After this period of publicity, Tao Mu’s martial arts skills were basically well-known by everyone. In order to test Tao Mu’s limit, Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan not only asked Tao Mu to perform a set of sword moves according to the guidance of a stunts coordinator, but also had Tao Mu improvise and perform several sets of martial arts movements using fans.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Because Wang Boyuan’s main weapon in the movie was not only the sword but also the fan.
Fortunately, Tao Mu learned the “eighteen martial arts” (Taji fists, Taiji fan, whip, etc.) when he joined with old Song Tou during his morning exercise in his previous life, otherwise he would really not be able to cope with Cheng Baodong’s endless requirements.
After the audition was over, Wang Boyuan, who was sitting next to director Cheng, clapped his hands in applause in front of everyone in the crew, and even before Cheng Baodong announced the audition results, he eagerly advocated for Tao Mu: “I think our little junior brother’s performance is very awesome. What do you think, director Cheng?”
Both Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan graduated from Beijing Film. One was in the class of ’98 while the other was in the class of ’01, one was a director and the other was an actor. When Cheng Baodong was in graduate school, Wang Boyuan happened to be in undergrad, and the two became a pair of cooperative partners at school. Basically, the stage plays directed by Cheng Baodong would always choose Wang Boyuan as the leading actor. This kind of tacit understanding continued until the two graduated. Cheng Baodong established his reputation in the domestic director circle, and Wang Boyuan also squeezed into the B-list top actor with his company’s support. Soon after he once again became Cheng Baodong’s leading actor. Then, under Cheng Baodong’s training, he had the fortune to win the Golden Crow Award for Best Actor. Now he was also a big celebrity film emperor.
With such a fated relationship, there was no need to say more about the friendship between the two. According to the gossip paparazzi, the two people even lived next to each other in the capital. When the two men were filming outside, their wives would even go shopping and walk their dogs together.
Therefore, when Wang Boyuan rushed to give Tao Mu a pass before Cheng Baodong even expressed his opinion, Cheng Baodong did not feel that his directorial authority was offended. He just glanced at his old partner with a half-smile, and then looked at Tao Mu solemnly: “Your performance is good. I remember you once said that you wanted to concentrate on studying after entering film school and not take on any acting jobs. For this, you have turned down the signing invitations of several talent agencies one after another. Among them, there are even many well established companies. Is there anything like this?”
Tao Mu was slightly taken aback. Unexpectedly, the first question Cheng Baodong asked him had nothing to do with this audition. But he nodded sincerely: “Yes.”
Hearing Tao Mu’s answer, Cheng Baodong sneered: “It’s the end of July right now. Beijing Film’s registration time for new students this year is August 26. The shooting period of “Faraway Jianghu” is half a year. If your audition is successful, then you would have to stay in the crew for at least two months. How do you plan this time?”
Tao Mu could now confirm that Cheng Baodong might not be hostile towards him, but he was definitely prejudiced towards him.
Wang Boyuan frowned, and before Tao Mu could speak, he directly helped relieve the siege on Tao Mu: “How is this a big deal? When the time comes he could just report for attendance and don’t participate in the military training. In any case, there will be no classes during the military training. Old Cheng, don’t be so serious. What will you do if you scare the child?”
But if he really did what Wang Boyuan said, it would also violate Tao Mu’s previous statement to the talent agencies that he didn’t want to violate the school rules and just wanted to study seriously. But in this way, Tao Mu’s image in Cheng Baodong’s heart, it was estimated that he would undoubtedly become a villain who said one thing and did another thing!
Although he didn’t know why Cheng Baodong had such a big dislike for him, Tao Mu calmly responded: “If it is just to complete the shooting of martial arts scenes, then twenty days will be enough.”
“Oh-ho!” Cheng Baodong looked at Tao Mu: “You are quite confident, aren’t you?”
Tao Mu’s answer was very straightforward: “I have more than just confidence.”
Cheng Baodong recalled that it took Tao Mu only half an hour before the audition to absorb the movements taught by the stunt coordinator and then complete the movements beautifully and smoothly in front of the camera. At this he could not help falling silent. Then he continued to make it difficult for Tao Mu: “But why do you think that my crew will arrange the shooting schedule according to your time requirements?”
