Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 66

Chapter 66 – Twisted Fate.

Chris clung tightly to the room’s door, as if fearing that Renly would burst in through it. His heart pounded heavily like a drum, and his dry throat began to itch, causing him to cough involuntarily. He had to forcefully cover his mouth to avoid making any sound.

After finally calming his breath, Chris locked the room door and quickly walked to the side of the bed. He pulled out the script for “Thor” hidden under the mattress, and a surge of ecstatic emotions overwhelmed him. The touch of the script in his hands almost made his mind go blank, and he nearly lost his breath.

Stay calm, stay calm!

Chris had to force himself to calm down and start planning for his next step. He has to fly back to Los Angeles immediately, thoroughly study the script, so he could truly understand the character of Thor, and even seek guidance from an acting coach to ensure that he perfectly matched Kenneth’s ideal candidate. Then, through his agent, he will contact the relevant people from Marvel Studios or Paramount Pictures. He only needs one insignificant person in the periphery. If he could meet the director, it would be even better. Once he gets the opportunity, he would showcase himself and wait for the call from the key decision-makers. That should be enough.

If necessary, he could also contact Bryan Burk, the producer of “Star Trek”—another Paramount production. Bryan has some connections within Paramount. When they were filming “Star Trek,” Bryan had always shown favor towards him. Now was the time to make use of it.

Without a script, one has to rely on connections or previous works. The path to getting the role in a top-tier blockbuster is too narrow, especially for an actor like Chris, whose acting skills are not that good. But now, the situation had undergone a complete change, and he can prepare in advance, following the official protocol of the film. As long as he opens a tiny crack in the airtight network of relationships, it will be enough.

Thinking of this, Chris couldn’t help but get excited!

During his time struggling in Hollywood, he had seen enough of those arrogant and indifferent faces, each one acting like a high and mighty noble, but in reality, they were just a bunch of tail-wagging sycophants! They had always discriminated against him, unwilling to even look at him with respect. In the future, he will repay them tenfold! And as for Renly, he is no different!

Renly had obtained the opportunity to act in “Thor” but didn’t know how to cherish it. He acted all high and mighty, which was nauseating. However, he has to thank Renly, right? Now, the initiative for this opportunity is in his hands, and he will never give it up. When he will stand at the pinnacle of the Hollywood pyramid, if he was in a good mood, he could extend a helping hand to Renly as a show of gratitude.

As for guilt? Why should he feel guilty? This is Hollywood, a place where anything goes. He wisely seized the opportunity, so that he will be the one laughing in the end!

Once upon a time, Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder were famous as being the best friends in Hollywood, a pair of beautiful sisters. Winona rose to fame at a young age, her acting skills were captivating, and she was the desired collaborator for numerous directors. Gwyneth came from an illustrious family background, with her father being a producer and her mother an actress. Steven Spielberg is her godfather.

In 1997, Winona grew tired of the deceit and constant attention in Hollywood. Her mental state plunged into a low point, and her acting career fell into a quagmire. Nevertheless, she remained the darling of directors and received constant offers.

One day, Gwyneth went to visit Winona at her home, but Winona was lying in bed, drowsy and bored from having taken too much cold medicine. In her state of boredom, Gwyneth discovered a script under the coffee table in Winona’s living room. Out of curiosity, she started flipping through it.

Gwyneth took a liking to this script and, taking a risky move, she took the script without informing Winona. At that time, Winona was in a terrible mental state and didn’t pay attention to this matter at all. Later on, Gwyneth, relying on her study of the script, used her connections to find the producer and director, she successfully auditioned, secured the role, and won the Oscar for Best Actress with this work.

Yes, this work is “Shakespeare in Love.”

Later, Winona learned about this and confronted Gwyneth face-to-face. Gwyneth admitted to her actions, and these two friends, who were once like sisters, completely broke ties and became strangers. Winona continued to sink further into a path of self-destruction, while Gwyneth, despite being voted as the most detested actress in America for consecutive years, enjoyed a flourishing career.

This is Hollywood—the person who laughs last is the victor, and as for the means used, no one cares.

Chris’s mind was filled with images of everyone bowing down at his feet. A smile blossomed on his lips, and he was so happy that he almost burst out laughing. Chris buried his entire head into the pillow, chuckling and laughing unabashedly. However, that still wasn’t satisfying enough. He stood up and swung his fist with force, soaring through the air, but in the end, he stumbled and kicked the bedpost. The indescribable pain surged forth, and he couldn’t help but scream, “Ah!”

“Chris?” Renly’s concerned voice came from the living room, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine.” Chris hastily explained, throwing the script under the bed in a panic, afraid that Renly would come in directly. “Just, just bumped into the doorframe.”

“Haha, Hulk.” Renly’s teasing words came again, and Chris chuckled dryly twice in response, while a layer of cold sweat had already formed on his back.

After this small accident, Chris’s mind finally calmed down. He took the script, and he hid in his private bathroom, beginning to read it carefully.

Fate is a strange thing. Many people always attribute the luck and misfortune of life to “fate,” as if it’s the answer to all problems. The unseen hand of God controls everything, making life simpler.

But in reality, fate is always held in the hands of each individual. A crucial choice at a critical moment can lead to completely different paths in life. However, when standing at the juncture of the future and reevaluating the past, no one knows if they would make the same choice if given another chance—perhaps, destiny has long been determined by the character, and the choices were already predestined.

