Life, Once Again! - Chapter 386
“A historical drama, huh,” Miso spoke as she sipped some coffee.
Maru saw a shadow loom over her face.
“What is it?”
“I once played the daughter-in-law for a noble family in a historical drama set in the pre-Yeongjo era. Goddamned pre-Yeongjo era.”
Miso pointed at her head. Maru smiled and nodded. She was probably referring to the gache worn in that era.
“Looks like the gache was heavy.”
“Try living with a 5kg weight on your head for an entire day. Your neck, shoulders, waist – not a single part of your body will stay intact. The only saving grace for me back then was that my character didn’t have much significance in the story so I could lean against the wall and rest if I wasn’t shooting. The women that played noble characters couldn’t even do that and had to sit up for the entire shoot. After that, I always check whether the drama is set in the pre-Yeongjo era or post-Yeongjo era when I have to audition for a historical drama.”
Miso stretched her shoulders out, saying that she still felt stiff when she thought about it.
“Looks like women have it hard. I’m a beggar, so I have no need to wear fancy clothing. I guess I’m safe on that part.”
“That’s good. You’re shooting in the summer as well. There’s nothing more difficult than playing beggar in winter. You’re in for a good time if you play a beggar role for a summer scene in the winter.”
Miso patted his shoulder before standing up.
“Well then, everyone had a good rest, right? Let’s resume class.”
Maru sighed shortly before looking behind him. The three people that were panting while looking at the ceiling were slowly getting themselves on their feet. Sungjae, who was trained several times harder than the others due to his superior stamina, looked dark in the face; Gwangseok, who never exercised much in the first place, was clenching his head as though he had a headache; and Gyunglim looked like her soul had escaped her body.
“But Mr. Han Maru.”
Maru raised his head and looked at Miso. She had a suspicious smile on her face.
“Looks like you’re too okay. It’s as though you didn’t train as hard as the others.”
The moment he heard that, he thought that there was no way out for him. Whatever he said, his training was about to get harsher. He regretted not noticing this sooner when Miso approached him.
“Starting next week, you and Mr. Sungjae will….”
Just as Miso spoke up to that point, the door opened.
“Yes, instructor Choi.”
“I got an urgent call for actors. Can I take people from your class?”
“I don’t really care, but I’m not so sure about them.”
A man called instructor Choi entered.
“Uhm, can I take two hours of your time? I got an urgent call looking for actors for a shoot. It won’t take that long, and you’ll of course get paid as well.”
It seemed that trouble occurred with some background actors.
“I’m fine with that,” Maru spoke first.
Gyunglim and Gwangseok also said that they would go.
“Ah, it must not bode well for you, right?” Instructor Choi asked Sungjae.
There was no reason for a top-tier idol to play as a background actor, so he thought that Sungjae would refuse. However, Sungjae’s head was nodding instead.
“If I can be blurred out, I can do that.”
“Yes, it’s just that much. You just need to sit down in a café. Uhm, I’m running out of time, so can we get going quickly? I keep getting calls,” Instructor Choi spoke as he pointed at his phone.
The four people stood up. Instructor Choi immediately called someone. They followed instructor Choi out of the class. In front of the academy building was a van.
“Get on quickly!”
Instructor Choi grabbed the steering wheel and spoke. As soon as they closed the door, the car drove off. The urgency could be felt from the sheer speed of the van.
After crossing the complex roads of Seoul for a while, the van started to slow down. Maru found a shooting set while he was looking outside. He saw lights, reflectors and cameras around a café terrace. Around ten meters away from the terrace, someone that looked to be a staff member was explaining something to the passersby. It seems that he was asking for their understanding.
As soon as they got out of the van, instructor Choi exchanged greetings with one of the staff. They weren’t speaking in polite speech and it seemed that they were close. The staff thanked him before waving at the four.
“We need to start the shoot immediately. We’re behind on schedule right now. Follow me for now.”
They entered the café. Right now, no one had recognized Sungjae yet. This would probably be better off for shooting.
“Sit over here and here. The two of you need to face each other. In a bit, you’ll hear a shout from the terrace, and you just need to turn around and look at them. Simple, right? You guys are from Film, so this must be easy for you, isn’t it?”