There were a lot of big names in “Faraway Jianghu”. Not to mention the leading actors and actresses, even the supporting roles were played by old veteran actors that had a lot of weight in the entertainment circle. Tao Mu was just a newcomer, and it wouldn’t be proper to let so many teachers cooperate with him. (TN: actors and actresses are also referred to as “teachers”)
In the face of Cheng Baodong’s words, Tao Mu was also a little dazed: “…..Doesn’t the male protagonist only have one fight scene?”
“Faraway Jianghu” told the story of Feng Jiuqing, the master of the Qiwu Pavilion, who liked to pretend to be a weak scholar. While traveling in jianghu, he met a princess in disguise and a series of interesting incidents happened when the two traveled together. Just when they expressed mutual affection for each other, the princess was abducted by the grassland khan so Feng Jiuqing entered the enemy camp alone to rescue the princess. At the very end, the two finally held a wedding under the witness of the emperor.
Due to the limits of the plot, the heroine would have a lot of action scenes in the early stage of filming, and the male protagonist played by Wang Boyuan would play the role of the strategist and comic relief of the two. Only towards the end of the film would there be an actual action scene that involved the male protagonist. In addition, there were also some shots that must be taken to hint to the audience that the hero did indeed know martial arts. These action scenes all added up together would not take much time. Tao Mu giving it twenty days was him considering Cheng Baodong’s habit of finely polishing and perfecting the scenes when shooting movies.
Cheng Baodong suddenly realized: That’s true. Hey, that’s not right——
Cheng Baodong raised his eyebrows and looked at Tao Mu: “How do you know the plot? Have you read the script?”
Tao Mu: “…..” Could he say that he had seen the movie in his previous life?
Obviously not. Tao Mu calmly said, “Before coming to audition, brother Gou told me briefly about the plot. He said that the male protagonist didn’t have much action scenes.”
Gou Rixin was also one of the martial arts body doubles in the crew. He followed the crew in shooting for more than a month so even if he hadn’t read the script, he could still know some plot points. And before the audition, Gou Rixin did mention a few words about the plot to Tao Mu. Even if Cheng Baodong asked Gou Rixin to check, Tao Mu was not afraid.
Cheng Baodong continued to make it difficult for Tao Mu: “But what if I push your scenes behind to shoot?”
“Then that’s director Cheng’s problem.” Tao Mu was given difficulty for no reason and was also a little impatient: “I came to audition just to let you know that I can do this job.” As for the shooting time, so long as it was not Cheng Baodong deliberately making things difficult, it was absolutely no problem to finish the filming within 20 days. If not, Tao Mu would not rashly participate in the audition.
Cheng Baodong looked at Tao Mu for a while, and suddenly laughed: “Now this is a bit interesting. Your response to being fired in “The Legend of Heroes” was too slick, I thought you had no temper despite your young age!”
Tao Mu patiently explained: “It’s not that I have no temper. It’s just that there is no need to lose my temper.”
Cheng Baodong sneered: “Then show me your temper!”
Tao Mu: “…..” The heart was so tired, he didn’t want to make friends anymore!
Wang Boyuan smiled and said, “Isn’t it good for young people to have a better temper. By the way, have we decided yet?”
Cheng Baodong snorted: “It’s to choose a martial arts body double for you, you decide.”
Wang Boyuan smiled and looked at Tao Mu: “Old Cheng is like this. You’ll know after getting along for a longer time. Don’t be afraid.”
Tao Mu obediently nodded: “Thank you, teacher Wang. Thank you, director Cheng.”
At this time, there was no such a thing as calling anyone teacher like it would happen in the later years. Wang Boyuan had been acting for many years, and he had been called the next door old Wang, brother Wang, Bo Yuan, and brother Yuan. He was not used to being called teacher so solemnly. Hearing Tao Mu calling him this, he subconsciously rubbed his arms and chuckled: “Don’t be so formal. Everyone is from Beijing Film, so you can call me senior brother.”
