Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 67

Chapter 67 – Displaying Ability.

Andy squinted his eyes slightly, carefully observing Renly’s expression, trying to fathom his true thoughts. However, evidently, that wasn’t an easy task. The pair of eyes hidden under long eyelashes cast a shadow, making it impossible to delve further. It was far from the clear and bright eyes of Eugene Sledge in “The Pacific.” Andy couldn’t help but sigh, “Just from this detail alone, one can understand how good Renly’s acting skills are.”

“So, you haven’t heard about it?” Andy still wore a smile on his face, showing a hint of surprise as he took the initiative to speak.

“No, I received the script yesterday,” Renly chuckled softly, skillfully entering the subway entrance. Leaving Andy outside, who evidently hasn’t taken the subway in years. Nevertheless, he didn’t mind it at all. He immediately went to the nearby ticket booth and successfully entered. He didn’t show any signs of impatience.

After entering the subway station, Andy continued the previous topic, “Since you’ve already received the script, then you should know that your name has caused quite a stir in Hollywood.”

Tom Hanks’ endorsement wasn’t something every newcomer actor could receive, and not to mention the frenzy caused by “The Pacific” on the internet. Paramount Pictures wanted Renly to audition, which was indeed a bold move, but it was still only an audition, not a confirmed role. However, it showed Paramount’s cleverness.

“So, it is a good thing,” Renly’s words were plain and ordinary, but the slight rise at the end conveyed a sense of curiosity, as if a curious child was asking “Why” a hundred thousand times.

Andy understood it in his heart.

Today, he was willing to visit Renly for the second time because he saw his potential and believed that signing him would be profitable. He had the potential to become the next big thing, although the difficulty in achieving that was incredibly high. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a scarcity of actors that are considered to be true superstars in the industry.

However, Renly was also in a position to negotiate. There must be more than one agent willing to sign him. This meant that it was now Andy’s turn to showcase his abilities. After the previous encounter, Andy once again felt the wisdom and composure of Renly that is surpassing his age. He was somewhat glad that he personally visited today instead of settling things with just a phone call.

It was still half an hour away from the peak working hours, but the subway was already crowded with many people. The rumbling sound was echoing incessantly in their ears, and the chaotic and disorderly scenes presented a completely different appearance from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Discussing the future plans of both parties in such a setting was probably unprecedented in the history of Hollywood.

However, Andy was not affected and carefully considered his words. “This is indeed a good thing. But I don’t think you should take on the role of ‘Thor’.” Andy said his opinion first.

The corner of Renly’s eyebrow raised slightly, and a playful expression appeared on his lips. “Oh?” This was definitely an unconventional response. “I thought anyone who received such an audition invitation would be overjoyed, even someone like Brad Pitt. Am I wrong?” Robert Downey Jr. successfully turned the tide with “Iron Man,” a fact that was well-known throughout Hollywood.

“But you’re not Brad Pitt,” Andy’s response was concise and clear, causing Renly to smirk involuntarily. “That was just a joke. The real reasons are twofold. First, you’re not the type of actor suited for a superhero role. Playing ‘Thor’ would actually hinder your future development. Second, you have no roots or foundation at this moment. Once you take on this role, you’re likely to be tightly bound to the Marvel bandwagon. Paramount, as a top-tier studio, won’t go easy on newcomers. You wouldn’t want to become the next Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson, would you?”

Renly felt that things were becoming interesting, not only because of Andy’s accurate assessment but also because of the broad perspective revealed in his simple words, which was truly unique.

“In the eyes of agents, actors are generally divided into two types: those with a relatively narrow career path and those with many possibilities,” Andy’s words brought a big smile to Renly’s face, as he replied loudly, “I thought it was about making money and not making money.” This response in turn also made Andy smirk involuntarily. However, he always wore a smile on his face, making it difficult to discern any difference in his reactions.

“Choosing a superhero role can lead to rapid success. It’s highly possible to become an overnight sensation and immediately join the ranks of A-list actors. However, this path becomes narrower as you go, with fewer future choices and possibilities,” Andy continued, wearing a sincere smile while he was exchanging industry secrets with Renly in a heart-to-heart manner. Even in the noisy environment of the subway, his persuasive power was convincing. “Many rookie actors choose superhero movies as the fastest shortcut to success. That’s a fact. But when they make that decision, their upper limit is already determined.”

