Life, Once Again! - Chapter 402
Maru, who finished receiving medical attention with just a patch on his elbow, returned to his spot. Changsung had planned to go to the hospital if necessary, but fortunately, Maru was okay.
“I was worried since there was a loud sound, but it seems that his reflexes are quite good.”
“He should have learned a lot of things after all,” Moonjoong, who was watching Maru from the side, spoke.
He was the first one to rush up to Maru, even before the staff, when Maru fell down.
“Uhm, sir. I mean, senior.”
“You said there was someone you know. Is it him?”
“I see. Then is he a member of your family?”
“No, he’s just a drinking friend.”
“What? A drinking friend?”
Moonjoong put on his gat as he smiled in satisfaction.
“A drinking friend, you say? Isn’t he only a high school student?”
“When drinking with an a.d.u.l.t, age doesn’t matter,” Moonjoong spoke with a serious expression.
He didn’t look like he was joking.
A drinking friend? Changsung didn’t know whether he was supposed to laugh or get confused here.
“He’s young, but he has a deep heart. It’s to the point that I can’t believe he’s at the age he is. Perhaps that’s why I don’t get bored when I talk to him. If you have the time, you should come to my house and drink over some pork belly, producer Han.”
“If you call me, I’ll be there anytime.”
Replying, Changsung followed Maru with the corner of his eyes.
“He caught my eye during the audition, and it seemed that there was really something to him.”
“Since we’re talking about him, I’ll tell you this: Watch him well. He’ll be very useful. If you deem he’s okay, then you can use him, and if not, then that’s that.”
Moonjoong seemed to be soliciting him, yet not soliciting him. He didn’t sound like he was using his name to pressure him to use the boy. It sounded like he should use him since there was a lot to get out of him.
Moonjoong, one of the big elders in the movie industry, was well-known for not recommending people easily. Even though he spoke as though it was nothing much, from how it contained a hint of recommendation, it could be seen just how much he cared about Maru.
“I saw him for the first time on the drama side, but sounds like he’s a promising youth on the movie side, I mean, you’re looking after him.”
“Promising? Nah. He’s just a youngling that only shows his face as a minor actor. It hadn’t even been that long since he started acting. He wasn’t coached from the days he started learning to walk like the others these days but rather, he learned to act after he had a grasp of what’s going on around him. I think it’s been a little more than a year now.”
“Really? I thought he must have studied since young. Then, how did you meet him? Was it a movie? Or….”
“I got to know him through a junior of mine. The junior being Lee Junmin.”
“You mean president Lee Junmin of JA production?”
“Yeah, the puppet president of that place.”
“Haha, a puppet president? You must be the only one who can call him that.”
“Just saying. Rather than that, I thought you knew already. Maru, he belongs to JA as well.”
“You didn’t know that?”
“I didn’t. He got through the public audition after all. We already held an audition for the agencies, so I thought he naturally didn’t have an agency.”
In the case of public auditions, although they received the resumés of the applicants, they were overlooked, most of the time. That was because talks with various agencies would finish before the audition stage.
The big agencies introduced their minor actors when looking for the lead actors, as though they were a set. Like that, most of the roles that had any weight to them were taken by actors or agencies who had name value. After that were actors that came through connections, then would be the auditions of various acting academies, and only after that were minor roles picked through public auditions.
Due to this method of selection, most of the people that came to the public auditions didn’t have an agency to speak of. They were either just members of a theater troupe or people just starting out acting. There was no need to go through their resumés so they were differentiated according to their facial features and attire during the audition, and were picked after looking at their acts.
Changsung asked for Moonjoong’s understanding before calling the TV station. He ordered one of his juniors to look for contracts with the name Han Maru.
-Ah, here it is. He belongs to JA Production. What about it?
“It’s nothing much. I’m hanging up then.”
-Yes. Please take care.
Changsung looked at Moonjoong as he put down the phone.
“Han Maru, is this kid abandoned by the company or something? They shouldn’t neglect him so much if they’re planning to raise him.”
“That’s just how Junmin works. He doesn’t handle low-quality goods. He’s a picky guy who only deals with mid-rate, no, high-quality goods.”
“Well… JA Production is a long-standing company, but I guess it’s been only half a year since they started adding actors in their ranks. The people they possess are all actors that other agencies are greedy for. I heard a rumor that you’ll only get used when you’re big, and from what you’re telling me, it’s true.”
“I wouldn’t know. I don’t need to mention how good Junmin’s business skills are. He might be visiting the various TV stations in a while, who knows.”
Moonjoong stood up from his seat.
“I think people are waiting. We should get started.”
Changsung also put back on his hat and stood up. It had been around ten minutes so things should have calmed down a little. He walked towards the camera director with the script in one hand. He tapped on the shoulder of the camera director who was instructing his assistant on the position of the tripod.
“Yeah, what is it?”
“Did you see what the situation was like when you were shooting last time? I was looking through the monitor, so I don’t know exactly what happened.”
The camera director shrugged.
“I’m also very confused. That guy suddenly pushed the boy in front of him. I thought you ordered him to do it.”
“So it wasn’t an accident? Like he misstepped or something.”
“He pushed intentionally. You might not have seen it since it happened off-camera, but it was definitely not a mistake.”
“Is that so?”
“I’m also curious, so why don’t you go and ask?”
Changsung replied yes before going to Uljin. He called out to Uljin, who was walking around on the spot nervously.
“What happened to you? I’m sorry I shouted at you, but I just couldn’t understand. Why did you suddenly push someone like that.”
“I’m not here to hear you apologize, but I’m curious as to why you did such things.”
He almost injured a completely fine man. There were no signs of it either. It shouldn’t have been that the two were on bad terms. They did the shoot together during the day as well without any accidents.