Tao Mu accepted readily: “Senior brother.”
Cheng Baodong snorted and signaled the assistant to take Tao Mu to sign the contract.
The others also took their respective places and started to set up lighting for the next scene.
The heroine Guo Yaning, who had been watching on the side, walked over from the lounge chair and raised her eyebrows as she smiled and asked, “How did this kid provoke you for you to throw such a large temper tantrum?”
A group of veteran actors who had watched the drama as well also came to inquire: “I see this young man is a good one! Has good martial arts, good temper, steady and calm, and very polite. Why is he so displeasing to your eyes!”
Cheng Baodong took a few sips of tea from his thermos cup that was added with goji and dates, and suddenly said: “It’s not that I think he is displeasing to the eye, it is the matter with Zhao Xin that makes me mad!”
What did this have to do with Zhao Xin?
The group of big melon-eaters were very confused when they heard this. Then they saw Wang Boyuan smiling as he consoled his old partner: “Director Zhao is also doing it for his movie, there was no other way.”
Cheng Baodong snorted: “It’s still unfair.” For the sake of capital, he kicked a person off his crew and even coveted his action scenes. Finally, he spent money to buy out the shooting video, causing Tao Mu to change from a proper role to just a body double. What kind of scheming was this. It was too shameless.
The melon eaters all suddenly realized. If so, then this thing was indeed too immoral. How could he bully people this much.
“That’s right! Even if the child has no father or mother, he can’t be bullied like this! Besides, this child was also referred to him by old Chen. Even if he didn’t have any regard for the child, he had to at least take care of Chen Yiqian’s face, right?” The more Cheng Baodong thought about it the more angry he became, and he suddenly said angrily: “This kid surnamed Tao is also spineless. He doesn’t say anything when he is bullied by others. He also offered to exchange the video for money. He only cares about profits, has no vigor, and has none of the straightforward temper of us Beijing people.”
Although Chen Yiqian was not a native of Beijing nor did he have a proper film school background, he lived in the same neighborhood as Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan. He could be considered an old neighbor. Moreover, Chen Yiqian was as his name suggested, had a temperament that was just as humble and polite as his name. He was well known for his lack of temper in the entertainment circle. This time, Zhao Xin basically slapped Chen Yiqian’s face in a completely unprovoked manner. Cheng Baodong was very angry at Zhao Xin’s disregard for their good relations. At the same time, he was also angry at Tao Mu for having no noble character and caring only about profit. Thirdly, he was basically voicing the injustice for his old neighbor.
What Cheng Baodong disapproved of most was that after Chen Yiqian knew Tao Mu was going to audition for “Faraway Jianghu”, he made a special call to him and tried his best to recommend Tao Mu. His whole behavior seemed as if he felt guilty about Tao Mu being thrown out of The Legend of Heroes.
Cheng Baodong was puzzled. This matter was obviously one where Zhao Xin was willing to hit and Tao Mu was willing to be hit. What did Chen Yiqian have to be sorry for?!
“I wouldn’t go that far.” All the major actors persuaded Cheng Baodong. There was no need to be angry about someone else’s business.
Wang Boyuan knew that his old friend had a sharp mouth but a soft heart, but he also understood Tao Mu’s approach.
To put it bluntly, the reason why Zhao Xin was able to do this kind of thing was because he didn’t take Tao Mu seriously. It was likely that in Zhao Xin’s eyes, a body double like Tao Mu, who was not well-known or influential, deserved to be treated without much consideration. When he needed them, then they must work hard, when he didn’t need them, then they could just be laid off with a few thousand yuan.
If Tao Mu knew what was good for him, then Zhao Xin could still be polite and say a few good words of farewell. In the future, if he was in the mood and had the opportunity, then he might help Tao Mu out. If Tao Mu didn’t know how to be tactful, it wouldn’t hinder him much either. Anyway, in the end, if Tao Mu gave the people in the entertainment circle an impression of being a troublemaker, it would only affect himself.
