Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 42

Chapter 42 – Magazine Interview

“Here, here!” Edith raised her right hand and scratched her cheek, with a decisive tone that was not to be refuted. Her leather jacket was thrown aside, and she rolled up her T-shirt sleeves, easily controlling the scene with her commanding posture. “Relax your expression a bit. You wouldn’t want me to come up and adjust your expression myself, would you?”

“Pfft,” Rami couldn’t help but laugh out loud, and then he saw Renly sitting in front of the floor-to-ceiling window spreading his hands speechlessly, while also shrugging his shoulders with a helpless expression. Rami covered his mouth but found that he couldn’t stop laughing. It was rare to see Renly look so helpless.

Compared to the video camera lens, Renly seemed quite unaccustomed to the camera lens used for photographing.

“Click,” Edith quickly pressed the shutter button, keenly capturing the moment, and then lowered her head to check the result.

In the photo, Renly’s movements were lifelike, as if the frame had been captured in real life. His clear eyebrows furrowed slightly, and his lips drooped slightly downward. The emotions revealed in his narrow eyes were so vivid, teasing, innocent, rebellious, and it was all captured by light and shadow, turning it from a moment into eternity.

Edith looked up and said, “Okay, that’s it.” Then she saw Renly’s stunned expression. She was laughing inside, but still maintained her professionalism on the surface. “Didn’t you hear me? I said, that’s it. You go and do the interview first, then wait for the group photo. Next!”

Without giving Renly any time to refute, Edith forcibly switched to the next person.

Renly stood in place speechlessly for two seconds, and then his shoulders drooped. He resignedly left the windowsill and walked towards the interview area. Looking at Renly’s defeated back, Edith felt that she could hardly contain her laughter.

The first person Edith photographed when she started learning photography was Renly. She was really familiar with him. In her experience with him, Renly was not suitable for being static. He needed to completely calm down when he was quiet. If he realized that there was a camera, his muscles would become stiff, and the lens would often fail to capture his charm, and even sometimes appear comical. Renly needed to move—especially when he laughed, making that the most beautiful moment. The moment when his smile blossomed was always like the sun breaking through the clouds, making people’s mood involuntarily rise and emitting a likable scent.

Therefore, Edith deliberately broke Renly’s stiffness just now, releasing this sense of freedom, and indeed she captured the most vivid moment. The unique temperament was interpreted in the solidified moment of the film, with a long-lasting charm like the fragrance of tea.

Renly pressed his lips together to hold back his laughter. He tried to slow down his pace so that he is not looking like he is escaping. Despite the heavy pace, his heart was already celebrating with joy: he had finally escaped!

Back when Edith was just learning photography, she always used Renly as her model. No matter what he was doing, Edith would snap away some photos, often for hours at a time. It was enough to make him feel jittery and even develop a strong aversion to taking pictures.

When they were shooting the publicity stills for “The Pacific,” the photographer had scolded him for looking like everyone owed him money. Renly couldn’t help but feel frustrated. Some things, even with a second chance at life, don’t necessarily go smoothly.

He had prepared himself mentally for today’s photoshoot, but he didn’t expect Edith to finish the shoot in just five minutes. Renly breathed a sigh of relief and quickly left. However, he still had to pretend to be disappointed and defeated to keep Edith satisfied. Otherwise, he would continue to suffer.

The interview area was arranged in the bedroom, while the living room was left for Edith to do as she pleased. Today’s interview was with “Vanity Fair,” a comprehensive entertainment magazine and one of Hollywood’s most influential media outlets. Apart from the annual Oscars night, the magazine had a huge readership and covered entertainment, fashion, sports, photography, and more. Their columns, essays, and reviews were of excellent quality, highly regarded by industry professionals.

HBO highly values “The Pacific,” investing nearly $220 million, almost twice the budget of “Band of Brothers,” making it the most expensive TV drama in history. With Tom and Steven’s star power, the show had attracted attention since its inception. Now, with the show about to air, the publicity campaign was going all out in promoting it.

“Vanity Fair” was about to launch its first salvo.

After Jon Seda finished his interview, Renly walked up and sat opposite the reporter.

The reporter in front of him was a woman around thirty-five years old. Her slender legs, adorned with black stockings, were undoubtedly the most eye-catching feature. Her dignified and solemn black professional suit did not conceal her body’s advantages and exuded a confident and strong aura. Upon careful consideration, this was necessary to make a name for oneself in the male-dominated news industry: either relying on looks or absolute competence.

