Chapter 79 – Neither servile nor overbearing.
Rodrigo was indeed very excited.
There is no doubt that Ryan Reynolds was his first choice to play Paul Conroy. In fact, after watching “The Nines,” he has always wanted to work with Ryan. Rodrigo had always believed that Ryan’s acting had a special flavor, it was not the explosive type, but it had its own understanding and qualities. When he received the script for “Buried,” his first thought for the actor of the main character was Ryan.
This desire was so strong that even though he understands that Ryan’s career is in a rapid ascent and the chances of him taking on “Buried” were very low, he still sent him an invitation.
Unexpectedly, Ryan not only responded to his invitation but also appeared in person in front of him. This unexpected surprise hit his heart fiercely, catching him off guard. “Mr. Reynolds, how… how did you appear here?”
“Collaboration!” Ryan gave another surprising bombshell, which made Rodrigo dizzy. “Ryan, please call me Ryan. Mr. Reynolds is my father.” Ryan showed his wit and humor, with his trademark smile on his face.
“Sorry for interrupting your conversation,” the voice of Renly interrupted at the right time, cutting off the conversation that Ryan and Rodrigo had yet to delve into further. “I just thought it would be more appropriate for me to leave now to avoid disrupting your work.”
Reasonable words, nothing to pick on, but Renly successfully diverted attention to himself. Not only Rodrigo, but even Ryan and Scarlett turned their gaze towards him.
Rodrigo’s mind cleared up a bit. Ryan’s sudden appearance was truly unexpected and completely disrupted his thoughts, but now seeing Renly, he regained his senses once again, with a hint of hesitation in his eyes. “Are you leaving now?”
Rodrigo was a little confused for a moment.
On one hand, Ryan is the cooperative partner he has been dreaming of, and also his well-deserved first choice. Now that Ryan has appeared, it couldn’t be more perfect. What’s even more important is that Ryan is now vaguely among the ranks of the second tier actors. With his participation, the future distribution rights and promotional operations will become much simpler.
But on the other hand, Renly’s performance just now completely shook his world. Whether it was the delicate yet powerful acting, bringing the power of dramatic conflict to its peak, or the immersive effect he displayed at the young age of twenty and he did that without any makeup, elevating the story. Undoubtedly, he is the actor that every director dreams of.
Originally, Rodrigo had given up hope of Ryan appearing, and Renly’s stunning performance made him became his best option. But now, Ryan’s appearance materialized the initial plan. From having no choice to having too many choices, this happily perplexing situation momentarily left Rodrigo at a loss.
“My audition seems to have come to a temporary conclusion, hasn’t it?” Renly smiled gentlemanly and appropriately.
He knew that Ryan’s appearance would be a decisive turning point. If he stubbornly stayed, he could change the situation, but it was clear that it would be useless. So, it it better for him to take a step back, give Ryan the opportunity to act and the space to converse, and then wait for the right moment to make his move.
He also knew that compared to Ryan, his only advantage was his skill. He had absolute confidence in his own acting, but in terms of other soft conditions, he fell short across the board. Luckily, “Buried” is an independent project, and instead of prioritizing interests like the big companies usually do, Rodrigo preferred to approach this project from the perspective of the quality of the work. That is his only chance.
“I hope my performance just now was impressive enough, otherwise I don’t have any more capital to show off.” Renly handed over the script, while half-jokingly saying that, implying that his skill was the only condition he could compete with Ryan on.
Sure enough, Rodrigo showed an awkward smile and took the script. “Flawless,” he exclaimed, shaking his head in admiration. “Honestly, I don’t know how it could be any better.”
“That’s the actor’s concern, isn’t it?” Renly’s confidence and humor successfully brought a big smile to Rodrigo’s face.
Although the performance just now was already stunning, inexplicably, Rodrigo was willing to believe in Renly. He believed that Renly could deliver an even more brilliant performance, explore more things, and is far from reaching his limit.
“Who are you?” Ryan could feel the harmony in the air. His gaze shifted between Rodrigo and Renly, and couldn’t resist and bluntly asked. The slightly furrowed brows revealed his true feelings at the moment.
“Sorry,” Renly turned around and started with an apology, which caused Ryan hesitate to choke. “I forgot to introduce myself.” Renly politely extended his right hand. “Renly Hall, an actor. I’m here today for the audition.”
“Who?” Ryan’s brows furrowed even more, filled with question marks. He searched his mind but couldn’t associate the name with any relevant actors. Clearly, the other person is just an unknown nobody. His hands remained in his pockets.