Actors, especially those who had not yet made a name for themselves, of course could not display a unique personality like a director. Wang Boyuan experienced all of this himself, so he understood Tao Mu’s approach very well. As for Tao Mu’s ability to do this at such a young age, it could only be said that the children of the poor grew up faster.
Guo Yaning, who had not spoken much, sneered: “I say, old Cheng, you should stop it already. We know that you, director Cheng, have a big temper and big capabilities. But a kid who just graduated from high school was really unlucky enough to meet such a thing in his last crew. What else could he do? If he can’t bear to swallow his grievance and get more compensation money then do you expect him to really make a scene that will be ugly for everyone involved?”
Speaking of, even if Tao Mu made a fuss at the time, would this matter have turned around? Or would it save Chen Yiqian’s face?
Think about it from another perspective. He, Cheng Baodong, scolded Zhao Xin for bullying people too much, but his current actions towards Tao Mu were also because he was taking advantage of Tao Mu’s lack of background and means to fight back.
Cheng Baodong was stunned by Guo Yaning’s words and sheepishly stopped talking.
——As Tao Mu expected, his status as an orphan was a big ace up his sleeve at certain points. The world admired the strong and pitied the weak, and it happened that Tao Mu was both. Whenever he encountered some injustice, there might be people who would sit on the sidelines and even take joy in his misfortune, but there were also old-fashioned people like Chen Yiqian, Wang Boyuan, and Cheng Baodong, who would feel angry for the wrongs he suffered. Of course, all these words of righteousness and support for Tao Mu must also be based on Tao Mu’s own strength.
If he was someone who couldn’t even stand on his own, who would still want to feel regret for him?
No need to say more.
The news that the day after Tao Mu was kicked out of “The Legend of Heroes” he received a new job as the body double for the hero in the martial arts movie “Faraway Jianghu”, which boasted a star-studded cast, soon spread at the fastest speed throughout H Town.
Tao Mu’s mobile phone rang once again. Congratulations calls and text messages were sent endlessly. But this time, no one was clamoring for Tao Mu to treat them——and Tao Mu indeed didn’t have the time either.
He found an insurance company as soon as he signed the contract and began to consult on all the terms and conditions related to body double/stunt actors insuring against accidents. After some selection, he rushed to take Gou Rixin to the insurance company before the company office hours ended, and pressed the other to insure himself a million yuan worth of accident insurance.
Gou Rixin originally didn’t want it. He felt that he just randomly made a phone call for Tao Mu, and he shouldn’t ask for this generous gift. It was a pity that whatever Tao Mu wanted to do was never impossible, except for if it was related to someone whose surname was Shen.
At the end of the dispute, Gou Rixin’s pocket contained a million yuan insurance contract. He took Tao Mu to the hot pot restaurant where they had eaten last time to celebrate. Da Mao, Xiao Pang, Gou Rixin’s martial arts brothers, and Yu Mei who had just returned from out of town were all called over.
At the dinner table, probably because of the excitement, Gou Rixin, who was a little drunk, held a wine glass in his hand, and drunkenly confided: “…..I may be an actor this time!”
With this word out, the whole dinner table suddenly fell silent. Immediately, however, there was a roar of laughter from everyone.
“Yes, yes, yes, our brother Gou will soon become a big star. Come, brother Gou, let’s have a toast. Just don’t forget us when you become rich and wealthy!” No one, including Gou Rixin’s martial arts brothers, took his words seriously. After all, Gou Rixin had always been a person who would boast when he became drunk.
But this time it seemed a bit different from usual.
“It’s really not me bragging this time!” Gou Rixin burped and waved his bear paw drunkenly: “It’s that Hong Kong director who is particularly good at filming gunfights. He has filmed the movie “Dove of Peace” before. I had worked as the body double for the leading actor in that movie, do you still remember?”
Tao Mu was not familiar with Gou Rixin so he didn’t know. However, the martial arts brothers who had been hanging out with Gou Rixin all year round did have an impression: “It was the year before, right?”
“Yes, that’s it.” Gou Rixin patted the table: “After the filming, director Bai said that I have good conditions and he would look for me to cooperate when he had a chance. I thought he was just being polite. I didn’t expect him to be true to his word. Yesterday, he called me to audition for a role.”
