Rebirth of a Movie Star

Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 – Jiang XinCheng

Bai Lang paused for a moment, then said, "He's not my friend."

Of course Chou Qian didn't miss Bai Lang's pause. "'Not my friend' can have a lot of meanings. Lover? Enemy? Random bystander?"

Bai Lang didn't reply but instead asked a question of his own. "What did you talk about?"

It was unknown whether or not he was trying to evade the question. Bai Lang turned and walked to the dressing table on the far side of the room and seemed to be looking for something.

Chou Qian stared at Bai Lang. "Not much. Hanged up after asking for his name. Why, are you scared of my saying the wrong thing?"

"I've been stabbed by him before, in the back. You should be careful." Bai Lang found the hairdryer. He said down dressing table and began to blow dry his hair.

[Hu—] A loud sound filled the room.

"Stabbed?" Chou Qian frowned. This was another thing that the report hadn't mentioned. "What kind of being stabbed?"

According to the report, other than being scammed two years ago {T/N: When he initially signed to the old entertainment company}, Bai Lang's life had been mostly unremarkable. As for his relationship with Kang Jian, it was completely not in the report…. This report was definitely defective.

"In a deadly manner, I almost lost my life." Bai Lang's voice floated vaguely over the loud sound of the hair dryer.

This kind of answer was clearly being deliberately vague. Chou Qian felt dissatisfied. "Be more specific."

But Bai Lang's only answer was the loud hum of the hair dryer and his expressionless profile.

This made Chou Qian think of the time Bai Lang had gone back to T City. At that time, sitting in his car, Bai Lang also had this kind of face.

It was equally empty, completely devoid of any emotion.

Chou Qian frowned. He looked down at the phone number again. "This Kang Jian is really thick skinned ah. He can still act as though nothing ever happened?"

"Isn't that more frightening?" Bai Lang continued to dry his hair.

"Do you need me to help you?" Chou Qian threw away the phone.

There was a loud [ka-cha] sound. The loud and noisy sound in the room suddenly ceased, plunging it back into silence. Bai Lang had finished drying his hair. He switched off the electricity and at the same time spoke, very cleary.

"I can do it myself."

"Pretty cool." Chou Qian narrowed his eyes. It was clear he wasn't in a good mood. "But you're not allowed to think about other men. Come here!"

After their "exchange", Chou Qian often commanded Bai Lang in this way. As though he wanted to remind Bai Lang about their relationship.

Bai Lang turned his head. His expressionless face from before was gone, instead replaced by the look of helplessness that he often wore these days. He still walked over to the bed and without waiting for Chou Qian to make any moves, voluntarily lowered his head and gave the other man a short kiss. However Chou Qian immediately grabbed the back of his head and deepened the kiss with fervor.

"Remember." After Chou Qian released Bai Lang's lips, he licked them. "Go and change your phone number today."

"En." Bai Lang suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. "Breakfast is bacon omelette, do you want it?"

In terms of effort, Bai Lang really had spent a lot on Chou Qian. These days he came five days a week. Although he didn't stay the night every time, however he would definitely completely exhaust Bai Lang before leaving. Also the Chou Qian who originally didn't have anything here, now had a towel, pajamas, toothbrush, bowl, chopsticks, slippers and the most evil, an ashtray. A complete set.

Chou Qian frowned deeply. "How come you always like to cook Western food? How about soy milk and egg pancake one day?"

"I haven't learnt how to make those yet. How about you ask brother Hong to help you buy some?" Bai Lang didn't feel guilty at all towards this patron.

Chou Qian made a "pei" noise. "Fine, bacon is fine. But don't forget to add spring onions!" {T/N: When he previously mentioned this I just wrote onion. He means spring onion. Also called scallions in some places. Often eaten with Chinese/Asian food.}

Bai Lang tried to imagine the flavor. It should be passable.

Next time he would make maple syrup pancake and see if he still wanted to add spring onion!


Today the next thing on the agenda was rushing to set to film the rest of "Partners for Life".

These days because of the non-availability of the male lead Wu ShenEn, the filming had been stopped. The stockpile of previously filmed "Partners" episodes was dwindling and people were getting nervous. The almost crazy director had already filmed the rest of whatever he could, however Wu ShenEn was the male lead. There weren't many scenes which didn't have him in it.

