Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 65

Chapter 65 – A Momentary Lapse of Judgment


Just by looking at this cover, made Chris’s heart beat rapidly, pounding fiercely against his chest. The feeling of excitement came so sudden and violent that it made his chest ache. His pupils slowly dilated as a storm of thoughts flooded his mind, causing Chris to become completely stunned.

Recently, there had been a lot of buzz in the industry about the casting for “Thor,” especially about the actor that is going to play the main character, Thor. There are updates on the latest news almost every day, and the flurry of information is so difficult to distinguish between truth and fiction that it could be said to be the hottest project in recent times, and unquestionably it is going to be a top-tier production.

Rumored actors for the role included Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Charlie Hunnam, Alexander Skarsgard, Joel Kinnaman, and many others.

Even top entertainment magazines like “Entertainment Weekly” were focused on the casting for “Thor.”

Not only that, but Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios are also highly invested in this project and had even invited Kenneth Branagh to direct the film.

Kenneth isn’t a commercial director; he is a typical British theatre director, skilled in scene planning and artistic accumulation. Twenty years ago, he had got an Oscar nomination for Best Director and Best Actor for his self-written and directed “Henry V.” His works always retains the characteristics of stage plays, while also exuding the realism of film. He is not only highly regarded in Hollywood, but even globally as a director-actor.

The inspiration for “Thor” comes from Norse mythology, and it is clear that Paramount invited Kenneth in order to infuse the film with a Shakespearean epic feel and create a critically acclaimed and commercially successful blockbuster.

Chris stayed in Los Angeles for over a month, mainly for “Thor”! Not only him, but his brother Liam Hemsworth was also actively trying to get the role, but the problem is that they didn’t even get a chance to audition!

Yes, they were running around and making connections in Los Angeles, and their agents were constantly seeking opportunities for them to showcase themselves in front of producers, in order to successfully land the lead male role in a top-tier production. Because Chris knew very well that his previous works in Hollywood were just small potatoes and couldn’t compare to “Thor” at all. From the weight of the investment, to the preparation of the cast, and even to the invitation-only auditions that were shrouded in secrecy, everything indicated that this was a work that could launch any unknown actor to the top!

This was his ultimate goal in coming to Hollywood, wasn’t it?

But as expected, the threshold of Marvel Studios is very high. Chris’s agent had to spend a lot of effort just to hear about the audition, but it was impossible to get on the waiting list for the audition. Currently, everyone who was invited to audition was a key target pushed by the five major agencies. Even if they are newcomers, their agents have an incredibly strong backing, which is simply not something Chris can compare to.

After a month of turmoil, he came back to New York empty-handed. Liam stayed in Los Angeles to keep searching and he will notify him if there was any news.

But now, the script for “Thor” appeared right in front of him, within arm’s reach. Chris suddenly felt like his brain couldn’t keep up, as if the whole world was falling apart.

So, what is going on?

Could it be… Could it be that Renly received an audition invitation for “Thor”? Did Marvel Studios submit the script to Renly without him having the help of an agent? Could it be that Renly entered Paramount Pictures’ view with just “The Pacific”? Or did Tom and Steven, the two producers, endorse Renly behind the scenes? Could it be that Renly, who persisted in honing his skills on Broadway, was finally recognized for his talent—just like how Kenneth gained fame through Shakespearean plays? Did Renly accept the invitation? Or did he refuse it?

Looking at the script being casually placed on the bookshelf; seemingly unappreciated. Does this mean that Renly refused it?

In Chris’s eyes, Renly is an idealist, someone with great talent but always clinging onto unrealistic dreams and refusing to compromise with reality. What’s worse is that Renly maybe isn’t even that talented – Chris couldn’t discern any justification for it. His performance in ‘The Pacific’ was also mediocre.

Over the past year, he always stayed ahead of Renly in his career development, even three or four steps ahead. He had become the leading actor in movies and had even worked with big names like Sean Bean. His next step would be to become the male lead in top-level productions, productions just like “Thor”.

As for Renly, he had just finished his first project, a TV series and his career had only just begun. His progress was slow, and he couldn’t even easily secure a role in his next project, let alone become a male lead in a big production. The distance between them was gradually growing wider.

