Life, Once Again! - Chapter 603
Maru had gotten used to eating lunch boxes at the shooting location now. He opened the plastic lid and started eating when he felt a presence behind him.
“Can I eat with you?”
It was Song Siwoo.
“Do whatever you want. It’s not like anyone owns this place.”
As soon as he said those words, Siwoo sat next to him. Dongho, who sat opposite to him, twitched his eyes and spoke,
“What made you come here today? Instead of going to Ahn Yeseul’s side?”
“Uhm, if you don’t want me here, I’ll go somewhere else.”
Siwoo didn’t seem flustered at all and looked straight at Dongho’s face as he said those words. Instead, Dongho was the one who made some weird hand gestures before saying ‘that’s not what I mean’. As pouty as he was, Dongho was kind at heart and compromised with himself as soon as his opponent acted upright.
“I did get used to it, but it does hurt me to see other people looking at me like that. Sometimes, I wonder if idols shouldn’t be acting,” Siwoo said in a small voice.
“It’s not like there’s a law that forbids idols from acting, so don’t worry about it. Dongho’s just a bit twisted, and he doesn’t actually hate you so just be understanding. Isn’t that right, Dongho?”
“Of course. I’m not that petty.”
Dongho told Siwoo to quickly start eating. Finding that funny, Joomin continuously slapped Dongho’s arm as she laughed.
“Maru, isn’t this guy pretty cute from time to time?”
“Dongho is pretty cute.”
“He’s like a total kid. When are you going to grow up?”
“You’re both bullying me again. Just get eating.”
Dongho hurriedly picked up his lunch box and started eating.
You’re gonna choke – Maru pushed the drink in front of him over to Dongho’s side before looking at Siwoo.
“So there are similar happenings in other places too?”
“It doesn’t happen that much, but when I meet people who don’t see me in a good light, I kinda end up regretting that I started doing this. Despite the fact that I’m putting a lot of effort in, you know?”
“You’re like a mutant who popped out of nowhere after all. You suddenly barged into an already stable ecosystem and started eating everything in sight, so there are bound to be people who won’t look at you in a good light. Rumors always circulate around rich households. It’s proof that things are going well, so just ignore what you don’t want to listen to.”
“My president said something similar. That half of the words from adults are from pride and the other half are from their conservative nature. That’s why I don’t need to listen to them that deeply.”
Only after Siwoo finished did he smile and pick up his chopsticks. They ate while talking about trivial stuff like the weather.
“Uhm. Can I ask you something?”
Maru looked at Siwoo as he stuffed his mouth with some rice. What entered his view was Siwoo’s lunch box. Siwoo had left all the fried food untouched.
“Aren’t you going to eat those?”
“Hm? Oh, these? I have to maintain a strict diet. I’m only going to eat fried food after the debut. I’m going to have to shoot a debut soon after all.”
“Then I’ll take it, okay? As compensation for answering your question.”
Maru poked one chopstick into the shrimp tempura and put it in his mouth. He suddenly had a thought when he put it in his mouth – that he should not take up roles that had to look skinny. He seriously didn’t have the confidence to control his weight.
“So, what do you want to know about?” he asked after swallowing the shrimp tempura.
“Back there, at the faucet.”
Dongho and Joomin, who had almost finished their lunches as well, also took interest in their conversation. They closed in with drinks in their hands.
“Why do you think I wasn’t able to get an okay sign?”
“Everything other than the falling over part was okay. Falling over is something that’s not that related to acting. Well, in a broader sense, it is, but it’s more about using your body.”
“That’s what I don’t understand. I thought that I fell over really well, but the director said he didn’t like it. Falling onto a mat is something that happens often when I’m practicing choreography, so it shouldn’t have looked that awkward.”
“Do you remember what the director said to you?”
“That I’m trying to look cool? I never intended to.”
“He put it that way, but he probably meant something different.”
“What did he mean?”