Renly gently raised his right hand that was hanging in the air, not minding Ryan’s disregard. A self-deprecating smile curved his lips. “There must be more than one or two actors that Mr. Reynolds hasn’t seen or heard of, aren’t there?” His teasing words pricked Ryan, and his expression turned sour.
Scarlett, standing beside them, couldn’t help but smirk, her lips curling up slightly. Due to the height difference, she could clearly see the flicker of mockery in the man’s eyes. His tone, neither sharp nor blunt, carried a sense of detachment, as if it were an air wall that bumped into you while walking, leaving you confused and unable to make sense of it. That is how Ryan felt at the moment.
“Mr. Reynolds personally rushed from Los Angeles to New York, obviously not for idle chitchat. So, I won’t disturb your audition.” Renly’s gentle voice carried a faint smile, and his elegant and mellow London accent added a touch of gentlemanly style. However, the sarcasm deep within his words lingered.
Scarlett couldn’t hold back this time and burst into laughter. Renly’s words were clearly a mockery of Ryan’s previous attempt to curry favor. Even if he came all the way from Los Angeles to New York, so what? The deciding factor for an actor’s ability is not sweet talk but absolute talent. It’s better to get to the point quickly instead of engaging in small talk here.
This punch landed heavily on Ryan’s stomach. Even Scarlett could hear Ryan’s muffled groan of internal injury, especially the polite and courteous yet highly ironic “Mr. Reynolds” that accompanied it.
Noticing her husband’s fiery gaze, Scarlett whispered, “I’m sorry.” She then raised her hand to cover her mouth, suppressing the trivial laughter and returning to her normal state. Although she was just a bystander today, it didn’t seem right to join others in mocking her husband.
“Regarding the unfinished audition, I will wait outside and continue later,” Renly’s wording was quite clever. To be precise, his audition hasn’t really ended. There was no further discussion about the performance or cooperation. So Renly provided an opportunity for Rodrigo to save face while also leaving himself an escape route. “Well…”
Renly nodded slightly to Rodrigo, Ryan, and Scarlett respectively, then without any pause, he decisively started walking away.
However, Ryan and Scarlett were blocking the path that was leading out, and Renly halted, smiling at Scarlett. Scarlett initially thought the man would take this chance to say a few more words, but to her surprise, he simply sidestepped and gestured to continue forward. Instinctively, Scarlett stepped aside, and the man swiftly departed.
This made Scarlett raise her head and glance at the man, and he calmly met her gaze without any hint of panic. His eyes were like a tranquil lake in a forest, quietly carrying a hint of a smile. After that, only his receding figure could be seen.
Scarlett lightly raised her eyebrows and withdrew her gaze. However, the atmosphere became somewhat heavy, and neither Ryan nor Rodrigo spoke. “Ahem, ahem,” Scarlett cleared her throat and tugged at Ryan’s arm. “Darling, you were enthusiastically talking about this script at home, and couldn’t put it down. Why aren’t you speaking now? Is it because you got too excited after seeing the director?”
With a simple sentence, Scarlett successfully brought Ryan’s attention back. “Yes… Yes!” Ryan used trivial words to mask his nervousness. “I simply can’t wait!”
Rodrigo’s astonishment gradually settled deep in his heart. The Renly just now was actually so radically different from the one that played Paul!
This was the first meeting between Rodrigo and Renly. He had not seen “The Pacific” and had no concept of Renly’s acting style or personal character. Throughout the audition process, Renly’s style remained consistent, carrying a rough and dominant temperament strongly reminiscent of “Paul Conroy.” Rodrigo almost believed that Renly was being himself during the audition. However, the delicate control and deep exploration during the performance proved that this thought was wrong.
But during the brief conversation just now, Renly displayed an entirely different persona. All the sharpness was retracted, yet he firmly controlled the rhythm. Behind the seemingly non-aggressive demeanor, there was an unshakable determination. This was a completely different person from Paul, to the point of being worlds apart.
In other words, was everything in his audition just an act?
Realizing this, Rodrigo was struck by a storm of shock. The fluctuation between reality and illusion left him speechless. If possible, Rodrigo wanted to continue conversing with Renly, even if it was just a casual small talk. His curiosity was simply overwhelming.
However, his remaining sanity made Rodrigo shift his focus back to Ryan in front of him. “Is that so?” This was his first choice, remember, this was his original first choice!
T/N – “What, a man’s gotta eat”. – If you guess correctly from what YT video this line came from, tomorrow I will upload two more chapters, lets spicy it up a little bit 😁😁.
T/N – I have been reading too many novels in this past month, I should touch grass…Or maybe I should just forget about that and just reread Lord of the Mysteries, your thoughts?
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