The filming location of “The Legend of Heroes” was in the scenic spot of Qingming Shanghe Tu in H Studio City (TN: a filming location based on the painting of the same name by Song dynasty painter Zhang Zeduan, eng tl is Along the River During Qingming Festival). When Zhao Keping arrived on the set with Tao Mu, the director Zhao Xin was talking to the female second lead. The female second lead was another one who had an investor backing her. According to rumors, she used to sell Louis Vuitton bags and had no acting experience. Her expressions in front of the camera was rather terrifying——in any case, in Zhao Xin’s eyes, it might be more appropriate for her to change to a horror movie or a disaster movie based on the terrifying faces this woman kept making in front of the camera.
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However, with the 10 million yuan check generously signed by the investor boss in his pocket, even if Zhao Xin was dissatisfied with the performance of the female number two, he had to be patient and teach her again and again.
When Zhao Keping brought Tao Mu to Zhao Xin, Zhao Xin was almost vexed to the point his high blood pressure nearly hit the roof by the wooden expressions female number two kept making. A piece of wood that couldn’t be taught no matter what, why the hell couldn’t she stay with selling her LV bags, or have the coal boss buy her a store so she could be a proprietress herself. Why did she have to come over and make it difficult for him?!
“Is this the newcomer you mentioned?” Zhao Xin glanced at Tao Mu with an angry look, and said: “He is indeed handsome, let’s hope he doesn’t just have a face. My crew is here to film a TV series not a ppt.”
The female No. 2 who was still at the scene flushed in embarrassment, nearly in tears.
Zhao Keping calmly patted Tao Mu on the shoulder, and laughed: “Didn’t director Zhao also see the video that director Chen sent to you. How is Xiao Mu’s expressiveness in front of the camera? I don’t need to say more about it. He should be enough to replace that cooked duck who flew away before, right?”
Definitely more than enough!
Zhao Xin glanced at Tao Mu’s face, and then recalled the video material that director Chen passed to him. It could be said that so long as Tao Mu could show one-tenth of his ability in the video during the audition, this role was without question his.
“Let’s try on the costume first!” Zhao Xin was not in a good mood at the moment and didn’t want to bother with useless talk. Of course, the more important reason was that Tao Mu’s current status had not yet reached the point where Zhao Xin needed to treat him carefully.
“You there, you take him to the fitting room to try on the costume.” Zhao Xin stretched out his hand to call over a production assistant. Although Tao Mu performed well as a stand-in in “Purple Cloud”, Zhao Xin still had to personally see Tao Mu in costume. After all, although many actors were very handsome, they could only be seen in certain styles. A perfect example would be those actors who looked very awkward or strange in ancient costume.
Zhao Xin was making a martial arts film, not a martial arts comedy film. Therefore, the bearing of the actors must mesh well with their roles——after all, not all actors were like the female second lead with an investor daddy behind them. (TN: investor daddy or bankroller, someone who invests in films or dramas for a kept celebrity. Usually there is a sexual relationship between the two)
Zhao Xin still had very high requirements for his works when the funds were ample and there were no investor daddy making it difficult.
Zhao Keping patted Tao Mu on the shoulder again, and said with a gentle expression: “Go ahead.”
He also said to the makeup artist amiably: “Then I leave it to you.”
The protection and support for Tao Mu was obvious in every word, so obvious that so long as one was not blind, one would definitely see it.
Zhao Xin waved his hand to signal the female number two to take a ten-minute break to adjust her mindset, and then gossiped with Zhao Keping: “What’s the matter, you’re optimistic about the newcomer? Summmer Star’s future target? Don’t tell me he has an investor mama behind him? “
Facing the malicious joke from his old friend, Zhao Keping just shook his head calmly: “Don’t talk nonsense, this kid has just turned eighteen.”
After a pause, he smiled and said, “I am very optimistic about him. It is a pity that his temperament is too proud and doesn’t hold much regard for a small temple like Summer Star.” (TN: small temple=small place)
Zhao Xin was a little surprised this time: “Even Summer Star Entertainment doesn’t impress him. Could it be he is Soaring Dragon’s artist? Are you ready to job-hop to Saoring Dragon?”