Gou Rixin stretched out two fingers and made a sign for the number two: “And it’s the second male lead!”
While talking, Gou Rixin beat his chest loudly and laughed foolishly with pride as well as a bit of emotion: “Your brother Gou can now be considered to have made it this time.”
“Damn, could it be true that our brother Gou has finally met his luck this time?”
“Everyone, don’t worry. Even if your brother Gou really do become rich and wealthy I won’t forget you all!” Gou Rixin said as he raised his wine glass.
The large group of people heckled, guzzled beer, and cracked jokes. Only Yu Mei was still suspicious: “It’s not you being drunk and talking nonsense again, right? If there is such a thing, why have I never heard you say it?”
Gou Rixin leaned over with a shy smile: “I didn’t get a chance to say. You lose your temper with me as soon as you get home…..”
Yu Mei harrumphed coldly and pushed Gou Rixin away angrily: “Is it my temper? It’s obviously you being paranoid——”
“What do you mean paranoid. If it weren’t for you and the assistant director acting so cozy downstairs in our house——”
“What do you mean cozy? He sent me home at night, can I not even say a few words of thanks? You don’t even think, if I really have something with him, would I do it right under your eyes?”
Yu Mei’s eyes glared, and Gou Rixin immediately surrendered. Grabbing Yu Mei’s small hand that was holding the thin lady cigarette, he smiled ingratiatingly: “Okay, okay, count me wrong. Let’s not mention this anymore and count this over.”
After a pause, he said with a shameless smile: “You always complain that I have no prospects. When I finish this movie, it is likely that I will be able to make a name in the circle.”
Yu Mei snorted: “Don’t say anything so early. Director Bai may not even use you.”
Gou Rixin smiled: “Whether he’ll use me or not it’s a matter for later. I mean, in case I really make it this time, then you don’t have to think about filming anymore. Just stay at home with a peace of mind, we will definitely live well in the future. I make money outside, and you enjoy yourself at home——”
Yu Mei’s face changed: “Who wants to be a yellow faced old woman at home! Surnamed Gou, I have told you how many times. I came to H Town to get ahead. I don’t want to rely on men for food, nor become a woman who can’t live without a man. I have my career, and I also have my job. Don’t always arrange my life as you please. Just take care of your own business. You don’t need to take care of mine!”
Gou Rixin’s expression also changed: “I shouldn’t care? How can I not care! You are my wife and you want me to watch you go outside to accompany other men in drinking and smiling every day for just a little role with few lines? I tell you that I can’t do it. I’m leaving the words here today. If you can live with peace of mind, we will get married. I, Gou Rixin, am definitely not a scumbag who abandons his original wife when I become rich. If you can’t stay peacefully and still cozy up to those people on your cell phone list every day then let’s break up as soon as possible, and I won’t drag you down——”
Yu Mei’s face suddenly scowled: “What do you mean, Gou Rixin? Hehe, you are quite capable! You haven’t even made it yet and you’re already thinking about changing your wife. Okay, isn’t it just breaking up. You really think I, Yu Mei, can’t find a better man after you——”
“Hey, hey, hey, stop! Stop! Let’s stop arguing on such a happy day, okay?” Seeing that the couple was about to fight, Gou Rixin’s martial arts brothers quickly persuaded them: “Sister-in-law, don’t be angry with brother Gou. Isn’t he drunk? Brother Gou runs his mouth when he gets drunk, and besides, he is also doing this for your own good——”
“What do you mean my own good——” Yu Mei didn’t want to be forgiving and wanted to say more. The gang of martial arts brothers immediately turned the conversation in a different direction: “Sister-in-law eat food, eat food!”
“Don’t give me that.” Yu Mei angrily refused the wine glass, turning her head she asked Tao Mu: “Tao Mu, do you think this is my fault?”
Why do you want to direct the flames of war on me?
Tao Mu looked up at the ceiling with an innocent look, and made a decisive decision: “…..Isn’t brother Gou drunk? You can’t be angry with a drunkard? If you ask me, brother Gou still cares about you. Today I bought insurance for brother Gou and brother Gou wrote your name as the beneficiary. One million yuan!”
