Life, Once Again! - Chapter 947
“Had I not restrained this man back then, the current director Park would not exist. You can say that I’m the savior of this man’s director title.”
“Fine, it’s all thanks to you, head manager Moon. Why don’t we say that I was born thanks to you too.”
Head manager Moon talked about Joongjin’s history before standing up to go to the bathroom. Some people also left, saying that they had to smoke. The heat from the grill had cooled down after the charcoal had been taken out, so it was about time to wrap up the get-together. Maru drank the soda he had poured into his soju glass before asking Joongjin,
“Is Heewon appearing as a cameo?”
“Yes. Did I not tell you that?”
“You didn’t. I heard it from the guy himself. He was talking all about it on TV.”
“I happened to get in contact with him and managed to pull him in. He said he’ll rest until his military service and not do anything public, but he accepted right away when I asked him if he wanted to shoot with you.”
“Rather than me, I’m sure he wanted to work with you, director.”
“That should be part of the reason, but if we compare the weight of the two, the fact that you’re in it must’ve played a bigger role. Rather than that though, Mr. Lee Heewon really does hate doing anything just like the rumors. I’m sure he must have been reached out to by many people since there are a few months until he gets enlisted, but I heard he turned them all down.”
“If you leave him by himself, he’ll spend years holed up at home. He’s a master at that. As long as someone plays with him a few times and eats out with him, I’m sure he won’t utter a word of complaint.”
Joongjin smiled as he ate some seasoned dried radish.
“I heard that you two were friends since high school.”
“Things happened and we became acquainted.”
“There are many such instances in the entertainment industry. They say birds of a feather flock together, and indeed there are many times when talented people already know each other. The only difference is that even if two people make their debut around the same time, usually, one or both people would not see the light of the day, but fortunately for you two, both of you seem to be doing well.”
“Compared to Heewon, I’m still far off.”
“You can’t help that. Mr. Heewon has been suppressing his laziness ever since his debut, doing piece after piece, while you, Mr. Maru, decided to go to the military for some unknown reason. If the two of you achieved similar results, that would’ve been strange instead.”
Joongjin had been closely examining a side dish plate while they were talking, and he suddenly called a waiter. When the waiter asked what was up, Joongjin picked up the plate.
“Sell this to me.”
The waiter asked again, probably thinking that he must have heard something wrong. Joongjin asked about the price of the plate. Maru stepped in to talk to the waiter who only repeatedly said ‘uhm’ and no clear answer.
“Is there a manager or the owner here?”
“Yes, he’s here.”
“Where is he?”
Maru went to the owner, who was taking care of the payments at the register, and asked if they could buy the plate. He explained to the owner, who looked at him like a weirdo since a customer suddenly asked him if he could buy a crudely-made plate, that a rather peculiar director desired the plate. The owner seemed to know about director Park Joongjin as he visited the table with a happy expression. The plate was exchanged for a single autograph from Joongjin. Meanwhile, Joongjin looked at the cleaned plate in detail and smiled in satisfaction.
“Do you like it that much?”
“I thought it was perfect as a prop. It’s the plate that will go on your table, Mr. Maru. Doesn’t it look great?”
Maru scratched his eyes. What was he supposed to feel from a plate that looked like it would cost two thousand won from a bulk seller? It looked like he would need a long time in order to understand the world that the director was looking at.
“Did writer Jung participate in writing the script?”
“She wrote a few of the scenes. She’s pretty incredible. I don’t know where she will take the plot. It’s difficult to use something that she wrote from scratch since there would be many parts to edit, but if she’s just in charge of a single facet of it, she’ll pour an incredible amount of energy into it and create an unimaginable story. The original draft I wrote was a salad without any dressing, but with that fellow’s story added into the mix, the salad gained taste and flavor.”
“She must be incredibly skilled.”
“Everyone’s a specialist in one field.”
People who left their seats returned one after another. Head manager Moon clicked his tongue as soon as he saw the plate in Joongjin’s hand, clearly aware of what transpired.
“Sheesh, he’s stubborn about the weirdest of things.”
“I also had a rough time eating with the director last time.”
Maru briefly talked about his experience in the kal-guksu restaurant in Suncheon, about how the director kept ordering again and again, and how, thanks to that, they managed to receive the eyes of everyone in the store. He didn’t mention a thing about how he stepped on a chair and sang a song.
