Chapter 43 – Ready to Enter the Stage
“Since the shooting process was so hard, what was the most memorable moment for you after the completion?” Daisy’s smile still hung on her lips as she asked with keen interest.
She could tell that Renly was somewhat excited, even though he was trying hard to suppress it, it still leaked out; but in his speech and behavior, there was a kind of old-fashioned, elegant and calm cunning and wisdom. This was really an interesting thing. Daisy became curious about how Renly’s agent trained him – without an agent, it was almost impossible for a newcomer to achieve such a standard.
“Um.” Renly didn’t answer immediately but pondered for a moment. There were indeed many special moments in his mind, such as the difficult times of filming while being injured, the forty-plus hours of shooting in the muddy rain without sleep, and the time when he truly felt Eugene’s struggle and confusion which turned acting into enjoyment. “The first scene on the first day of shooting.”
In the end, Renly chose a different answer. “This was my first work, and when I stood in front of the camera, that feeling is really hard to describe.” Renly savored it carefully, as if he could still taste the mixture of nervousness and excitement, anticipation and panic on his tongue. With one step at a time, he finally stood in front of the camera, “Because of my eagerness to perform, less than five seconds into the shoot, I encountered my first ‘NG’ in life.”
The corner of Daisy’s mouth twitched slightly at the sharp turn in the story description, and a low chuckle came from the sound engineer and assistants next to her, “Is it the NG that’s memorable, or is it the first scene you filmed?”
“Both, I guess.” A smile appeared on Renly’s face. “That scene made the actors’ dreams come true, but it also taught me that becoming an outstanding actor is not an easy task.”
Dreams. Daisy heard the word and laughed heartily. He was indeed a young and inexperienced person who carried unrealistic dreams like an ivory tower. He described Hollywood as a stage surrounded by sunshine and flowers. “Can you introduce us to the character you played? Eugene Sledge.” Daisy stopped asking personal questions about Renly and returned to the topic of “The Pacific” itself. The conversation just now had far exceeded her expectations.
“Eugene ‘Sledgehammer’ Sledge.” Renly lightly nodded his head. “‘Sledge’ means a hammer in English, so he earned the nickname ‘Sledgehammer’ in the army. He is an idealist who has a sincere patriotic heart and unwavering faith in God. But in the cruel reality of war, his faith, beliefs, and ideals are all tested. It can be said that Eugene represents the current situation we care about the most: besides death, what else does war brings?”
In a few words, the image of Eugene’s personality emerged in Daisy’s mind, which should also be a summary completed under the guidance of his agent. If Daisy knew that Renly did not have an agent at the moment, her expression would be very interesting.
“After the series wrapped up, what I regretted the most was not being able to meet Mr. Eugene Sledge in person,” Renly continued, and while on this topic, Daisy talked with Renly about the veterans. Like “Band of Brothers,” the crew invited veterans who had actually experienced the Pacific War to the set to exchange tips with actors and the crew, ensuring that the history was presented as realistically as possible.
While they were having this short and interesting conversation, the assistant next to them reminded Daisy that there were already three actors waiting behind her. Unconsciously, she had forgotten the passage of time. “Okay, one last question,” Daisy looked at the list of questions in her hand, “Many people are looking forward to ‘The Pacific’ because of the excellence of ‘Band of Brothers.’ In your opinion, what is the difference between these two series?”
This was an official standard question, but also a question that sets up a plot point.
Renly thought seriously, “I think the two works are completely different. Although both focus on World War II, ‘Band of Brothers’ is a passionate work, while ‘The Pacific’ is a cold work. This is their fundamental difference, and what audiences expects and gains from the episodes will be different.”
Daisy opened her mouth, reflexively wanting to continue talking with Renly. Every sentence he said was worth an exclusive interview!
However, Renly stood up with a warm smile on his face. “Thank you for the interview today. I hope everything goes smoothly with your work for the rest of the day.”
Daisy raised her eyebrows as she watched Renly leave. Hollywood hadn’t seen such an interesting newcomer in a while, and Daisy was starting get a little bit more interested in “The Pacific.”
Generally, for interviews with a large production team like “The Pacific,” magazines would give at most six to eight pages to it. Considering that the biggest highlights of the show are Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, they would occupy the main pages. So even for core actors like Renly, the interview questions would be limited to around fifteen, and then seven or eight meaningful questions would be selected for publication.
