Life, Once Again! - Chapter 728
“Journalist, I didn’t say anything wrong, did I?”
“Well, you didn’t, I was just a little curious. You should be busy with drama shoots and all sorts of other things, but you’re investing your time into a school club, not to mention a club that you aren’t even in.”
“So you even know that I belong to the acting club, huh.”
“It’s natural to find that out as an interviewer. You could also say that it’s minimum courtesy.”
“I’m surprised that you found out so much about me when I’m not worth anything much.”
Sora wanted to interrupt midway, but she couldn’t say anything as there was a thick wall around the two of them. She wondered why such a wall was made. Why did Maru look like he was hostile, and why did the journalist keep asking roundabout questions? Everything was a question to her.
“In any case, you found out that the youth film festival was taking place through another person and was advised to participate, right?”
“Yes, I guess that’s true.”
“Who was it that advised you to do so?”
“Well, I want to know why you are so curious about who that person is, journalist.”
Journalist Koo wiped her lower lip with her pinky. The red lipstick got smudged onto her finger. To Sora, it looked like blood.
“Maru, is it me or does it sound like you hate me?”
“Of course I don’t. I want to answer your questions as earnestly as possible. It’s just that I want to talk about me, Sora and the film festival, but you keep asking about my private life which made me feel uneasy. You know that it’s rare for students like us to appear in a magazine. I just wanted to make as much out of this opportunity as I can.”
“You make it sound like I’m asking strange questions.”
“They aren’t strange, but if it sounded like that, then I don’t really have anything to tell you.”
Sora laughed and drank her cold kiwi juice. While it was the other two holding a conversation, she felt like it was her who was being burned out. She felt like she was placed in between two growling fighting dogs.
She lowered her phone beneath the table and moved her fingers. Sending texts without looking was something that any high school girl in South Korea was capable of doing.
Maru’s phone started ringing.
“Oh, please excuse me.”
While Maru opened his phone to check his text, Sora looked at the journalist and made a faint smile. The journalist smiled back at her. The needle-sharp atmosphere became loose in an instant which made it look like the mind war between the two hadn’t occurred at all.
“Let’s continue,” Maru said.
You aren’t angry, right? – that was the text she sent him and Maru used his actions to answer her. He was smiling, but his eyes had turned frosty. Sora thought about the expression Maru showed when he first read her scenario. It was extremely similar to his face right now. He was clearly displeased with this situation.
“If I happened to hurt your feelings, I apologize. It’s entirely my responsibility if the interview does not go smoothly, so tell me if you are dissatisfied with anything.”
“There’s nothing like that. Like I said before, I just want you to talk more about Sora and the film festival rather than me. Since it’s a movie magazine, you should focus the interview on future film people.”
Sora looked at Maru, who lightly patted her on the shoulder. She felt two things simultaneously. The reliability of a senior who was looking out for a junior, as well as the sneakiness of a senior that dodged a difficult topic.
Journalist Koo nodded once before switching the topic. Everything that occurred after that was about the film festival. For example, they would talk about what happened at the award ceremony. When she heard that the mayor had left halfway through the ceremony, journalist Koo truly became angry. At least, that’s how it looked to Sora’s eyes.
“Before we get to the most important question about your feelings about receiving the grand prize, did you expect to get it?”
The atmosphere of the interview became warm. Sora forgot about the warfare between Maru and journalist Koo and spoke joyfully,
“No, I didn’t. Of course, I did think that we’d get one prize at least, but I didn’t think it would be the grand prize.”
“So you were confident in winning a prize anyway?”
“Yes. We had a hard time shooting it, and the result was good too. The camera I got from a graduate really helped out a lot. The quality was really good.”
“For me personally, I think that camera work was great. Quality is something that you can solve with a better camera but focusing and angling isn’t something that a good camera can improve. It only improves through trial and error.”
“You’re right. The seonbae that was in charge of the camera really worked hard. I nagged him to reshoot many times over. Oh, Maru-seonbae over here also worked hard. I just had to give instructions and watch the video later, but the two seonbaes had to move constantly.”
“A director’s job is to bring out the best of each part. Being too labor-intensive is also a problem.”
Journalist Koo stopped the voice recorder once and turned it on again. She also wrote something down on her notepad. It seemed like she was organizing the main points so that she would have an easier time summarizing later.
“In the eyes of a director, how is Han Maru as an actor?”
Sora replied without hesitation,
“He’s the best you can get. Honestly, the acting for the main character in Classroom is pretty hard. It’s static, and the details in the emotional expression are important, so anyone else wouldn’t have been the same.”
“So only Maru could do it?”
“Of course. I didn’t ask him to do it for no reason.”
“That’s a lot of trust you have there. Maru said he found out about you through someone else, so then how did you find out about him? Did you know him before that?”
Sora shook her head.
“We didn’t know each other. I just knew him one-sidedly. I found out that he is acting through TV first. After that, I went to the acting club to check the real deal. I would have been disappointed if reality was different from looking through a screen, but he wasn’t like that. I chose him as the main character the moment I saw him.”
“What were you going to do if he refused?”
“Well, I’m not sure. I don’t assume that something’s not going to work when I do things. If I’m going to do it, make it work. That’s how I roll.”
“That sounds passionate. It’s a kind of power that is hard to see in kids these days. Are you going to place more interest in film in the future and go down that route?”
“I’m not sure yet. I really want to do it, but I have to think about realistic problems. I don’t want to be starving.”