If one wanted to talk about the main plot of "Partners", it was primarily about a narrative about the struggles of the newly graduated Lin QuanXi (played by Wu ShenEn) after he moved to a big city and started working. Since he had financial constraints, he had no choice but to rent a shared house with other people.

A one level house had been partitioned into four separate rooms. They had a shared living room and kitchen. There were both men and women living there. Other than the female lead Wu XinYa and her good friend the supporting female character Chen MeiYu, there was Bai Lang's character Jiang XinCheng and his son Jiang Le. The five people lived under one roof. It was a small production about the loves, lives and friendships of people living in an urban city.

The first part of the plot was relaxed and comical. Primarily it was about the friction and awkwardness of the five people learning to live together. Within it were many jokes and situations often experienced by people living in university dormitories. It resonated a lot with the audience.

In the middle, the relationships between the five people began to take on a different shape. The male lead and the female lead, after a lot of misunderstandings, began to be attracted to one other. Jiang XinCheng started to have good feelings towards the female lead's best friend Chen MeiYu, resulting in his son Jiang Le's jealousy and mischief making. And as per usual according to the rules of a love triangle, the supporting female character Chen MeiYu liked the male lead Lin QuanXi.

The latter part of the drama was filled with dog blooded drama. You like me but I don't like you. You misunderstood me and I refuse to forgive you. After the audience had become attached to these characters, the development of the plot took into account the fervent and passionate discussions and opinions the audience shared on its official website. In this way the plot kept being refined. This was a very popular technique with lengthy dramas lasting longer than 4 months, in order to keep up the freshness of the drama and maintain the attention of its audience.

It was at this time in his previous life that Bai Lang's brother's ugly news had been exposed. It made the audience feel poorly about him and so his fame took a plummet. As a result in the latter half of the plot of "Partners", there was a tendency to blacken Bai Lang's character Jiang XinCheng. This served to compound the bad effect his family scandal had on Bai Lang.

However this time, Bai Li's debt had been pacified by Chou Qian's cheque. Then would the following plot of "Partners" be the same as Bai Lang's previous life? Bai Lang felt quite curious.

A few days before, Bai Lang had finally received the script sent by the film crew. The butterfly effect had really taken effect. Under the original plotline, Jiang XinCheng was secretly jealous of the male lead and had many dislikeable scenes, however under in the new script this part had been lightened significantly. There was more scenes between with Jiang XinCheng and his son Jiang Le added, and after his amnesia Jiang XinCheng still had his son to comfort him. This resulted in a lot more "meng" {T/N: cute} type scenes.

Today what they were filming was precisely the scene were Jiang XinCheng was jealous of Lin QuanXi.

The setting was shared house's small living room. The timing was Chen MeiYu's birthday. The four people living there made an arrangement to all finish early in order to help Chen MeiYu celebrate.

And for this occasion, the script's Jiang XinCheng had put in a lot of effort. He had purchased a present for Chen MeiYu which was a carefully selected pair of earrings which he thought she would like. However because Lin QuanXi gave Chen MeiYu a stuffed bear that he had won from a claw machine on the side of the street, the earrings were carelessly thrown aside by Chen MeiYu where it fell into a crack between the cushions. In this way the pair of earrings became a single earring only, and made Jiang XinCheng's present completely worthless.

"Sorry sorry, Ah Cheng, I didn't meant to ah." The actress who played Chen MeiYu was called Yu QianQian. She clutched the stuffed teddy bear as she apologized. Her soft and gentle voice would probably have made many men's heart's melt. "What should I do? Can the earring still be retrieved?"

Jiang XinCheng was kneeling beside the couch. He reached out his hand and tried to feel in between the crack. There was a lot of sweat on his forehead but in the end he could only suppress his disappointment as he said, "It doesn't seem like it. The crack is too small. It's impossible to get anything out."

"Why don't we dismantle the couch then," Lin QuanXi comforted Chen MeiYu. "Isn't the earring the pink pearl that you like? How can you wear it if there's just one. No, no!" After saying that he rolled up his sleeves, pushed Jiang XinCheng aside, and looked about to tear the cushions apart.

"The sofa is something provided by the landlord. If you break it how are you going to explain it ah?" Wu XinYa stepped up logically to stop him.