But the reality was that the script for “Thor” was lying on Renly’s bookshelf, whether or not Steven Spielberg was pushing for this behind the scenes, whether or not Kenneth Branagh was moved by his performance in “The Pacific”, or for any other reason – none of that matters. What matters is that Renly got an audition invitation, and he didn’t.

Chris’ cheeks burned as he recalled his mockery and lecture to Renly, it now all looked like a big joke and the indescribable anger was almost burning him to pieces. The sense of shame surged from the soles of his feet to the top of his head!

Fake, this must be fake! There’s no other explanation!

Chris kept telling himself this, but his remaining sanity was telling him that that didn’t make sense. Why would Renly create a fake “Thor” script? Not to mention that Renly had no knowledge of things going on in Hollywood, so how could he lock on “Thor”? Even if he did know, why would he do this? Was it just as a prank? To provoke him?

His fists couldn’t help but clench tightly, and his muscles trembled slightly. Fake or real? He just needed to open it up and see. No, that won’t do. If it is confirmed to be fake, then this is just a prank, but what if… what if it is real? What should he do then?

The voice in his head kept echoing, but his right hand couldn’t be controlled. It slowly moved down, and when his fingertips touched the cover of the script, the rough texture almost burnt his fingertips, but he gritted his teeth and firmly grasped the script. It was like grabbing a hot coal, but he still ended up grabbing it, and his trembling right hand opened the script.

Due to nervousness, he tried three times before he finally managed to open the cover of the script.

He quickly began to read, scanning the script with his eyes rapidly. His heart was trembling lightly, and he could even hear the slightest of sounds passing by, but his vision was incredibly clear, every word he read was clear and deep, like printing, deeply engraved in his mind.

It is real, this is indeed the “Thor” script.

He was shocked to the extreme, as if he had been struck by lightning. He was frozen in place and couldn’t move at all. Renly had really become an alternative for the role of a Thor! What was even more ridiculous was that he casually threw the script on the shelf without any respect.

“Should I seize this opportunity?”

After this idea sprouted in his mind, it couldn’t be stopped. It spread quickly like a wildfire, and Chris suddenly turned his head to look at the door and then surveyed the hall, fearing that Renly would suddenly appear. The fear and anxiety made his footsteps dance like a knife, but the desire, greed, and lust deep in his heart were burning, and the thrilling and dangerous sense of reality made every cell in his body begin to move.

Anyway, Renly was not interested in commercial movies, which happened to be what he desperately wanted. So even if he took it for himself, it wouldn’t hurt anyone, right? Isn’t that natural and logical?

Before Chris realized it, he had already crossed the entire hall and entered his room. He slammed the door shut, pressed himself against the wooden door, panting heavily and sweating profusely. The sweat from his hands had already soaked the script. Looking at the script in his hand, uncontrollable joy surged up inside him, as if a tornado was sweeping through.

“Chris? The fabric softener is about to run out, remember to add it to the shopping list.” Renly’s voice came from the hall. Chris jumped up, ran around in confusion for a few steps, and finally stuffed the script under the mattress after making sure it was not exposed. He then adjusted his breathing and said loudly, “Sure!”

Quickly wiping the sweat from his hands, Chris opened the door, pretending to be calm, and walked out. “What are you going to do now? Aren’t you going to sleep?” he asked.

Renly’s footsteps paused as he walked into the room, then turned around and looked at Chris with a puzzled expression. “I just took my clothes to wash. I have to wait for them to be washed and dried, at least for two more hours,”.

“Ah.” Chris finally realized, but his nervous brain was working too fast. “Then…what are you going to do now?”

Looking at Chris’s strange expression, Renly frowned slightly, making Chris’s heart jump to his throat. Did Renly notice something unusual? What should he do? But then Renly laughed. “I don’t work out, anyway”.

Chris followed with a dry laugh. “Haha, I know you don’t.” His mouth felt dry and uncomfortable, almost bringing out a bitter taste. “I…I’m going to take a shower. I’m all sweaty.” Chris said that casually, and then fled back to his own room.

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