“Daisy Lucas,” the woman introduced herself first. But before Renly could speak, she continued, “Renly Hall, right?”

Renly was a little bit nervous. The feeling of being interviewed was very different from performing in front of the camera. Since his rebirth, Renly had been working hard towards his dream of becoming an actor. So, when he stood in front of the camera for the first time, he was more excited than nervous. However, being interviewed was an entirely unfamiliar territory for him. After sitting down, even Renly himself did not expect his heart to start beating rapidly, and his tense emotions were restless.

Daisy caught Renly off guard with her initiative, so he almost reflexively made a joke, “You have done your homework.”

The lack of newcomer’s stage fright made Daisy’s lips purse gently, but she did not make any unnecessary comments and went straight to the question, “How do you feel about being a newcomer and starring as the lead in ‘The Pacific,’ one of the most expensive TV dramas ever filmed?”

Seemingly an ordinary question, Renly smelled danger. This was only his first media interview, and it was a routine promotion for “The Pacific.” Did the ‘Vanity Fair’ already planned to set up a trap from the beginning? Surprisingly, his nervousness gradually subsided. “First of all, just like ‘Band of Brothers,’ I don’t think ‘The Pacific’ has an absolute lead. James, Jon, and Rami all have significant roles, and I’m just one of them.”

Then, Renly showed a smile, “Of course, being one of them is truly a fantastic experience for me. You know, this is a series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, right?” Renly’s emotions became a bit frenzied. For the first time, he revealed his innermost obsession as a film enthusiast, “Moreover, I watched ‘Band of Brothers’ at least ten times. So, it’s crazy, all of this is so crazy to me.”

This time, Daisy started to get interested. She originally just casually asked a question. In HBO’s official materials, Eugene is indeed the first protagonist, although the whole series is in a three-protagonist model, but Renly’s name is indeed placed first.

You know, those big movie stars use all their tricks and countless means to compete for the order of the end credits. Renly, as a pure newcomer, was actually placed in the first place. Daisy naturally took all of that for granted.

Unexpectedly, it was exchanged for Renly’s old-fashioned and clever response, while the tone also carried the enthusiasm of a fan. This kind of contradictory temperament of vicissitudes and innocence actually appeared in the same person, which is really wonderful.

“So, how did it feel to actually work together?” Daisy asked.

Renly felt that the interview was a very interesting thing. Both sides were exchanging words, like they were playing a chess game, and what was even more interesting was that sometimes actors had to conceal their true selves during the interview in order to achieve publicity effects and continue the performance. This reminded Renly of the movie “The Truman Show.” How much of life under the spotlight is real, and how much is false?

“Disappointing.” Renly’s thoughts in his mind surged and then calmed down instantly. He smiled and answered. Sure enough, he saw a look of great interest flashing in Daisy’s eyes. The process of this game was really interesting. “Because Tom and Steven obviously wouldn’t stay on the set every day, or maybe the filming process was too hard to care about anything else. Until the end of the filming, I could count the number of times I talked to Tom and Steven on the one hand. I guess that is real life.”

Daisy couldn’t help but smile at his teasing words. “That’s true. So, how did you feel after ‘The Pacific’, your first work, finished filming? Was it also disappointing?”

In fact, the focus of today’s interview should have been “The Pacific.” All the actors in the entire crew are unknown, and the interview content should revolve around the series, allowing people to understand more about all aspects of the series, or behind-the-scenes stories. But Daisy couldn’t help but start leaning towards Renly with her questions.

“I can say that I feel a bit lost and regretful,” Renly’s answer sounded conventional, which disappointed Daisy a little. “However, what I can be sure of is that I wouldn’t want to do it again. The whole filming process was just too exhausting.” As the interview progressed, the tension he felt disappeared completely, and Renly gradually got used to the rhythm of the conversation.

However, in his first interview, Renly still appeared slightly excited. His speech was a little faster than usual, and he recalled the situations during filming in his mind while answering the questions. It was a special feeling. “Before the formal filming, they had organized a boot camp for us, the same as they did for ‘Band of Brothers.’ At that time, we felt like we might not be able to endure it. But later, we realized that surviving the boot camp was just the beginning. I think the production team wanted us to experience the shock of going to war in a realistic way.”

“Haha!” Daisy couldn’t help herself and she burst into laughter.

T/N – If you want to support me check out my – KO-FI



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