Then I’ll leave it to you – the staff member left a coffee cup and a muffin along with those words and left. Following that, another staff member came and gave them thick coats. Apparently, the drama was set in winter. Wearing a coat made them feel hot even though they were in an air-conditioned café.
It seemed that the staff were signalled that everything was ready as the two men standing in the terrace quickly moved to the car parked on the side of the road. A brief moment later, two women with great figures appeared and sat on the table in the terrace. They were both wearing thick clothes and a scarf to boot. Wearing winter clothing under this weather? Just looking at them made Maru sweat. The actress sitting on the left turned her head slightly. Maru smiled after seeing her face. She was someone he knew. It was Ahn Joohyun.
“Miss Joohyun, Miss Taeyeon. Sorry for making you wait.”
“Not at all.”
The man who seemed to be the producer started explaining the situation to Joohyun and the actress named Taeyeon. Joohyun nodded and grabbed the cup in front of her. Was this the scene where she sprayed drink on the other girl?
“Oh my god, it’s Ahn Joohyun,” Gyunglim spoke with an excited expression.
It seemed that Joohyun was popular among the girls.
“But Sungjae-hyung. Are you okay with being in the shot?”
“This much should be fine. It’s not like I’m appearing in the drama officially.”
Maru didn’t know if it was okay because he was hiding his face under a cap, or because he could handle surprise cameo appearances like this. Perhaps freedom rose along with popularity?
Maru didn’t act like he knew Joohyun since it seemed rather unbefitting of the situation.
The producer headed towards the monitor during the rehearsal. The two actresses got composed and looked at each other. Maru fixed his gaze on Gyunglim, who was sitting opposite of him.
“Let’s talk about something.”
“Just sing the national anthem instead.”
Just as Maru finished singing the first verse with his lips and was about to start the second, he heard the ‘cut’ sound. The camera moved behind Joohyun.
“That was good just now, keep that up.”
They shot the same scene again, just at a different angle. Like that, they shot a total of four times before finishing one scene. The producer approached and talked to the two actresses, before this time, walking with a male actor on the road to explain to him the path he was going to move during the shoot. In that short time, the makeup artists fixed the hair and the makeup of the two actresses.
Dozens of people acting towards one goal without any accidents was a drama in itself.
“We’re going over to the next scene. Please wait.”
The camera turned towards the road this time. This was the scene where the male actor hurriedly walked towards the café and stood in front of the two actresses. They shot first the scene where he walked with quick steps, but after several iterations, he started running because it didn’t look right with walking. They repeated that around three times, and every time he ran, the makeup artists came and wiped the actor’s sweat.
After that, the shoot progressed without a hitch. They shot everything in one go without causing a single NG scene. It seemed that that was the last scene for the day as the background actors were all smiling.
The producer, who was looking at the monitor, raised his head. That signalled the end. A man, who was watching in satisfaction with his arms crossed from one corner of the café, brought some pen and paper. It seemed that he was the owner of this café. After taking pictures with Joohyun, Taeyeon and the male actor and taking their autographs, the owner smiled and walked to one of the walls of the café. It seemed that he was planning to hang them up.
“Director, what do we do about the extra shoots?”
“Yeah. We called around, but I think we’ll have to delay it for tomorrow. We can get a.d.u.l.ts easily, but if we want people that are good-looking, we’d have to look into academies. Damn, there just had to be an accident today.”
After conversing, the producer called one of the staff members. The one he called was the guy that guided Maru and the others when they just arrived. After conversing with the producer, the producer came towards them.
“Oh, Mr. Ahn Sungjae. Hello. I didn’t recognize you because you were wearing a cap.”
Sungjae took off his cap and greeted the producer. At that moment, the people inside the café recognized who Sungjae was and started whispering. Some girls in the streets looked at the cameras with curiosity before finding Sungjae and screeching.
Actors and idols. Although both had their popularity, it seemed that when it came to fan fervor, idols saw far more of it. When the commotion became bigger, Sungjae smiled and slowly walked towards the door. Instructor Choi had started his car as well, getting ready to leave. The producer asked for a handshake and asked him to feature in his next work.