“You weren’t afraid. You fell over too cleanly.”
Maru closed the lid of his lunch box since he finished it. Siwoo seemed to be thinking about what happened back then as he was staring at his own legs.
“Dongho, give it to me if you’re finished. You too, noona. I’ll collect them and throw them away at once.”
He stacked the lunch boxes and stood up before moving. He handed over the trash to the car that brought the lunch boxes and went to grab four cups of coffee from the vending machine inside the school. He grabbed one cup with his mouth and the other three with his hands. Just as he approached the three who were sitting on the platform, he heard Siwoo’s voice.
“Then how should I have fallen over?”
“Just throw your body.”
“I think I did that.”
“Should I have looked afraid like what Maru said? No, that can’t be right. It shouldn’t matter since my face wasn’t in the camera.”
Maru joined the three people who were talking among themselves.
“You’re still talking about that?”
“What do you mean by I wasn’t afraid? I took a few steps too before I fell back,” Siwoo asked.
“Take this first.”
“Dongho and Noona, you too.”
Maru sipped on the coffee before starting to talk.
“It generally varies from director to director according to their preferences. While there are some that like falling over refreshingly and don’t look at other things, there are people who place importance on detailed expression even if the movements look a little awkward. Director Park Hoon is sort of in the middle since he’ll be fine with any extras as long as the actor expresses the things he wants them to. Trying to look cool, exaggerating – when he uses these words, he’s not asking for the clarity of the movements. He’s for the actor to describe the situation the character is in a little bit more.”
“I think I did what the director told me to do.”
“You did, but it wasn’t enough. I’m not entirely sure about this either, so do you still wanna hear it?”
“You got an okay from him. I want to know what I did differently from you. Honestly speaking, I don’t think there was a difference between you and me when I watched you.”
“If it’s just about falling over, maybe. But you know….”
Maru suddenly pushed his hand towards Siwoo’s face. Siwoo was startled and pulled his body back. The coffee in his cup started sloshing and some of it spilled out.
“W-whoa! That startled me.”
“I thought you finished it, sorry about that.”
“I almost finished it and nothing got on my clothes, so it’s fine. But why did you do that all of a sudden? Was there something on my face?”
“No, I thought it’d be easier to show you than to explain to you. This is what I mean by ‘afraid’. It is the most core element that your character needs to have. Throughout the shoot, you shrunk your shoulders and stared at the ground. You were trying to express that you were lacking confidence and that the character was in an extremely defensive state, am I right?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Continue that line of thought. Just because something is an action scene, doesn’t mean you can just look at it independently. This is something I’ve heard numerous times when I learned acting. When shooting dramas, the camera usually focuses above the shoulders, right? The camera is angled like that because facial expressions are very important. When the camera is in front of you, you act so that you reflect what the character’s emotions are as much as possible, don’t you? I mean, not just you, but everyone here should be like that.”
Maru looked at Dongho and Joomin after saying those words. They nodded. Siwoo did the same.
“But adding an action scene into that sometimes makes people forget about the context because they’re too focused on the action itself. In your case, you were too focused on falling over, so I think you probably forgot about the basis of your character. This is just my opinion, so you have to ignore most of it, okay?”
“Okay. Please continue. I think I’m beginning to understand.”
“You’re in a situation where you’re surrounded by bullies. Faltering back is just a device to express your emotions, which is fright. However, before that, you have to express what kind of situation made you feel afraid. If I, who doesn’t have any malice towards you, suddenly reach out towards you during our conversation, you’ll falter back in surprise, right? If you didn’t have anything in your hands, you might have put up your hands to defend yourself. That’s a reflexive action. It’s the most principal reaction that does not go through the thought process. If you think back to your acting now, you will find what you did strangely.”
Siwoo contemplated before standing up and walking in front of the platform. He faltered back like there was an imaginary person in front of him before falling on his butt. It seemed that he chose to fall down on his butt since there wasn’t a mattress here.
