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The Greatest Showman – Chapter 78

Chapter 78 – A strong enemy is coming.

The commotion in the crowd finally subsided, and the young college-looking girl walked over again. “It seems that you are indeed an actor, and a talented one at that,” she said confidently, her eyes shimmering slightly. “What’s your name?” Amidst the chaotic scene a moment ago, it seemed like everyone was shouting “Eugene ‘Sledgehammer’ Sledge.”

So far, the audience that Renly had encountered hardly paid attention to his real name, instead they were referring to him by the name from “The Pacific.” This was normal, just like how people still call Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter” when they meet him now. For a newcomer actor, this is a good thing.

But no one wants to be typecast by a single role.

“Renly Hall,” he replied.

The girl playfully blinked her eyes. “Chanelle Laurent,” she introduced herself with a smile. “Your performance just now was truly remarkable. I think I’ll go back and watch ‘The Pacific.’ Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed.”

Renly responded with a respectful knight’s salute, which made Chanelle chuckle. From her name and accent, it was clear that she is French, and most likely from the middle class. Like the British, the French also had a certain tradition when it came to surnames.

Chanelle didn’t say much more. She pinched her non-existent skirt, took a step back with a slight knee bend, and responded with a royal princess gesture. Her attire of jeans and a t-shirt didn’t seem out of place at all; instead, it added a touch of youthful energy.

With a turn, her golden ponytail drew a beautiful arc as Chanelle walked away, heading towards the crowd with light footsteps.

“Phew, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief,” Rodrigo wiped the sweat off his forehead, as he sat down on the sofa breathing heavily.

Renly shifted his gaze back and sat down again, sighing, “Such an accident really catches people off guard.” Actually, before the performance started, Renly had some concerns. Performing in public was not difficult for him, but the selected scene of being “buried alive” required absolute silence. Once interrupted, the rhythm would be thrown off balance.

Renly’s fears did occur, just not in the way he expected.

“I wouldn’t exactly say this was an accident,” Rodrigo held a different opinion, noticing Renly’s surprised gaze. He explained, “What I mean is, such unexpected situations really leave people unsure how to deal with them. Obviously, it’s not what we hoped to see. But I’m not surprised by their reaction because your performance was truly stunning.”

After speaking, Rodrigo pondered seriously and then nodded again, affirming, “Yes, stunning.”

It has been seven or eight minutes since the performance ended. Rodrigo is currently savoring it again but with a different feeling. Watching Renly’s performance was undoubtedly a pleasure. His naturally impeccable demeanor seemed untouched by any polishing. It was impossible to discern the rhythm and pattern of his performance, yet the profound impact on one’s soul was incredibly clear, especially during the reflection after it ended, leaving a lingering fragrance.

“Thank you,” Renly accepted the praise without false modesty.

“In fact, what I’m even more curious about is how you interpreted the character of Paul and the entire story,” Rodrigo admitted that Renly,  who approached the role from an actor’s perspective, brought out different shades in the story, which was quite interesting. Of course, a significant part of it had to do with the peculiarity of “Buried”—it is a script for a one-man show.

Renly shrugged, “If we start working together, we can have a good discussion afterwards.”

Rodrigo was momentarily stunned, then burst into laughter, nodding in agreement, “Indeed.”

At this moment, Renly is also reminiscing about his performance just now. Strictly speaking, his performance was incomplete.

The main issue is that his preparation time was too rushed. Renly’s understanding and construction of Paul’s character were not complete. Most of the time, he relied on his representation style to interpret the role. However, during the performance, he was able to touch upon a sense of ethereality. Why did Paul make such a choice? How did he feel afterward?

Renly felt like he had grasped a small part of it, but it was still not very clear. If given enough time, he would be willing to continue pondering over it. It’s not just for this scene, but for the entire work. This scene is just a microcosm of the entire piece. While the solid and accurate  representation style can bring surprises, when placed within the entire work, a method acting approach to understanding and interpreting the character will become the thread that runs through it. This is the true moment of testing for Renly.

This lingering feeling made Renly’s lips slightly dry, and he couldn’t wait to thoroughly read the script and start constructing Paul’s life from the ground up.

Looking at Renly in front of him, Rodrigo couldn’t help but admit that age was the least of his concerns.

Indeed, Renly still appeared too young, but his performance displayed enough depth, a blend of world-weariness and complexity. With just a few words, he outlined the image of character Paul Conroy, displaying a seemingly effortless yet profoundly meaningful performance. In less than two minutes, the power of his acting truly impressed Rodrigo. No further words were necessary; he was completely won over.