In that short time, Sungjae shook hands with the producer, and shot photos with the fans, and lastly signed an autograph for the owner before getting in the car. From what Maru saw, Sungjae was fleeing for dear life. Some girls approached the car and kept screeching ‘I love you, oppa’. The rather empty street was filled with girls in no time. It seemed that the girls texted their friends of Sungjae’s appearance.
“I guess we’d have to go back on foot.”
It seemed that it was nearly impossible to get in the van right now. None of them had the courage to go through that crowd. Instructor Choi seemed to have thought the same as he peeked outside the window and said that he’d be going first. The girls kept screeching as they followed the van. It looked as though they were going to follow forever if the van moved slowly. Everyone around was flabbergasted by the sheer energy the girls gave off. Perhaps this was why idols were all the rage.
Just as Maru returned his coat and was about to leave, Maru saw Joohyun, who stood a bit far away from the set. They just happened to meet eyes, and Maru bowed to her. Since he paid his respects, he just had to return now. He would return to the lecture room to get his bag and go home.
At that moment, he heard some loud footsteps behind him. When he turned around, he saw Joohyun, who looked very happy for some reason. However, that expression made Maru feel rather iffy since that ‘happiness’ looked like it stemmed from a debt collector that just found the debtor.
“Maru, do you have some time?”
“Eh? What time?”
“No, you have to.”
Joohyun inadvertently started dragging him by the hand. For some reason, he was reminded of Bangjoo’s words, who said that he started sports in order to not get beaten up by his sister. He considered that to be a joke on Bangjoo’s part, but when he felt the grip around his wrist, he thought that it might have been real. He was brought in front of the producer, leaving behind Gwangseok and Gyunglim, who looked at him with surprise.
“Producer, what about this guy?”
“Who is he?”
“He has decent acting skills, I can guarantee that. He’s the guy director Choi Joonggeun has set his eyes on. Sir Yoon Moonjoong brought him along with him on a few occasions as well.”
Maru looked at Joohyun. He had never met Joohyun once when he shot his part of Twilight Struggles. Joohyun did her shoot on the set in Seoul, and Maru had only a single scene in the countryside.
‘But she’s quite knowledgeable about me.’
Perhaps she heard from others during her shoot? It shouldn’t have been Suyeon. After all, the two weren’t on good terms. If so, then it was likely that it was Geunsoo that told her about him. After all, he had quite a lot of connections.
The producer scanned Maru from top to bottom.
“He has a decent face. But this requires you to do some stunts. Hey, young fellow. I have a short scene that requires some action, right? It’s a scene where you have to stab Miss Joohyun here with a knife. Do you have experience shooting action scenes?”
“No, but I am practicing for one.”
The producer took out his phone from his pocket and handed it over to Maru.
“Consider this as the knife and try stabbing.”
He approached Joohyun who had her back towards him. He grabbed the phone as he would a knife and acted like he stabbed her.
“Hm, I think this might turn out okay. Let’s move to the terrace for a bit.”
After putting the table away, the producer told him to do the same thing again. He also told him that this time, Joohyun would counterattack. Just as he was about to stab the phone into Joohyun’s waist, Joohyun turned around and grabbed his wrist. Maru loosened his wrist and left his body to be led by Joohyun’s push. His torso was going down. Just like how he learned, he twisted his body and fell on the ground with a loud thud, so that it would look good on camera.
Joohyun, who was pushing down on him from above, made a startled expression before smiling.
“What do you think?”
“What the, did you two practice that action already? Why is it so smooth?”
“That should be fine, right?”
“Of course. I was going to split the scene into multiple angles, but if it’s like this, we would probably be okay with a single take. But hey, doesn’t your shoulder hurt? I heard a loud noise.”
Maru stood up while saying that he was okay. Although it did ache a little, it wasn’t anything he couldn’t hold back.
“Rather than re-shooting, let’s just take this guy.”
“That’s easier for us as well. It won’t impact your schedule either, Miss Joohyun.”
Somehow, the conversation was progressing without him. Maru dusted off his clothes before looking at the two.
“Well, is there something I can help you with?”
Hearing his question, both Joohyun and the producer nodded their heads simultaneously.
 A ornamental wig worn by women. Wikipedia for more details