ever since he shot the commercial for YM’s Q-series phone, he received numerous text messages. I saw this person while watching TV, and is it you? I saw someone that looks like you on a Youtube ad. Do your best from now on, etc.
The commercial for a super company that had a 72% market share had accessibility even greater than dramas. Not to mention newspapers, there were commercials before and after TV programs and prior to a film, as well as internet ad banners, to even various public transport ad banners; they could be seen everywhere. When he first saw the phone commercial on the screen door at a train station, he was in a daze for around 3 minutes. He originally thought that he wouldn’t think much of it, and boy he was wrong. He found himself taking a photo with the ad as the background before he knew it.
It was also the first time he went overseas to shoot a commercial. Germany, America, China, France, Japan — he thought he just had to smile while holding the product, but he ended up having to act out various roles according to some themes; in Korea, he was a youth laborer, in America, a young businessman who starts a food truck, and in Japan, a man crazy for scuba diving. It was a story aptly created to suit the slogan of ‘adventure and challenge’ that the phone commercial put out. He never realized that he would go traveling overseas with someone else’s money, not his own.
That was two months ago, but it was still vivid to him. He had just finished shooting in Ulsan, and right away, he was tied up shooting the commercial. He spent New Years very busily. He could still remember holding Gaeul’s hand at the turn of the new year like it was yesterday, but it was already April. He felt like it would be winter if he blinked if time kept speeding away like this.
It was around 2 in the afternoon when Byunchan pressed the bell. Maru hung the vacuum machine on the dock and opened the door. Byungchan was there, wearing a thin knitted shirt and a beige pair of pants. From his clothes, it looked like the weather had gotten a lot warmer.
“At this rate, I’m afraid summer’s just around the corner.”
“I heard that late spring chill is on the way. Have you eaten lunch?”
“I did, but I’m still hungry. I guess some bread from the convenience store isn’t going to cut it.”
“Should I cook some ramyun for you?”
“I can’t let our precious actor do chores. I’ll do the cooking so you have a look at that.”
Maru turned around to look at what Byungchan pointed at. It was an envelope, and he put his hand inside it. He took out the sheets of paper and put them on the dining table.
“There are so many?”
“Rejoice. You’re getting called from everywhere. Director Park gathered some of his acquaintances and showed them the unfinished film, and it seems like there are already words floating around that you have a strong character. The fact that you’re an actor backed by YM should also have a role in that.”
Byungchan poured hot water into some instant noodles and sat down.
“An actor backed by YM?”
“It’s been a long time since an actor was used for YM’s Q-series phones. Their business policy was to not use actors and go with something that’s more emotion-provoking, but you showed up, so everyone must be thinking that there’s something about you. That’s when director Park’s film came in and added fuel to the fire. Your name is already circulating among my acquaintances. Some writers have already expressed their willingness to meet you.”
“I guess you can really never know what life has in store for you.”
Byungchan raised his chopsticks and told him to look at the scenarios. There were titles of various genres. 6 films and 4 dramas. Three of them gave him the role of the protagonist, with an overwhelming amount of screen time.
“The ones I marked in red on the cover are those that expressed that they’ll use you without an audition as long as you consent to it.”
“Without an audition?”
“No audition is necessary for an already proven actor.”
“I shouldn’t be on that level though.”
“Your level isn’t something you decide. It’s what others decide for you. Of course, on the film side, everyone wishes to meet you and get a feel for themselves. The dramas are the ones willing to sign a contract as long as you give consent, since you’ve already been proven.”
“It’s rather unsettling.”
“This is just the start. There are directors with good achievements, but they aren’t the so-called ‘S-tier’ producers. You should do your utmost best so that you can get called by those people too.”
“I’m doing my utmost best right now.”
Maru quietly read the scenarios. The ones he was drawn to were roles that he had yet to play. He was focused on the charm of the character more so than the intrigue of the story.
“Based on the character, I think this one and this one will be fun.”
“I had a look at them too, and those two aren’t bad. The production companies are solid too. Though, for this one, the director’s previous work had terrible results, which is what bothers me.”
“It’d be strange to hit home runs consecutively.”
“That’s true. Leaving the character aside, what do you like in terms of story?”
Maru pushed forward a title with a pink cover. It was a film about a poorly performing insurance salesman and some insurance fraudsters trying to make big bucks. It started off as a comedy, but the flow of the film was rather interesting once a person died because of an accident.
