Chapter 73 – Performance challenge.
Although Rodrigo still maintained politeness, Renly could sense the superficiality and perfunctory nature of his manners. He didn’t understand what had happened. After all, they had just exchanged greetings, right?
Was it because Rodrigo thought he is too young? Or was it because Rodrigo had already invited Ryan to play this role?
Renly is well aware of his disadvantage. He is too young, which is not a good thing in Hollywood. Every year, Hollywood produces a large number of teenage films, but them being of outstanding quality is rarity. The golden age for male actors in Hollywood is between thirty-five and forty-five years old. Over eighty percent of film protagonists are within this age range, and young actors are mostly playing supporting roles. This is one of the important reasons why it is extremely difficult for teenage actors to make a name for themselves.
The age setting for the male protagonist in “Buried” is around thirty to thirty-five years old.
However, regardless of the reason, Renly came today to participate in the audition with thoughts of giving his all to seize this acting opportunity. He had carefully selected his attire for today, and he has no intention of giving up easily.
“Thank you for your praise. It shows that my first job has paid off,” Renly said with a grateful smile. Charles chuckled lightly at his relaxed banter, but Rodrigo raised an eyebrow slightly. “The Pacific” was Renly’s debut work? Not good, really not good at all.
“I came here today specifically to participate in the audition for ‘Buried,'” Renly said, his gaze falling on Rodrigo. “You probably haven’t watched ‘The Pacific.’ I am really relieved because of that, as these are two completely different roles. Without the constraints of a fixed impression, my confidence for today’s audition has increased.”
Rodrigo couldn’t help but laugh. This young man is indeed unconventional and different. Other rookie actors would do anything to promote their previous works, hoping to increase their chances of a successful audition. But he went against the grain. Was it because he is extremely confident, or is it due to a lack of experience?
Upon further thought, among the countless list of works, he had chosen “Buried.” That in itself is an interesting thing, isn’t it?
“So, can we start the audition now? Or do I need to wait in line?” Renly stood behind Charles, implying that Charles is the actor currently auditioning. This simple gesture made both Rodrigo and Charles laugh.
Charles waved his hand repeatedly. “I won’t disturb your work. Good luck! Good luck!” The first statement was directed at Rodrigo, while the second was meant for Renly.
Rodrigo took a step back and sat back on the couch. “Tell me again, what’s your name?”
“So, you’re British?” Rodrigo is Spanish, and he isn’t that sensitive to accents, but the London accent is quite distinctive.
Renly took a sit across from Rodrigo. “I guess Paul is an American.” Renly switched to fluent Chicagoan English.
Rodrigo couldn’t distinguish between the accents of Chicago and New York, but he could hear the difference between British English and American English. His eyes brightened slightly. “What accent is this?” In the education system for European actors, accents were one of the basic courses, but Rodrigo always believed that truly mastering accents was not an easy task. “I don’t think it’s a New York accent.”
“Chicago,” Renly answered with a smile. “And if needed, I can also talk in English with a Spanish accent.” That was indeed one of the basic compulsory courses at the academy. Renly found it very interesting and even went to the linguistics department at the University of Cambridge to study and talk with professors, immersing himself in it for several months.
Rodrigo couldn’t help but pause for a moment, having a lot of question marks in his mind. “Why Chicago?”
“Well, it was just my own guess.”
Renly shrugged his shoulders. In fact, the information left behind in the union was quite limited, and there were no direct clues to indicate what Paul’s background was. In his previous life, he had watched ‘Buried,’ but his memories of it were somewhat vague, and Renly couldn’t remember if the movie mentioned this fact. “Architect, Iraq assignment, middle class. I guess Paul should be from the central region, and Chicago, as a gathering place for architectural companies, undoubtedly has the highest possibility of it being it.”
After receiving the script, preparing for a role is a very complex and tedious process. From accents to clothing, even to hairstyle and tattoos, these details are all part of the character and are parts that the audience cannot see but can feel, which precisely showcases the actor’s skill. Of course, if it’s just a popcorn movie or a chick flick, then the preparation mode naturally differs.
Rodrigo’s brain felt as if it had been hit directly by a heavy blow, and for a moment, he was somewhat dazed. Originally, it was just a casual topic of conversation, but unexpectedly, it involved such a surprising backstory, revealing his lack of understanding of the script. It had to be said that his opinion of Renly had changed quite a bit.