However, Daisy had just asked Renly nearly thirty questions, and the conversation time had extended from the scheduled fifteen minutes to twenty-five minutes. This was truly a big surprise.
Regaining her composure, Daisy looked at the next actor sitting in front of her, showing a professional smile, she once again immersed herself in her work.
After the interview, Renly took a deep breath. He didn’t feel it during the interview, but after it was all over, the after-effects of his heart racing became apparent. The sweat on his back cooled down, his muscles began to ache faintly, and obviously, the overly excited emotions were still lingering in his blood and hadn’t completely disappeared.
Although Renly has lived two lives, persistently advancing towards his dream of becoming an actor, he knows very well that the day when he will be exposed to the spotlight will come sooner or later. Whether he likes it or not, this is a part of the life of an actor. He thought he was ready enough, but when he truly entered the Sunset Tower Hotel, stood in front of the camera lens, and faced the microphone for the interview, the complicated feeling of reality and illusion intertwined and that made it difficult for him to adapt for a while. After all, his experience in the previous life couldn’t help him at all, it was like a young girl’s first time getting on a sedan chair.
Renly needs some time to digest all of this.
Now, Renly’s efforts as an actor have come to a close. He has diligently acted, wholeheartedly performed, and cooperated with promotion. Judgment of the work will be left to the general public and professional film critics.
Renly couldn’t help but become curious. What kind of evaluation would people give to his performance? Praise? Criticism? Or would he not attract any attention at all? Compared to Joseph Mazzello in his past life, would the evaluation he receives be better or worse? After playing the role of Eugene, would the public feedback for “The Pacific” follow the same pattern as in his past life? After the broadcast of this series, how will his acting career develop? Will he stay in the same place, soar to new heights, or return to the obscurity?
As a veteran movie fan, Renly knows clearly that there are many factors that determine whether a work is excellent or not. Actors are just one part of it, while directors, scripts, photography, lighting, costumes, promotional strategies, marketing methods, target audiences, and so on, can all affect the reputation of a work. The influence that actors can exert is much lower than one can imagine.
However, Renly couldn’t suppress his thoughts because things will be out of his control from here on out, heading towards the unknown – not just because no one could manipulate the market, but also because no one could predict the future. Renly is a person who was reborn, and his future, his history, and his existence are all unknown variables, with a lot of uncertain question marks.
Involuntarily, Renly recalled George and Elizabeth’s opposition to him pursuing his dream to become an actor, “You are not a genius, never have been one.”
He was sentenced to death cruelly and mercilessly. Now, it is finally time for the public trial, isn’t it? Although he has won the opportunity to participate in the “The Pacific”, it does not mean he will win the hearts of the audience and critics. There are countless geniuses in this world, but only a few can achieve success. Where will his dream of becoming an actor go next? Everything is brand new and unpredictable. This makes Renly a little nervous, but at the same time even more excited, eager to take the next step and calmly accept any form of result, because he knows that this is what he wants, even if it is a grand and tragic defeat, he will never regret it!
Edith finished taking pictures of Rami and signaled the next actor to take the stage. She began to search for light and angles again, and her peripheral vision accidentally caught sight of Renly standing by the French windows. He was silently overlooking the exposed horizon outside the window, and in the distance, the blue coastline could be seen extending among the city’s undulating lines. The serene and peaceful side of his face seemed to have precipitated all the vicissitudes of time, removing all the radiance and looking at the world plainly.
Reflexively, Edith lifted the camera lens and aimed it at her most familiar subject, pressing the shutter silently to record this moment frozen in the sunlight.
Looking down at the frozen moment in the digital camera, the elegant and gentle temperament carries a lingering sadness and loneliness that cannot be dispelled, yet also bears a resolute and sharp determination to move forward. These conflicting emotions make people unable to resist the urge to explore. Edith realized that she had never truly understood her younger brother, what drove him to decisively embark on the path of acting, and what wounds were left in his soul.
“Edith!” The call from the assistant next to her brought Edith back to reality. She turned her head sharply, with her thoughts settling in her eyes, and she replied loudly, “Coming.” Then she picked up the camera again and got back to work.
Nightfall slowly descended, and the interview and photography work for the “Vanity Fair” lasted until after ten o’clock in the evening. Tomorrow, the premiere of “The Pacific” was going to be grandly held!
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