If it’s decided that Renly will play the role, then Paul’s age can be slightly adjusted, lowering it from thirty-five to around twenty-seven. The child aspect can also be changed to having just one. With some effort in makeup, the character’s setting would no longer be an issue.

Now, what Rodrigo is looking forward to even more is what kind of spark their collaboration can produce. “I forgot to ask, how old are you?”

“Haha,” Renly laughed directly. “I thought we had already covered that topic.” However, this time, Renly didn’t beat around the bush. His previous performance had already proven his abilities. He said confidently, “I’m twenty.”

“…” Rodrigo could hear the sound of his own jaw dropping. He looked at Renly in astonishment, unsure how to react.

“Rodrigo, someone came for an audition,” the voice from the reception interrupted Rodrigo’s thoughts once again. Rodrigo lifted his head in a daze, still unable to process his emotions, and his unfocused eyes searched for the source of the voice in the lobby

At this moment, the lobby of the youth hostel began to stir again. Murmuring voices filled the air, and the restless commotion was like a volcano on the verge of eruption. Then, two figures were seen intimately walking together, whispering sweet nothings to each other.

The man on the left was tall and sturdy, seemingly even taller than Renly. His broad shoulders and strong muscles made him stand out from the crowd, effortlessly attracting the attention of those around him. His handsome face carried a sunny smile, resembling a natural luminary.

The woman on the right appeared delicate and charming. Her arm was wrapped around the man’s waist, and a white shirt failed to hide her shapely and alluring figure. Her dark red curly hair added to her seductive and sensual aura, and every movement she made was akin to a lazy cat.

Standing side by side, no words were needed – as they immediately became the center of attention. Clearly, they were accustomed to such treatment, exuding an indescribable aura of composure. The young people in the lobby whispered among themselves but ultimately didn’t approach, as if the dazzling halo around them acted as an invisible barrier.

Renly turned around and immediately spotted the newcomers—it is none other than Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson. The two had married at the end of 2008 and were considered a low-profile couple in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Prior to this, Scarlett’s career had been thriving, constantly on the rise, while Ryan remained relatively unknown. However, the success of his two recent projects last year brought Ryan into the public eye, while Scarlett experienced a temporary stagnation in her career after finishing the filming of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

Renly didn’t anticipate that Ryan would show up in person. He wasn’t quite sure how far the conversation between Ryan and Rodrigo had progressed, but this is clearly not a positive sign. After all, compared to Ryan, Renly is far behind in terms of fame and popularity, and on top of that, Ryan was Rodrigo’s first choice.

What he hadn’t expected even more was that Scarlett would accompany Ryan. In the absence of journalists, this meant that Scarlett had come specifically to support her husband. Undoubtedly, this further increased Ryan’s bargaining power—could anyone refuse Scarlett Johansson?

Compared to Renly, a fledgling nobody, the influence of Ryan and Scarlett is significantly more evident. Everyone in the lobby could accurately recognize the two, especially Scarlett—as the “Marilyn Monroe of the new era,” her influence had spread worldwide. The restless excitement in the lobby perfectly captured the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation.

This current situation is not looking good.

The timing of Ryan’s appearance was indeed too delicate, happening right at the moment when Renly and Rodrigo were having further discussions, and it prevented Renly from decisively securing the role. Now, everything needs to be re-planned.

Renly adjusted his breathing, calmed his emotions, and then stood up proactively, smiling at Ryan and Scarlett, preparing to greet them. Since the competitors have already come face to face, it’s time for a fair and open confrontation. The ultimate winner will earn the opportunity to act in the movie “Buried”. Even though Renly knows he doesn’t have many chips, he still raised his head and welcomed his opponent with confidence.

He’s not afraid to take on any challenge on the road off acting.

However, Ryan walked straight towards Rodrigo, completely ignoring Renly standing on the side, as if Renly was just an ordinary tourist in a youth hostel, like the rest of the audience in the lobby. “Rodrigo? Finally, we meet,” Ryan stretched out his right hand towards Rodrigo, warmly greeting him, “Sorry it took me so long to get in touch with you. Please believe me, I’m even more anxious than you are. Look, I rushed here directly from Los Angeles, hoping for us to have a face-to-face conversation. This is my sincerity.”

At this moment, Rodrigo finally came back to his senses, his eyes flickering with an incredulous and excited gleam.

T/N – And what do you think about Ryan Reynolds? Btw two chapters in one day, not bad, not bad…

T/N – If you like this novel, please give a review or rating on Novel Updates🙂

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