Uljin was a very polite boy. There was no way he did such actions without any reason.
“Are there some circ.u.mstances?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Then why can’t you tell me?”
“The thing is….”
Uljin’s eyes moved. His gaze was directed at where Maru was sitting.
“Did you two get into a fight?”
“No. It was just my misunderstanding.”
After hesitating, Uljin made a teary face as he spoke.
“I thought he was really trying to beat me up. I must have been crazy for a moment. I’m really sorry.”
Changsung laughed in vain. That was because Uljin’s response sounded serious. It didn’t sound like he was making an excuse. He looked as though Maru’s actions were really threatening and so he took action to defend himself.
“Geez. Get yourself together. This is not a playground.”
After watching Uljin dejected for a while, he told him to cheer up. People made absurd mistakes when they were nervous. Uljin must have been like that as well. Nothing good would come out of shouting at him, so he had to encourage him, though that sounded a bit absurd as well.
Changsung turned around and approached Maru this time.
“There really isn’t a problem, right?”
“Yes. I’m really okay.”
“Then let’s start the shoot. Tell me if there’s a problem. Also….”
Changsung gestured for Maru to come closer.
“I want you to loosen up a little.”
“Yes. I think Uljin’s very nervous right now. He said he pushed you because you looked like you were really picking a fight.”
“It must be rather absurd, but I’ll have you look after Uljin for a moment. When you see him, just grab his collars softly. Just so that he doesn’t get surprised. Okay?”
“I’ll loosen up as much as possible, then.”
“Alright, I’ll leave that to you. Geez, you are having a hard time.”
Even though it wasn’t a complex scene, they wasted too much time. At the start, it looked like they were able to finish the night scenes without going too late into the night, but it seemed that they had to stay up the night after all. This was the first day of shooting too. Changsung put on a bitter smile.
“Everyone on standby! Since it’s getting late, let’s do this quickly.”
* * *
It was past 10 o’clock. However, the lights at the set did not turn off. Maru let go of Uljin’s collars when he heard the cut sound. Uljin spoke with confused eyes.
“Sorry about last time.”
“You shouldn’t be. People make mistakes. Rather than that, are you okay?”
Maru patted Uljin before pointing at the lights with his chin.
“Let’s go. It’s time to shoot the next scene.”
Moonjoong and Giwoo walked in front of the camera. Uljin, who had a dumb expression on, quickly followed Maru.
“Looks like you’re really tired. I mean, you didn’t make a single mistake during the day.”
Uljin didn’t reply.
His mind had to be quite messy right now. After all, he wouldn’t be able to understand why he took such actions. Maru was inwardly surprised as well. His original objective was to mess up his acting. If he beat the guy up just because he didn’t like him, he would take damage instead. The only legal way to pressure him was through acting, so he put all of his efforts into acting, and then that happened.
When Uljin pushed out, he could have dodged as long as he wanted to. If he was at a level where he would get pushed back from someone who reflexively swung out, his practices of weaving at the boxing gym would be in vain. He thought that getting hit would be much more profitable for him than dodging, so he let his body go with the flow. Even when he fell down, he kicked off the ground with his heel, so that it would make a loud noise. He wasn’t injured since he was fully prepared to fall down, but it must have looked quite dangerous in other people’s eyes.
Uljin sighed as he massaged his eyes.
“The producer said to me that you thought I was really going to attack you.”
“No… it was just my mistake.”
He couldn’t say that he overreacted due to fear when he was a fully grown-up man. It would be much more comforting for him to say that it was his fault.
Uljin looked at the producer with a nervous expression. He was probably worried. He acted so strangely in front of everyone else after all. A rumor about a crazy guy in the drama ‘Apgu’ might start floating around.
“It’s done. Senior, can we go over to the next part?”
Since the shoot was delayed, producer Changsung sped up just as much.
“The two of you!”
Producer Changsung waved at the two. Uljin flinched as though he had done something wrong before shouting yes. Maru laughed in a low voice as he saw Uljin run towards producer Changsung.
They started the rehearsal without taking a break. This scene was where Moonjoong, who played the role of Han Sang-jil, rejoiced when he saw the friendship between Han Myung-hoe and Gaeguk. It was a simple scene where all the beggars had to do was to just exclaim ‘wow’ in the background.
With a ‘cut’ sound, Giwoo blocked Moonjoong who told him not to hang out with filthy people and said his line. He nervously told him that Gaeguk was his friend and that neither age nor status mattered when it came to friendship. He was in a situation where his respect for his great uncle and the friendship between him and his friend clashed, so he could neither shout nor shrink back. Giwoo was controlling the balance between those two emotions well, but producer Changsung didn’t seem to like that.
The shoot continued. Since this was the most important scene for the day, the producer did not give a refreshing okay that easily. Even while apologizing to Moonjoong, who he called ‘senior’ every time, producer Changsung requested adjustments over and over again. As Giwoo became better with feedback, producer Changsung’s voice became brighter, but he still did not give an okay sign for quite a while.
At that moment, Moonjoong raised his hand to halt the shoot.
“Producer Han. Let’s talk a little.”
Producer Changsung and Moonjoong started having a conversation. Maru stretched his arms out and looked up at the sky. He felt his fatigue disappear as he looked at the night sky that didn’t have a speck of cloud in it. Just as he was going to tell the other beggars to look up at the sky,
He heard Moonjoong call out to him.
 I think the author made a mistake here. Han Myung-hoe’s great uncle is named Han Sang-duk (according to research). Han Sang-jil is his grandfather.
 Rejoiced is the word used here, but you can see that this word feels rather out of place when you read on.
 Another mistake by the author. Probably meant to say ‘cue’