Chapter 46 – What a Newcomer
Click, click, click.
The sound of shutters filled the air, surging from all directions like tangible chains that bound hands and feet, imprisoning people in a narrow space. The scorching heat was so intense that it almost turned flesh and bone into ashes, and one could clearly feel it on their skin.
“Renly, Renly, Renly.”
The chaotic shouting was everywhere, overwhelming and frenzied, making it hard to keep up. The madness swept over like a tsunami, destroying everything in its path without regard for the body. Even the internal organs began to groan in pain.
In one moment, Renly was an unknown new face; in the next, he was the absolute center of attention.
The huge contrast was like waves crashing against the sea, with one wave after another crashing down, leaving no time to react or catch one’s breath. The flashing lights surged together, and the brilliant silver light poured down like a waterfall, piercing the eyes with sharp and hot needle points. The world before him turned white in an instant, and everything became a blurred outline. Even his ears began to ring.
Renly was caught off guard, and his calm smile became somewhat embarrassed.
The journalists’ frenzy and urgency were like the wolf reaching out for Little Red Riding Hood, drooling and pressing closer and closer, wanting to tear him apart and devour him. The male lead of “The Pacific”? Regarded highly by Tom and Steven? And also, a newcomer? When else would they get this kind of opportunity?!”
Renly attempted to answer the questions or to stop the commotion on the scene, but he found that his words were instantly drowned and swallowed up, without even a wisp of smoke left. This out-of-control feeling was so overwhelming that he didn’t have time to feel the exhilaration and excitement of butterflies fluttering in his body.
“Slap.” A gentle tapping came from his shoulder. Before Renly managed to turn his head, he heard Tom’s voice in his ear, “This is your moment, just enjoy it.” Without waiting for Renly to answer, Tom and Steven stepped back, leaving the stage to Renly alone.
“Renly, this is your first work…”
“How do you feel about this collaboration experience?”
“What are your feelings about the shooting?”
“What challenges have you faced as a newcomer?”
“During Tom’s audition…”
The fragmented questions filled his ears, but Renly couldn’t hear any of them clearly, even if he wanted to answer, he couldn’t – or rather, even if he wanted to speak, no one would probably hear his response.
However, upon careful examination, it could be noticed that the reporters’ curiosity was not about “Renly’s thoughts,” but about “Renly’s thoughts as a newcomer being promoted by Tom and Steven.” In other words, what they really cared about were the two big names of “The Pacific.” The repetitive questions were not much different from yesterday’s questions by the “Vanity Fair.”
After realizing this, Renly’s mind slowly cooled and settled down, returning to its usual state.
Today, he experienced too many firsts for him, and everything he experienced today will benefit him in the future, though it still made Renly feel a little overwhelmed. In comparison, Renly felt that the set was much easier and simpler.
“Renly!” Bradley’s raised right hand finally received a response. Under the coordination of the on-site host, the situation was finally under control and Bradley’s voice emerged, “Why do you think Tom and Steven chose you for such an important role? After all, among the entire crew, you are the only newcomer with absolutely no acting experience.”
The first question was asked in an aggressive manner, not just aimed at Renly, but at every newcomer, and also at big productions like “The Pacific.”
At this point, Renly had already regained his own rhythm from his panicked emotions, although the ringing in his ears was still not much relieved. “I think you’re discounting my performances in the bathroom and in front of the dressing mirror,” he joked, causing everyone on the scene to laugh lightly and the atmosphere to relax. “Um…I think we should ask the people involved about this question, right?” Renly turned around and looked at Tom and Steven standing behind him. “I hope they didn’t choose me just because of my outstanding appearance, otherwise I would be very disappointed.”
“Hahaha.” Tom burst out laughing, and the audience couldn’t help but chuckle again.
Bradley’s eyes lit up. His intuition was right, Renly did have a kind of sophistication that did not belong to a newcomer. He was about to ask another question, but unfortunately the opportunity was handed over to another journalist. “As a newcomer, how do you feel after you finished the filming of ‘The Pacific’ and how was it working with the two top producers in the industry?”