“What?” Yu Mei really didn’t know about this. She was stunned and immediately stretched out her hand to Tao Mu: “The contract, show me.”
Tao Mu pointed to Gou Rixin’s bag. Yu Mei immediately pulled it over and started flipping through the bag.
Taking this opportunity, Gou Rixin’s martial arts brothers swiftly changed the subject: “…..By the way, brother Gou, since director Bai called you, are you going to Hong Kong for the audition this time?”
“No need!” Gou Rixin shook his head, so drunk he was almost slurring: “Director Bai is coming to H Town to shoot on location. He asked me to wait for the crew to arrive and audition directly in H Town.”
“That’s pretty good, no need to make the trip.” Da Luo, who had acted in a scene with Tao Mu before, laughed carefreely.
With the one million yuan insurance contract in hand plus this group of people interjecting, it was difficult for Yu Mei to continue to throw a temper tantrum. So she just sat there in boredom as she drank and texted on her phone.
When the dinner was over, Gou Rixin was already completely drunk from being plied with drinks by everyone. Yu Mei didn’t care about him either, she just carried her bag and left. It was Tao Mu and the martial arts brothers who sent Gou Rixin home.
It was a little past midnight when they came out of Gou Rixin’s house. Tao Mu took Da Mao and Xiao Pang back to the rental house. After washing, he watched the rise and fall of M shares and international futures for a while before going to bed.
Early the next morning, Tao Mu formally joined the crew “Faraway Jianghu”.
This time Cheng Baodong didn’t make it difficult for Tao Mu anymore. It was only between shootings that Tao Mu was often called behind the monitor to let him observe Wang Boyuan’s scenes carefully did he sarcastically snip at Tao Mu: “Don’t always think about currying favors everywhere at such a young age. Instead it’s better to improve your acting skills. Actors, in the final analysis, depend on their acting skills.” This was the truth, but the reality was not necessarily the case. However, that Cheng Baodong was willing to say this meant that if Tao Mu’s acting skills were up to standards, he was definitely willing to give Tao Mu a chance.
After all, Tao Mu was a native of Beijing and a student of Beijing Film. He naturally belonged in their circle.
Tao Mu then felt that this director Cheng was a good person despite his harsh words. At least it was easier to talk to him than he had thought——after all, in Tao Mu’s original plans, he had considered he would need more time to impress Cheng Baodong. Actually, he had thought that even before impressing Cheng Baodong, he had to spend more energy to dispel director Cheng’s prejudice against him.
But he didn’t expect Cheng Baodong to complete the mental journey of a tsundere himself: prejudice——face up to——guide and support. And all in one day. His attitude changed so quickly that Tao Mu almost didn’t even react.
Tao Mu had always been a person who adhered to the principle “if people respect me then I will return the respect tenfold”. He became Wang Boyuan’s body double with the intention of making good friends with Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan. Now that Cheng Baodong was willing to give him a chance, Tao Mu naturally had to work hard to show them.
As a real emperor film-level actor and added to the fact that Cheng Baodong was not afraid of taking time and effort to perfect the shooting of his film, Tao Mu putting in such hard work led to an effect that was quite stunning. So Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan were also surprised to find that this young man who hadn’t officially learned to perform in front of the camera was not much inferior to Wang Boyuan’s performance. In fact, some aspects of his acting were even more exquisite and superior——
This was truly incredible!
Cheng Baodong looked at Tao Mu, who was currently performing martial arts actions, on the monitor and felt that Tao Mu’s expressions and demeanor looked very familiar.
“What do you think?” Cheng Baodong turned around and asked Wang Boyuan.
The tall and sturdy Wang Boyuan leaned on the back of Cheng Baodong’s director’s chair, with his arms resting on the back of the chair he scratched his chin with a finger: “I also feel a sense of familiarity.”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
The pair of old comrades frowned and thought for a long time. Suddenly, there was a flash of light, and they said in unison: “Like Yan Sheng!”
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