“You have to risk that much if you want to go around with director Park. You people are all doomed now. When the director works on a commercial film, he sets everything like a machine and finishes the shoot without any waste, but he’s the complete opposite when he’s doing something he likes. The kal-guksu incident that Mr. Maru over here talked about will happen during the shoot as well. Stomach aches, esophagitis, and indigestion are pretty basic, and actors especially should scout out a decent hospital since you might get stress-induced gastric ulcers.” Head manager Moon said as he tensed his eyes.
You think this is a joke, right? You’ll see once we start — he added.
“Then let’s part ways now. As for the few that aren’t here, we can meet them during the shoot. Please take care of me for what might last a month to three months.”
Joongjin wrapped up the first get-together with that last comment. He did not speak a word about the film itself. Where was the shoot going to take place? How would it progress? What are the characters like? None of that was mentioned. While Maru felt like he was walking in the fog with his eyes covered, he did not feel uneasy. That was because of his infinite trust in the man known as Park Joongjin. He was a director that none other than Lee Junmin had acknowledged. He was someone that had the title of a genius, or a weirdo. It wouldn’t be too late to regret once he opened the contents. He did not have anything to do anyway.
“Uhm, Mr. Maru.”
He stopped as he was walking towards the parking lot. It was the actors who stopped him. When asked whether he would go for a 2nd round with all the actors, Maru put his car keys back in his pocket.
“We haven’t introduced ourselves properly because everything was centered around the director, right? I said before, but my name is Kim Gyungjin and I’m 30 this year.”
“I’m Park Yoojung. I’m also 30.”
Maru spoke as he looked at the two people,
“I’m Han Maru, and I’m twenty-five. The two of you, please drop the honorifics.”
The two people waved their hands in denial, saying that they couldn’t possibly do something like that on their first meeting, but when they went to the fried chicken restaurant to have a 2nd round of drinks, they soon dropped the honorifics.
“I hope we can do well like you, Maru.”
“I’m not that well-off.”
“If you already finished your military service at that age and caught the eyes of director Park, then all you have left is to go up. Not only that, the acting you showed in the drama was really good.”
Kim Gyungjin said that he was selected for this title after participating as an extra for a commercial film that director Park shot before. As for Park Yoojung, she apparently belonged to a theater troupe in Daehak-ro, but she left and was playing minor roles in various pieces until she got contacted by director Park a few days ago. Both of them were looking forward to this piece, thinking that this would be a turning point in their acting career.
“Also, I’ve never worked with the director before, but is he really strict like what head manager Moon said?” Park Yoojung asked as she put down the beer glass.
It seemed that she was concerned when head manager Moon said that they should prepare some medicine for stomach ulcers.
“He was like a machine when I did the commercial film. Honestly, it didn’t feel that pleasant. First of all, it didn’t feel like I was acting. I moved according to the director’s instructions from one to ten. If I didn’t do it as he said, then he simply won’t let it pass. He was just that picky. Actually, there were many people who cursed him behind his back. They said that even ordinary people who have zero experience in acting can do such a thing.”
Kim Gyungjin shivered as he said so. Maru said that he experienced something similar. He added that only people who the director has acknowledged would be allowed to voice their own opinions.
“But you can’t say that he’s completely blocked off. If you think carefully and give an opinion that might work, the director will listen to you.”
“That director listens to people’s opinions? When I did it, we were unable to utter a word. It seems like there’s a reason why the director cherishes you.”
Kim Gyungjin poured some soda into Maru’s glass, asking him to take care of him. As he told the two of them that he wouldn’t be drinking because he drove here, the two of them just gave him non-alcoholic drinks. He rather liked that.
“But the head manager said he’s different when he’s doing something that he likes. I also don’t know how he’ll act.”
“I can say for sure that it’ll be more tiring than when he does a commercial film. Honestly, if he takes the lead during the shoot, we can do the shoot without even thinking, but once the director starts asking for your opinions, it will be very hectic.”
Park Yoojung, who had been listening quietly until now, suddenly sighed. She said that she was worried.
“I have a really weak mind, you know? The two of you should help me if I look like I’m going to pass out. I want to finish the shoot safely,” said Park Yoojung dejectedly, as she rested her chin on her palms.
“Don’t worry. It won’t kill us, will it? Head manager Moon must have said all that to give us a scare. Maru, you also spiced up your story a little back then, didn’t you? To make it sound funny.”
Maru did not speak and just smiled. Director Park’s nature was not something that could be expressed in words. He was rather curious how the two would react if he told them how he visited an illegal dog-fighting arena after the kal-guksu restaurant, but he held back for the sake of teamwork. They would soon find out anyway; how persistent director Park Joongjin is.
“Let’s get along.”
Maru poured some beer for the two people.