“Interesting, very interesting.” Rodrigo couldn’t help but slightly close his open jaw, his eyes revealing a keen interest. “So, what kind of interpretation do you have for the character of Paul? If you haven’t noticed, let me remind you that Paul is already thirty-five years old. He’s married, has two children, and a stable job.”
Rodrigo intentionally posed a challenge to Renly, directly bringing up a huge obstacle before him. He was curious how Renly would respond. Unbeknownst to Rodrigo himself, his opinion about Renly had quietly started to change.
Renly spread his legs, supporting his upper body with his hands on his knees, leaning slightly forward. He faced Rodrigo head-on with a strong and assertive demeanor, naturally exuding the aura of a construction site boss. “Personally, I think we should divide the character of Paul into two parts.” Or to be more accurate, divide the performance into two levels.
This is how ‘Buried’ is described in the recruitment information left by the American Actors Union: An American construction contractor working in Iraq who, one day, encountered a bomb attack and he ended up losing consciousness. When he wakes up, he realized that he is trapped in a coffin, buried alive in the desert. He didn’t understand what happened or what he should do. The only things he has with him are a knife, a cellphone, and a lighter.”
“First, the normal response under critical circumstances.” Renly’s eyes gradually became focused. He knew how difficult his situation is. Not only did he have to overcome the constraints of age to get this role, but he also had to defeat Ryan Reynolds. He had to give it his all. “Panic, shock, fear, struggle, anger, survival—these emotions are common to anyone who wakes up buried alive in a coffin.”
Rodrigo raised his right hand, supporting his chin, and his gaze became deep as he carefully pondered about Renly’s words.
“From the confusion upon waking up, to the struggle for survival, to the calmness in seeking opportunities, and finally to the desperate fight of a trapped beast, the development of emotions undoubtedly forms the core of the entire script and serves as the driving force to keep the audience engaged.” Renly’s thoughts were clear, and he articulated his viewpoint in a progressive manner. “However, as I mentioned before, these are the common reactions experienced by ordinary people in crisis. If that’s all there is to it, ‘Buried’ would just be an ordinary thriller and suspense film.”
Renly and Ryan were different. Not only in the way they act and what they perform, but they also had their own understanding of “Buried.” This also meant that their exploration and expansion of the characters differed. If he succeeded in this audition, he would interpret it in his own way and perform his unique “Buried.”
The previous version of “Buried” was actually just a normal thriller film, where Ryan accurately portrayed all the emotions of being trapped in a coffin. But as Renly had said, this process and reaction are what any ordinary person would go through, lacking Paul’s personal characteristics and missing the part of character development seen in “127 Hours.” It also lacked the unique features of “Buried” and it became just an ordinary work—above average, but difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Rodrigo knew that Renly’s words were not finished; there was still a “second” part, and his brows involuntarily furrowed. So far, everything Renly said about the “first” part aligned with his expectations and the setup. It could be said that that was his understanding of the work “Buried.” But clearly, Renly still has something to say. He had explored and developed the character and script to another level.
Things were becoming increasingly interesting, and Rodrigo couldn’t help but feel curious.
“Second, Paul’s response to a crisis.” Renly only paused briefly and continued, “Here, we can divide it into different aspects for discussion. For example, Paul’s personal attributes. When he faces a crisis, does he think about his family, his wife? Is he going through a mid-life crisis? Are there difficulties in his work? How are his relationships with colleagues and friends? These unique attributes, in an extreme crisis situation, will give Paul different definitions, which also distinguish him from ordinary people.”
“For example, Paul’s social attributes. How is his relationship with the company? How does he communicate with the government? In Paul’s case, how does the company, government, and media behave? Would it make a difference whether Paul is a billionaire or an ordinary construction worker? Would it make a difference whether Paul is male or female? Would it make a difference whether Paul is deep in Iraq or deep on American soil?”
Renly’s words entangled Rodrigo’s brows deeply, and his thoughts became increasingly numerous and chaotic, unleashing a storm in his mind.
“These aspects not only define Paul’s uniqueness but also define the essential attributes of the entire film ‘Buried.’ Renly said his final conclusion, and then a smile gently curved at the corner of his mouth as he confidently stated, “So, I think age is actually the least important part. What do you think?”
T/N – If you like this novel, please give a review or rating on Novel Updates
T/N – If you want to support me check out my – KO-FI