Andy’s sincerity truly impressed Renly.

Of course, Renly also knows that top agents within the industry understand this point very well. Such cases are numerous, with examples like Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and the current Robert Downey Jr. However, why don’t agents stop newcomers from making such choices? Because it’s unnecessary.

This is a circle where new talents emerge constantly. Every day, countless newcomers appear. Missing out on tomorrow’s superstar or the next potential legend is inevitable. Agents only need to focus on short-term benefits. They are not engaged in long-term planning or charitable endeavors. Actors are merely a means for them to pursue profits.

Look at Johnny Depp and how his earnings skyrocketed after “Pirates of the Caribbean.” This is an undeniable fact, an unquestionable success. No one cares about the subsequent career trajectory and how bad it may be.

The most classic example in this case is Hayden Christensen, who starred in the “Star Wars” prequel series, and he gained sudden fame, but in the end he subsequently went downhill. In recent years, he has gradually been forgotten. The child actors from the “Harry Potter” series that Andy mentioned earlier are also the same.

All agents understand this, and Andy is no exception. However, he voluntarily gave up this short-term plan in front of Renly, showing his sincerity regardless of his reasons.

“So, what do you think I should do?” Renly still didn’t show a clear inclination. Instead, he asked this question with a hint of exploration.

Andy, however, knew that he couldn’t take this lightly and said earnestly, “I think you should first hone your skills in two independent films, preferably earning a nomination for Golden Globe Awards. Then you can seek opportunities in commercial films. We can’t rush this process. If it goes fast, it might take two years; if it goes slow, it might take four years. We’ll carefully select projects to showcase your strengths and build up your reputation. After that, we can explore different possibilities.”

The difference between commercial actors and artistic actors is something every agent knows. Achieving success across different fields is definitely not an easy task, and there’s only one Tom Hanks. But all agents will attempt to explore different possibilities. Commercial films generate profits, while they are also increasing an actor’s exposure and providing more acting opportunities. Artistic films earn fame, pursue honors, and expand future development possibilities.

Unless they are actors like Sean Penn or Catherine Keener, who devote themselves to making a name for themselves in independent art films, most actors will seek a balance between commercial and artistic endeavors. However, the reality is that every actor and agent tirelessly search for the ultimate secret of mastering this balance.

From Andy’s definition of Renly, it can be seen that he considers him as an artistic actor. His solid and delicate acting skills, as well as his spiritual presence on camera, are enough for Renly to showcase his talents in independent films. At the same time, his remarkable appearance and elegant demeanor give him a certain commercial value. It may lead to success, or it may not, but it’s worth a try in the future.

“So, Brad Pitt?” Renly suddenly thought of Roy’s previous teasing. The current definition of him in Hollywood is “Brad Pitt,” which is truly an interesting thing, isn’t it?

Andy didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he thought carefully for a bit and gave a different answer, “Edward Norton.”

This made Renly’s eyes light up. It was truly a thought-provoking analogy, far from the current views in Hollywood. “If I pass up on ‘Thor,’ then I won’t have as many choices in the future.”

“But you wouldn’t mind that, would you?” Faced with Renly’s probing, Andy’s counterattack successfully made both of them smile, understanding each other without words.

Renly said again, “I never knew there were differences in commercial films.” In the eyes of most agents, commercial films are all the same: popcorn flicks that sacrifice critical acclaim to attract box office success. However, as an actor, Renly knew that even for the same vase-like role, it could be different in different commercial films.

“Of course, there are,” Andy said calmly without any panic. “‘The Dark Knight’ is different from ‘Iron Man 2’; ‘Inception’ is different from ‘Twilight.'”

With such examples, Renly couldn’t help but burst into laughter, while saying, “I hope our conversation just now wasn’t overheard by anyone, otherwise chaos would ensue.”

The frenzy of “Twilight” fans is unparalleled by others. Even if critics slam the film series, the fans’ enthusiasm continues to drive the box office to new heights. Additionally, fans of DC Comics and Marvel Comics are also unwavering in their support for their respective films.

“In that case, you’re a DC fan, huh?” Renly teased.

In response, Andy raised his thick and short index finger to his lips, making a “shh” gesture and then said, pretending to be cool, “I’m a fan of movies.”

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