Renly glanced at Chris’s room and could sense that Chris’s behavior tonight was somewhat unusual. He was restless and anxious, as if he had done something wrong. After careful consideration, Renly couldn’t figure out what exactly was going on. After all, Chris had been in Los Angeles for such a long time before returning today, so their interactions had been limited. Could it be possible that there is a woman hiding in Chris’s room now? This idea suddenly popped into Renly’s head. If that were the case, it would make sense, especially if the woman is a famous actress. They didn’t want anyone to know or to leak it to the tabloid journalists, so it is only natural to act discreetly.

With these thoughts in his mind, Renly couldn’t help but smile. He turned off the lights in the living room and went back to his own room, leaving Chris some privacy. Look at how considerate he was as a roommate.

The next day, Chris packed his bags again and flew back to Los Angeles without even saying goodbye to Renly. His decisive and swift manner caught Renly off guard.

However, this was not uncommon in Hollywood. New actors would often go on long journeys for auditions, eagerly hoping that the next audition would break the deadlock and serve as a breakthrough for them. They would even go all-in, but the results often didn’t live up to their expectations. That was why most actors chose to settle in Los Angeles or New York, as those two cities offered plenty of opportunities. They didn’t need to travel long distances and could readily participate in auditions at any time. Even if they had to go to other places, the transportation between the two major cities was much more convenient.

Renly didn’t pry too much into Chris’s career development. After finishing his packing and grooming, he made a phone call to Roy. After a night of contemplation, he decided to decline the audition invitation.(T/N – With how things are going, if Chris just asked for a script, Renly would probably give it to him…)

Whether it was Thor or Loki, based on the development pattern of his previous life, once one decides to play this kind of role, they would be tied to the Marvel juggernaut. Even though Tom Hiddleston gained tremendous popularity through Loki, Marvel still refused to give Loki more room for development. In the entire Marvel universe, the actors had very little say.

After he considered everything, Renly decisively gave up this opportunity without any hesitation. Roy was deeply regretful, but Renly wasn’t really bothered about it. After packing his things, he left the apartment. This morning, he is going to the Brooklyn area for a skateboarding street competition, where he is one of the participants.

As for the script, after deciding to refuse the audition invitation, Renly pushed it to the back of his mind and had no idea that the original place where the script was placed was now empty.

In fact, Renly’s skateboarding skills couldn’t be considered exceptional at all. So, if he participates, he is probably going to end up at the bottom. After all, he had a short learning time and limited dedication. But for Renly, the result of this competition was not the main priority; the process of the competition was. This was also one of his major goals after being reborn—to fully enjoy life, learn skateboarding, learn guitar, learn surfing, and so on. He was even planning to find a beginner hiking route in the second half of the year, carrying a backpack and starting to attempt hiking.

Dreams are important, and so is life. In this lifetime, he will live his life with his own colors.

Walking downstairs, Renly tossed his skateboard on the ground and swiftly glided away. However, he heard someone calling behind him, “Renly! Renly!”

Renly pressed his left foot onto the floor and turned around to see a chubby figure. He wore a dark gray shirt matched with a black windbreaker. Even with his round belly, it looked just right, exuding a strong aura reminiscent of the Italian mafia. However, he had rushed over, panting heavily, not only lacking in momentum but also a bit disheveled. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, and if someone didn’t know better, they would think he had just finished running a marathon.

“Hoo, my God… my God…” He supported his knees with both hands, breathing heavily. Renly glanced at the distance to his front door, which is less than thirty yards away, and then looked at the sweating figure before him, feeling a sense of amusement. “Give me a minute.” The chubby man adjusted his breath and said with a flushed face.

Renly politely gestured with a “please” hand motion. “On such a beautiful morning, I do have a minute to spare. Mr. Rogers.”

The chubby man standing in front of him is Andy Rogers, the agent of the Creative Artists Agency. He had personally visited Renly in Pioneer Village before the start of the “The Pacific” series. Originally, Renly thought that after the series aired, he would immediately come knocking at his door. However, he didn’t expect that he would only show up today, as the series had finished airing last week.

“Just one minute?” Andy took out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat off his forehead. “I wonder if you have half an hour, so that we can sit down and talk properly.”

He needs to fly back to Los Angeles this afternoon. The casting competition for the “Thor” has reached its most intense moment. The three actors from the Creative Artists Agency are very close to achieving the final victory. He must personally be present and participate in the audition process. However, even so, he gave up his plan to fly there directly from Chicago and he instead made a detour to New York. He arrived at the airport at 6:30 in the morning and rushed over without stopping.

Because he knew that the time was ripe to sign Renly, as he didn’t want to miss out on this potential star.

“I’m on my way to Brooklyn now. If you don’t mind, we can chat while we’re on the road.” Renly didn’t feel flattered. During the screening of “The Pacific,” he had already received calls from more than ten people. At least three of them were from the top five talent agencies, and Andy was just one of them.

Andy didn’t seem surprised by Renly’s response and made a gesture of invitation. “Of course, no problem at all.” It was as if the afternoon flight didn’t exist at all. “There has been quite a discussion about you in Hollywood recently. I wonder if you’ve heard any rumors about that in New York?”

“I hope they’re all praises.” Renly’s answer made Andy chuckle. “Of course, of course. If I’m not mistaken, you have probably received invitations for some other major projects, and that is the best proof of that. For example, an invitation for ‘Thor’.”

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