Chapter 40 – Investment in potential
Ever since “Vanity Fair” held its Oscars Night in 1994, this carnival party has surpassed the Oscars themselves and become the most important social event of the year, attracting eyes from around the world. With it comes the Sunset Tower Hotel, as the host location, becoming another landmark building in Los Angeles. Countless movie lovers would come here to visit and try to catch a glimpse of the stars gathering inside it.
The decoration style of the hotel combines modernity with a mix of red and black piano colors. The dim yellow lights fill the hotel lobby with a lazy and intimate atmosphere. Someone is whispering on the burgundy sofa chair on the left, making people wonder if it’s a Hollywood superstar waiting for their room card. The tranquility is mixed with a hint of restlessness, youth and vigor, even with a touch of youthful naivety, which is enough to make young people’s blood boil with excitement.
Obviously, the main reason why Sunset Tower Hotel became the venue for the Oscars Night is because of its unique geographical location. Follow Sunset Boulevard straight east for less than a mile, and you can reach the famous Hollywood Boulevard with its landmarks such as the Walk of Fame, Kodak Theater (T/N – The current name is Dolby Theatre), and the Chinese Theater.
Antony Cliff, who is 36 years old and serves as the lobby manager, is standing by the counter so that he can overlook the entire hall. He could see every incoming and outgoing guest clearly, ensuring that every aspect of the service is accurate and in place. Then he saw a group of people who had just walked through the door.
The man in front of the group has a tall and slender figure, wearing a light blue shirt with a light gray sweater, a casual dress that reveals a hint of elegance. His slightly curled short hair hangs casually on his forehead, and his right hand is in his pocket. He looks like he has walked out of the Cambridge University yearbook, exuding an air of academia and aristocracy with his every gesture.
Following behind the man are the luggage boy with a deep brown hand-woven suitcase and a hat box. The details reveal the information that makes Antony straighten his posture: this is obviously a British upper-class aristocrat.
Behind that man was a baby-faced man in a hoodie and jeans who is curiously looking at the hotel decoration, while the third man who was wearing a work jacket and a white T-shirt was scanning the surroundings indifferently, seemingly judging his situation.
They should be actors. Antony made a judgment. Los Angeles has no shortage of actors, from extras to top actors, there are countless actors in the City of Angels.
At this moment, the man at the front stopped his steps and slowly, politely, scanned the surroundings. Antony’s heart couldn’t help but shrink slightly. He could sense that the man was probably scrutinizing the paintings hanging in the lobby. The real essence can often be seen in small details.
At the same time, however, the doll-faced man stopped and stood at the side; the white T-shirt man seemed not to notice and walked straight ahead, and only after walking several steps did he come back to his senses and exclaimed in a raised voice, “It’s on the fourteenth floor, we can go straight up.”
Anthony was a little surprised. So, this man was an actor too? But he couldn’t match him with any of the actors in his mind.
In a flash, Anthony made a decision. He quickly approached and stopped three steps away from the man’s side, “Good afternoon, welcome to Sunset Tower Hotel. May I help you with something?”
This was the first time Renly had really entered the heart of Los Angeles, into the City of Angels and into the heart of Hollywood. The excitement of being in this strange place made him walk with a light step. For a moment, he had the illusion that he was attending the Oscar night. This strange and wonderful feeling made him stop in his tracks.
However, the turbulent emotions in his heart did not show on his face. In both his previous and current lives, he had been taught to remain calm and gentlemanly in public, regardless of his feelings. Besides, he had attended countless social occasions of the aristocracy since he was young, so dealing with such situations was second nature to him.
Hearing the greeting, Renly took his eyes off his surroundings and politely bowed in response. His gaze then fell on the man’s name badge. “Anthony, we are here for the ‘The Pacific’ interview. are we late?”
Polite but not too intimate, his response was concise yet revealing enough information. In it was an element of focus in casualness. This simple answer revealed two distinctly different qualities and backgrounds, one of the differences brought about by cultural disparities between British actors and American actors.
“No, you’re not late.” Anthony showed no signs of neglect and maintained his manners. He made a gesture of invitation and said, “The makeup team of the cast just arrived not long ago, and they are now on the fourteenth floor. May I lead the way for you, Mr…?”