“I get it. So this is why he told me not to try to look cool.”
Siwoo returned and had spoken with a much brighter expression.
“Continuity is important for acting after all. Even if it’s split up into different cuts, what you need to show in the end is the flow and the context. The director probably didn’t repeat the scene because of the falling part. He was probably dissatisfied with your actions before you fell over.”
“I don’t think I would’ve okay’d that either. I wonder why he didn’t explain it to me though. He only asked me if that was all I could do while monitoring.”
“That’s just director Park Hoon’s style. He doesn’t overly interfere with acting. Even when he gives out directions, he only mentions the general gist of things and leaves the details to the actors. No, rather than leaving it to us, he might not be saying anything because it is our job, not his.”
Maru gave Siwoo some tissues because he saw that the coffee that splashed onto the back of his hand had dried out.
“Shooting for real is definitely different from practice alright. There are a lot more things I need to be concerned about.”
“If you understood that much from just that, I guess you won’t be scolded for your acting wherever you go. You’re much better than me.”
“No way, what are you saying? I only understood thanks to your explanations. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve been stuck thinking about my falling posture, you know? It really was the right thing to ask you. It’s just as Haewon said. You’re like a problem solver.”
“Haewon called me a problem solver?”
“He did. He said that he did the right thing when he consulted you about his worries. Uhm, can I ask you more from time to time?”
“But you won’t be here since it’s your last day here, isn’t it?”
“Just in case. Or am I being too annoying?”
“That’s not entirely false, but….”
Maru reached out with his phone. There was nothing to be lost by making more connections. Moreover, this guy belonged to the same agency as Gaeul. He thought that it would be good to get to know him.
“Thanks. Your explanations were really good. I think I had an easier time understanding than in the classes I received.”
“That’s all I can do. Don’t compare me to fully fledged instructors. It’d be rude. It just so happened that I could explain it to you, so don’t expect any more from me in the future.”
“You know? Hearing that makes me expect even more. Anyway, thank you so much. I feel much more refreshed now. I hope I can see you next time, with Heewoon and Haewon at that time.”
Siwoo thanked him until the end before leaving. Whether it was his agency that taught him, or if that was just his nature, it was really good to see him. Even if it was just a mask, if he maintained that without being found out, that mask might become the truth.
“Han Maru, what’s up with you today?” Dongho said from behind him.
“Your explanations were really kind, unlike usual. When I ask you something, you’d usually reply with ‘look at the script’ or ‘think about it yourself’ or ‘is that all you know?’ or something like that. Are you discriminating just because he’s an idol?”
“I did? Am I not the same as always?”
“What the heck are you saying? When Jichan came to you for advice before, you made your face like this and told him ‘my advice will be meaningless to you’. You were so cautious about explaining things to others, yet you’re spilling all the beans today. Are you planning to get close to him and get an idol girlfriend? If it’s like that, let me in too.”
Maru laughed before waving his hand in denial. He was different from his usual self? He scratched his eyebrows and thought about it. When he thought about it now, he did think that he was a little bit harsh. He thought that interfering with other people’s lives was crossing the line, and above all, had no benefit for him.
‘Well, this much advice is fine I guess.’
Wouldn’t it be fine as long as the listener just took what was necessary? He even thought that he restrained a little too much from talking. He thought that there was no reason to actually go that far. Now that he thought about it in retrospect, his actions did feel quite stuffy.
“Maybe this is the original me. The kind Han Maru.”
“Wow, that really doesn’t suit you. Don’t you think so too, noona?”
“Yeah. He definitely isn’t like his usual self.”
He changed? People were bound to change. Staying still without changing was the same as regress, so changing was something positive.
“Never mind that, let’s have a look at the script. We have two scenes left.”
“Right. The phantom of the script wants to look at the script, so we have to look at the script, yes.”
“Shall we start from this point?”
Maru looked at the two people and opened his script.