“He hasn’t signed a contract yet.” Zhao Keping sighed: “This kid has been admitted to Beijing Film. His heart and loyalty is toward his alma mater, ready to follow Beijing Film’s school rules, and will not take on acting jobs before his junior year.”
Zhao Xin chuckled: “This is a good thing.” Don’t think anyone could be an actor. In the past few years of filming, Zhao Xin had been fed up with entertainers who thought they could get away with shabby acting in front of the camera just because they have a decent looking face. Tao Mu having this mentality, made Zhao Xin develop good feelings towards him.
“It is a good thing for actors to have ambitions. Those who come out of professional schools will definitely go farther than those who have no foundation. I say, you talent agencies should not be too short-sighted, sometimes you have to care about the career planning of actors.”
Zhao Keping snorted coldly: “This is a good seedling. Not only me, but Wan Meihong and Wen Shijin are also staring at him.” It’s just that Zhao Keping was the first to make the move.
Having been friends for this many years, Zhao Xin immediately understood Zhao Keping’s thoughts, and instantly laughed: “The eager one loses out! Okay, based on the relationship between the two of us, I’ll pass the kid for you, so long as his performance is not too bad.”
As those words fell, Tao Mu also emerged from the dressing room.
“The Legend of Heroes” was a martial arts novel written in the 1990s. The author was Bai Xiaosheng, a famous martial arts genre writer from Taiwan. There had been countless remakes over the years, and the role of the assassin Wuming could be said to be the most brilliant supporting role apart from the main lead and several of his good friends.
The reason why he was seen as a brilliant and unforgettable character was because of the desgin of his character. In the book, Bai Xiaosheng set the assassin Wuming’s mother to be the No. 1 beauty in jianghu. Because of being defiled, she gave birth to Wuming. When Wuming was born, he was abandoned in the wild, and when he was attacked by wild animals, his cries alerted a green python that had lost its young. The green python rescued Wuming and raised him from then on. When Wuming was seven years old, he was discovered by an assassination organization and taken back to their headquarters where after training, he became their ace killer.
The reason why he was a minor character was because he did not appear too many times in the book, only three times in total. The first time he was ordered to assassinate King Xian, he was disrupted by the male protagonist and the operation failed. Then the male protagonist chased Wuming and what came after was an action scene that amazed and delighted book fans. This part of the plot was mainly for establishing the hero’s high martial arts, romantic and suave appearance, and cynical and unyielding character. Of course, as a foil for the hero, the character of Wuming couldn’t really be an unimpressive person. So Bai Xiaosheng unintentionally caused many book fans, especially female book fans, to immediately become obsessed with Wuming, who only had a few lines when he appeared but whose handsomeness and martial arts could match that of the male protagonist.
The second appearance of Wuming was when the male protagonist, with his lady friend and fellow brothers were trapped within a demonic cult. Wuming was ordered to assassinate the leader of the demonic cult. He was discovered by the male protagonist halfway, and was convinced by the male protagonist to inexplicably help him attack the demonic sect leader and save the trapped people. Meanwhile, Wuming, being loyal to his professional ethics, did not forget to personally kill the demonic leader himself. The demonic leader recognized the other half of Wuming’s face that was not disfigured before he died. In order to take revenge on Wuming, he revealed to Wuming his birth secret before dying——his biological father just so happened to be the leader of this demonic cult, and his mother was the number one beauty in jianghu.
After the demonic sect leader died, news of Wuming assassinating his biological father was also spread by the demonic cult. The entire Central Plains martial arts circle was shocked. At that time, the number 1 beauty in jianghu, who was now the wife of the martial arts leader, could not bear the rumors and gossip and committed suicide. The martial arts leader lost his beloved wife and turned his anger onto Wuming and issued a kill order on him.
Wuming’s last appearance in the book was at the end of the book. At a martial arts conference, the male protagonist and his lady friend and good brothers exposed the martial arts leader and his plans to subvert the court. It was also revealed that the number 1 beauty of jianghu did not commit suicide, but was killed by the martial arts leader after she accidentally discovered his secret. The martial arts leader ordered the killing of everyone, but at a critical juncture of the battle, Wuming suddenly appeared to take down the martial arts leader with himself, sacrificing his life in a mutual destruction.