“Crime is popular these days. More than half of the movies set to release at the end of the year are related to crime. This could be considered one of the mainstream ones at that.”
“What do you think, hyung?”
“That’s the one I wanted to recommend to you the most. I want to look at you act like an awkward salaryman. The character is similar in age to you too.”
“If I say I’ll go with this, will it happen?”
Byungchan raised the instant noodles container and drank the soup before speaking,
“Your intentions will be reflected as much as possible, but the final decision will be made with the president. Though later, you should be able to decide on what to do without the president’s input like Geunsoo-hyungnim and Ganghwan-hyungnim.”
Maru nodded. His decision would directly influence the profits of the company. While the preferences of an actor were important, suggesting what he does best should be just as important.
“I’ll tell the president about it. He’ll probably support your decision. He always says that you can take care of yourself.”
Byungchan asked if he wanted anything else.
“Can I choose more than one?”
“If the schedule can be adjusted, you can do all of the ones here. Of course, not that it’ll go like that. Actors are influenced by image consumption too, so we’ll have to narrow it down. The producers would not want a main character that appears frequently in other titles. The most important thing to a famous actor is rarity, aside from the obvious acting skill.”
Maru chose a drama and a film on top of the first film. One of them was from Byungchan’s recommendation. Byungchan put the scenarios back into the envelope.
“How do you feel receiving scenarios like this? All this time, you’ve been investigating audition dates and went to them to take the audition.”
“Honestly, I feel uneasy already. If I don’t get as many scenarios after this, it’ll mean that my value has fallen. I’m thinking that I shouldn’t make a mistake.”
Byungchan put the envelope in his bag and spoke,
“I’ll say this, not as your manager nor as an acquaintance of yours, but as a fan who likes movies. You’ll do well. I had a glimpse at the film you shot with director Park. It convinced me that you’ll go even further. The only thing I’m worried about is that you’ll consolidate a ‘dark and sinister role’ as your image, and such impressions can be scary. You know about actor Choi Younghwan, right?”
I do — Maru replied. He was the most beloved actor in the film industry and it was to the point that some people on the internet said that South Korean films were split into two: those that featured him and those that did not.
“You can see it from him. Regardless of what title he appears in, everyone thinks that he’s a good guy, even if he’s bloody with a knife in his hand. People will think that he must have some back story. The drama that came out recently used that image in reverse and created a really good villain. But it took him 30 years to play a villain. Apparently, he kept getting ‘good’ characters because that was the image he created. For an actor, having a consolidated image means that there’s less room for choice. Of course, it also means that they’ve become masters in that area.”
“Now that I think about it, there were no romances in there, right?” Maru asked as he looked at Byugnchan’s bag.
There was no heart-warming sweet love story. There was one scenario that had a love story as the basis, but even that was a sad one where a lover was betrayed by the other.
“It just shows that your acting has been consolidated into that image. It’ll become even worse once director Park’s film is released. You might only get murderer roles.”
“I’d like to avoid that. I can be pretty romantic, you know?”
“Sooil will take all the romantic ones in your stead, so don’t worry.”
“Geez, it’s always the pretty boys that are the problem. People like me feel wronged because of people like him.”
Maru smiled and stood up. He took out some apple juice and gave it to Byungchan. Byungchan checked the time on his watch before emptying the juice in one go.
“I should get going.”
“Thanks to a certain someone. Also, you’re going to get a manager. This time, your exclusive one. From now on, that fellow will be the one talking to you. He’s also a year younger than you. I’ll bring him later so good luck.”
“A manager huh, that’s so much pressure on me.”
“Once you become busy with shoots and have to go around everywhere, you won’t be saying that anymore. Anyway, thanks for the food and drink. I’ll notify you once the title is decided. Get some good rest, and don’t become sick. Now, you should really look after your health. Becoming ill once means immense monetary losses.”
“I can’t become sick after hearing that.”please visit f𝚛𝐞𝚎𝘄𝒆𝚋𝐧𝚘ѵ𝑒𝚕.𝑐𝘰𝚖.
Just as he was about to see him out the door, his phone started ringing. Byungchan looked at Maru’s phone, which was on the table, and spoke,
“I’ll be leaving now. You should pick that up.”
“Have a safe trip back.”
He closed the door and grabbed his phone. On the screen was the name ‘Park Hoon.’ He sat down on the sofa and picked up the call.