“Your words now should make many nameless directors sad. I hope you can challenge it though. With your senses, you should be able to keep producing good results.”
“Thank you. I’ll try hard whenever I have it hard.”
“That would be an honor for me. Don’t forget about me if you become successful.”
“Yes. If I ever become successful it will be thanks to you, journalist Koo Yura. I’ll tell everyone about it.”
The interview progressed smoothly. They talked about a lot of things, so there should be plenty of content. She was slightly nervous since this was her first interview, but she didn’t freeze up, perhaps thanks to journalist Koo’s smooth progressing skills.
“Then shall I ask a few things to Maru to wrap things up? I think I heard enough about the director.”
“Yes! Talk a lot about seonbae in the interview as well. It’s just my prediction, but he’ll become big in the future.”
She sighed in relief before finishing off the juice. That war from before won’t happen again, right? She watched journalist Koo’s mouth in relief.
“What did you find the hardest throughout shooting this movie?”
“I have to say the heat. I was sweaty, and there was a scene where I had to keep walking under the sun, so it was a little hard.”
“Did you make a lot of NGs?”
“Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure what our director thinks about this, but I usually don’t make NGs.”
Sora quickly added that there weren’t many NGs.
“You are very talented to put out such a good act with few NGs. Even I could see that there were lots of acts that required difficult emotional expressions. I think you have what people call talent, seeing as how you can digest all that without much of a problem.”
Journalist Koo Yura put the cup against her mouth and said in passing,
“Then should I call JA Production amazing for seeing through to that talent? Anyway, they’re amazing.”
Sora looked at Maru. He didn’t say anything.
“Since we’re at it, how’s JA Production these days? There are a lot of hot actors there, right? So will you become one of the future superstars too after all?”
Journalist Koo asked Maru with a gentle smile. Sora agreed with her. It seemed like she was going to write good things about him in the interview.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”
“Why? JA is an amazing place, isn’t it? You can have more confidence.”
“I’m just a bottom-of-the-rung. I don’t even get that much help. Though, I’ll probably receive help if I become a little more useful.”
She couldn’t understand his actions at all. Sora wanted to scold him and tell him to be more gentle. The reason she did not say it out loud was because she was afraid of what would happen if she actually said those words out loud. Today, this seonbae made a lot of scary expressions.
Journalist Koo, who was fidgeting with her pen, suddenly made a ‘hmm’ sound. She seemed angry in a different sense to Maru-seonbae.
“There was a journalist related to JA among the judges. Did you know that?”
Sora stared at journalist Koo when she heard this rather sudden topic. The gentle face she had until now had disappeared, and now she had the eyes of a predator. Sora tensed her toes. The atmosphere didn’t seem good. She realized that she should refrain from talking for the time being. On top of that, her instincts screamed at her to watch out for her future actions.
Unlike journalist Koo who hurled blocks of ice at him, Maru looked indifferent. In fact, he even yawned. He looked completely different from the stiff log from five minutes ago and that made him look like a completely different person. Journalist Koo tapped the table with her pen in a nervous manner.
“I didn’t ask with any intentions. I was just mentioning.”
“Yes, I know that. I was just thinking that it was a really useless question as well.”
“A useless question, you say. That makes me feel hurt.”
“If I hurt you, allow me to apologize. We were talking about something completely unrelated to the interview that I thought I was talking to someone who wasn’t from a movie magazine. You didn’t create this place to do something as lowly as trying to dig up some gossip, right?”
Gossip – that easy-to-understand word made Sora glare at journalist Koo.
“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“If an interviewer doesn’t know what kind of stance she should take and doesn’t understand what the interviewee is saying, then I can say these about such an interview – a waste of time and a powerless interview from an incompetent interviewer.”
Journalist Koo smiled brightly. She put down her pen and picked up the camera.
“Should we take a photo?”
* * *
“This fucker really a kid?”
Koo Yura pushed her cigarette to the corner of her lips. Anger rushed to the top of her head. She was driving back to her company, but she couldn’t hold back, so she parked on the side of the road and cursed.
-I think you forgot who’s on the other side of the phone.
Koo Yura threw away her cigarette and bit her lower lip. She was very angry, but it wasn’t to the point that even her sense of crisis had been paralyzed.
“Sorry. I was so angry that he slipped out like an eel that I ended up being rude to you, president.”
-I like you, journalist Koo. You’re a woman, but you have the coverage power, connections, and writing skills. That’s why I left it to you to do it, but you just had me reevaluate you. I didn’t know you couldn’t even deal with a rat like him and had to do a boring interview.
“I’m sorry. But you should understand if you listened to it. He’s not an ordinary guy. Usually, boys around his age would say everything if they get praised a little, but he cut off my route from the very beginning as though he knew the plan from the start. He’s very skilled too. He didn’t do it just once or twice. Someone had to have given him a pre-interview and even censored the questions beforehand. That’s not something a kid like him can do.”
-I get that too. He’s careful to not say anything that has a double meaning. He’s like a skilled politician in that area.
“There should have been a consultant. Are you sure he didn’t find out about our info beforehand, president Hong?”
-I’ll look into that. For now, write the interview as you took it. We were done in this time, so don’t try anything dirty.
“Yes, I have my pride as a journalist too. The interview will be a proper one.”
-Okay, thanks for your work. See you in a hotel next time.
“Okay. Oh, president Hong. Thanks for the tea.”
-Nah. I treat my people well.
Koo Yura quietly hung up.