Under Bai Xiaosheng’s pen, there were only a few words describing the assassin Wuming. “The unbridled and unrestrained green robe, half demon and half immortal. Green python pliable jian, life worth only a coin.” It meant that the assassin Wuming always wore a very inconspicuous green robe every time he appeared, and his face, having been chewed on by wild beasts when he was young had half of it disfigured. But the other half showed that he had inherited the beauty of his mother and was as beautiful as an immortal. His weapon was a green python pliable jian, forged from ancient green steel. It could be as soft and pliable as a poisonous snake without bones. But after inputting internal force, it was as hard as unbreakable steel. Because of the uniqueness of his weapon, his swordsmanship was also vicious and deadly. And accompanying every appearance of the assassin Wuming was also the killing order issued by the assassin organization——an old bronze coin, thus the line life worth only a coin.
It was different from the large amount of descriptions for the male protagonist. And because Bai Xiaosheng’s words when describing the assassin Wuming was this concise, it could be said that every book fan had a different image of Wuming in their hearts. And exactly due to everyone having their own different image, after each version of “The Legend of Heroes” was screened, the actor chosen for the role of Wuming could never satisfy everyone. In order to create gimmicks, some crews would enrich the character of Wuming when adapting the script, and add him to the protagonist group. There was even a director who activated their wild imagination and directly changed Wuming’s gender, creating a lingering love story between a female Wuming and the hero. This angered the old man Bai Xiaosheng, causing him to protest fiercely during a reporter’s interview and announcing that he would never cooperate with that director again.
But Zhao Xin’s version of “The Legend of Heroes”, under the banner of respecting the original work, would naturally not add extra scenes to the role of Wuming. This was why despite the role of this character being so famous, yet few people were willing to audition for it. On the one hand, it happened too suddenly, and the crew who was left in the lurch by the original actor could not schedule appointments with other suitable actors.
On the other hand, Zhao Xin had too high demands on the actor to be chosen for the role——probably because the previous actor leaving them in the lurch really pissed him off, Zhao Xin required that the actor must be handsome as well as have martial arts skills. These two items basically passed over more than 90% of the auditioners.
Finally, the input was not proportional to the output. According to director Zhao’s respect for the original work, the role of Wuming would only appear in those three scenes. The actors who met the conditions would rather spend their time in other crews as a male one or male two instead of bothering with a minor role in “The Legend of Heroes”.
Because of the above reasons, including Zhao Xin, the entire crew of “The Legend of Heroes” did not have much hope for the actor of Wuming. But this thinking only remained until after seeing the Wuming played by Tao Mu——
It was the height of summer and the scorching sun roasted down on everyone. Tao Mu in an unrestrained and loose green robe walked over from the dressing room. Because it was a martial arts costume, Tao Mu also wore a head piece that was long and flowed over his shoulders in disheveled strands, perfectly capturing the unbridled and unrestrained manners of the knight-errants of jianghu. Under the careful work of the makeup artist, half of his face was painted with hideous disfigurement makeup. But it was exactly due to this hideous and ugly half that the handsomeness and defined features of the other half of the face appeared even more stunning. Under the light and shadow casted by the sunlight, there really did seem to exist a half demon and half immortal. The visual impact was both stunning and amazing in its beauty brought by the two contrasting halves.
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The most important thing was that Tao Mu’s bearing and demeanor perfectly expressed the requirements of the role. As a result, the moment when director Zhao saw Tao Mu, a description of Wuming in “The Legend of Heroes” immediately flashed in his mind: “Wuming stood there motionlessly, his arms casually hanging by his sides, maintaining a harmless posture. The green python tail hilt of his pliable jian was softly wrapped around his wrist. A gust of wind blew by, and the shadows casted by the trees flickered. Wuming blended into the night like a poisonous snake waiting for an opportunity, for the prey to relax its vigilance so that he could leap forward and strike. Like the flash of lightning, the green python pliable jian slashed towards the new arrival, like a poisonous snake flicking its forked tongue, the light of the sword giving one a sinister chill.”
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