Renly did not answer immediately but pondered for a moment. “If I were to answer politely, I should say that I am excited, thrilled, and joyful, as if everything still is not quite real,” Renly said. “This is also the standard answer for most newcomers when answering this question, but actually, I didn’t like this kind of experience at all.”
The audience gasped, while the reporters became more curious and intrigued: Is this newcomer just outspoken or humorous?
“As a newcomer, I am the only one in the crew who knows nothing. Before every scene started shooting, I would need more preparation time than others. I needed to ask more non-professional questions, as well as confirming more about details,” Renly spoke slowly but with a special rhythm that firmly held everyone’s ears. “I know everyone in the crew doesn’t like me, but…” There was a burst of laughter from Renly’s colleagues behind him. James and Jon even whistled and joked around. Renly smiled and continued, “But I have tried my best. As for the result…”
He didn’t continue speaking, but instead he just raised his eyebrows, it is obvious what he meant. James, who was standing behind him, lowered his head to hide his mouth, and then shouted loudly, “I think the situation is not very optimistic.” His rough and direct words successfully made everyone in the crew laugh.
The whole crew was filled with a military-like atmosphere, which was vulgar and direct, but also teasing and intimate. This made the on-site reporters involuntarily glance over.
“Renly, what do you think of Tom and Steven as producers?” another reporter asked.
Renly looked puzzled, “Are you sure you know who you’re interviewing right now?” He turned to the directors, “I don’t think I should be in contact with Tom and Steven during the filming process, or maybe…have I misunderstood the way the crew works?” Renly turned back to the reporters.
It is common knowledge that producers communicate with directors and hardly need to communicate with actors. The reporters have first thrown the questions that Steven needed to answer to Renly, and then the director’s questions were brought up… Renly’s humor made the audience collectively cheer, and even Tom and Steven started to mock the reporters without giving them any face.
Now, the reporters were at a loss.
Is this Renly Hall really a newcomer? He is so experienced, humorous, and calm. His answers not only lacked the awkwardness and stiffness of a newcomer but also revealed a witty and comfortable charm. He faced the chaotic barrage of reporters for the first time without any stage fright, and even took the initiative to control the whole situation.
Such a newcomer is breaking everyone’s expectations.
If at first, it was only because of Tom and Steven’s admiration that people put their focus on this newcomer, but now, the image represented by the name “Renly Hall” is gradually becoming more vivid.
Finally, after Renly had dealt with the reporters’ bombardment, the premiere of the “The Pacific” had ended with a crew group photo. It is worth mentioning that in the group photo, the person standing in the center was not Renly or any other actor or director, but Tom and Steven. Afterwards, everyone entered the theater one after another, and the “The Pacific” was finally about to unveil its mystery.
“How do you feel?” Renly and Rami walked into the theater side by side, with James following behind, his face wearing a big smile, teasingly asking. Although James is also one of the three main characters, he received far less attention than Renly today.
Renly shrugged, “Standing on a cloud?” His calm tone in response to such an emotionally charged question created a contrast that made people unable to help but laugh.
James said with disdain, “Are you happy or not?”
Renly shrugged again and didn’t answer, which made James helpless, while Rami was already laughing uncontrollably. The group of people entered the theater, chatting and laughing, and took their seats, waiting for the official screening of the series – the detail that also shows HBO’s confidence is that they are playing a small-screen production on a big screen.
Amidst the applause, the film crew invited thirty veterans who have lived through the Pacific War to attend tonight’s premiere. The audience gave the veterans a warm welcome, and after everyone was seated, the lights in the screening room slowly dimmed.
Bradley gathered his wandering thoughts and shifted his focus to the big screen in front of him. As a TV series with a budget of 230 million US dollars, as a show that carries countless hopes and expectations that it is going to be as good as a classic that is “Band of Brothers”, and as a work entrusted to Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ joint signature, “The Pacific” needs to be a masterpiece that cannot afford to fail.
With great anticipation, Bradley settled down with a critical and discerning eye.
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