Anthony paused, and Renly filled in, “Hall.”
“Mr. Hall.” Anthony smiled and walked ahead to lead the way.
Rami and James stood side by side, looking at each other with confusion. They had no idea what had just happened. Out of the blue, Anthony had taken the initiative to greet them, and even led the way up to the fourteenth floor where the “The Pacific” team had rented three rooms, two for makeup and one for interviews. After they arrived, Anthony left, providing them with a level of service that only a VIP could enjoy.
After tipping him, Renly turned around and saw Rami and James with puzzled expressions. “What’s going on? Why did they personally escort us?”
Renly shrugged and lightly laughed, “Maybe it’s just the hotel’s attentive service or perhaps the lure of the tip makes them willingly put in the extra effort.” James suddenly had an epiphany upon hearing this explanation, while Rami felt that something was off but couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Seeing that Renly had already pushed open the door and entered, he quickly followed.
Anthony stepped into the elevator, and the baggage boy next to him held back for a while before finally couldn’t help but ask, “Tony, was that person just now a big shot? Why did you personally escort him up here?”
Anthony smiled broadly, “Even if he isn’t now, he will definitely be in the future.” This was an investment. Although his job didn’t have a direct relationship with the actors, as the lobby manager of the hotel, he was a hub of information within the industry. The more influential people he knew, the more valuable his job would be.
In his opinion, Mr. Hall just now had the potential of a superstar. Although their conversation was brief, his sixth sense told him so, and so he made a decisive choice.
The younger baggage carrier suddenly realized something, and then asked in confusion, “But what if he still fails in the future?”
“Well, then I still haven’t lost anything.” Anthony laughed lightly, and the younger baggage carrier thought for a moment before finally understanding. Building connections was an incredibly profound art.
“At least he’s a generous tipper.” The younger baggage carrier felt the ten-dollar bill in his pocket. Normally, he only gets five dollars at most, but for such a light suitcase, he just earned twice the amount. What a deal.
As the group walked into the room, Renly and the others immediately saw the lively scene. This was the dressing room, and the tables were filled with various makeup products. Several makeup artists were scattered around the sofas, preparing for their work. Three chairs were placed next to them, and the hairstylists were fussing with their tools. Since almost everyone in the cast was male, this place was relatively refreshing.
Passing through the bedroom in the hallway, they could hear the voices of several actors discussing their promotional activities. It seemed that many people had arrived early, so Renly and the other two were not considered early at all. However, after looking around, they did not see Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg.
“You three, two of you start with your makeup, and one of you go change your clothes next door.” The chief production assistant of the crew, Darin Rivetti, walked over and looked at James without any conflict or communication with Renly. “Your agents didn’t come with you, did they?” Darin tried to confirm and all three shook their heads. They were all unknowns, and even if they had agents, the agents would not be following them around. At most they would communicate with them by phone. “Take a look at this framework for questioning, and if you have any questions, ask Gary before the interview. Otherwise, if you make a mistake, you’ll be responsible for the consequences.”
Gary Goetzman, the executive producer of “The Pacific,” followed the crew throughout the shoot.
Renly didn’t care about Darin’s disregard and turned to the other two. “Then, I’ll go change my clothes first.” He had just flown a long way, so they all had some time to spare. It was better to take a shower and wash away the dust before meeting the media for the first time, or else they would leave a bad impression.
“Sure, no problem.” James readily agreed, and Rami nodded in agreement.
It had only been less than two minutes since they entered the room when Renly turned around and walked out again. The next room was a dressing room. After closing the door, he turned around and saw a young woman walking out of the room at the end of the corridor. It seemed to be the room where the members of the media were resting.
The woman was tall and slender, with a faintly decadent and chic aura emanating from her thin and slender figure under the dim light in the hallway. Her neat short hair covered half of her face that was slightly bowed, and a skull-shaped earring could be vaguely seen hidden in her hair. She wore a white T-shirt with black ripped jeans, and her simple and concise attire, along with a studded leather jacket, outlined her rebellious and stubborn personality.
The woman raised her right hand and scratched her hair vigorously. As she turned her head, she saw another stranger in the hallway, her eyes, which were covered with smoky makeup, showed a halo of light, and the corners of her mouth curled into a smile, and then she said, “Renly Hall, long time no see!”
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