Lin QuanXi completely didn't pay any mind."If we don't tell him, he might not find out. Anyway how can this old sofa compare with a pair of beautiful pearl earrings? If the landlord asks we'll just say the four of us sat on it until it broke. Right?" In the drama, Lin QuanXi was loyal and passionate youth who wasn't scared of anything. He often butted heads with the coolly rational female lead.

At this time Chen MeiYu had already secretly given away her heart. When she saw Lin QuanXi standing by her side, she couldn't tear her beautiful eyes away from him. She said in an emotional manner, "Don't worry about it brother Xi. The fact that you want to help me already makes me so happy. Really! Even if there is only one earring, to me it will still be a very precious memory!"

A precious memory of who? The person who gave it to her? Or the memory of Lin QuanXi's help?

The completely ignored Jiang XinCheng saw everything happening in front of him. His heart was extremely hurt. He couldn't help but avert his gaze but when he did, he saw his five year old son Jiang Le. The child's dark eyes were quietly staring at him.

The two of their eyes met. Jiang XinCheng gave an awkward and forced smile. He raised his hand and wiped off the cream from the side of his son's mouth. "Is it yummy? This cake was selected by your daddy."

Jiang Le nodded his head. "It's yummy." Afterwards he raised his chubby little hand and took out from his plate a red cherry that Jiang XinCheng had specifically given him. He held out to Jiang XinCheng and said, "Daddy, you eat it."

Jiang XinCheng stilled. Then he rubbed Jiang Le's head. "This is something I got specially for LeLe. You don't like it?"

"I like it. But I want daddy to eat it~" Jiang Le stubbornly thrust out the cherry.

Jiang XinCheng's expression changed slightly. There was a hint of laughter in there as well as suppressed emotions.

Afterwards, Jiang XinCheng bent down. With one bite, he ate the cherry in Jiang Le's hand. This was a little bit different from the script which said "Jiang XinCheng took the cherry and ate it". However the child actor Duo Duo only slightly blinked his eyes and continued his acting. He scooped a piece of cake and ate it himself.

Afterwards, other than word "thank you" written down in the script, Jiang XinCheng also picked up his son and cuddled him on his knee. He used his cheek to press against his son's round head and accompanied his son to eat mouthful after mouthful of cake. The three camera crews around them were all focused on this pair of father and son.

"Cut—–!" The director finally called.

Everyone in the crew suddenly seemed to wake up out of a daydream. They started moving again.

"Bai Lang, your performance is pretty good ah." Once the cameras stopped rolling, the director Zhou ChunCai immediately praised him. "It's as though after resting for a few days you changed to a different person. It's as though you've become enlightened ah."

Bai Lang smiled. At the same time he helped take Duo Duo's plate, and let him slide gently off his leg. When he saw Duo Duo's gaze looking at the half piece of cake still left on the plate, Bai Lang asked the director, "Does this scene pass?"

"Of course pass la." The director grinned at him.

Bai Lang gave the plate to Duo Duo. "You can eat it all, no problem."

"…. thank you big brother." Duo Duo opened his eyes wide, he looked at Bai Lang with surprise.

The old Bai Lang had the most shallow experience on set so he was always getting NGs. So he was always very low-key and didn't say much. So although the two of them had a lot of scenes together, however outside they rarely talked. However Duo Duo was just a child so even if he felt surprised he didn't think much. He took the plate and went to look for his mom to eat the cake together.

The director Zhou ChunCai came over to Bai Lang. He patted Bai Lang's shoulder and seemed pleased. "Recently you've been doing really well ah. Looks like you've managed to take notice of all the curses I gave you before. Your movements in front of the camera have improved in leaps and bounds. If you keep this up, then if the scriptwriter wants to add more scenes for you then I have no objections!" If an actor improves during the course of filming, then the hard work usually rests with the director.

Since he wanted to continue this beautiful misunderstanding, Bai Lang smiled. He said, "Thank you Director." He hadn't even finished speaking when the Wu ShenEn who was standing nearby heard these things. He said in mock-protest, "Ai, Director don't give up on me just yet. Didn't I push everything aside to rush to film this?" In this way he made it seem as though the only reason to add scenes for Bai Lang was because Wu ShenEn didn't have time to film.

Zhou ChunCai was also an old hat. Of course he went along with what the notoriously proud Wu ShenEn said. "I almost felt like kneeling down to beg. What's your company doing, do they really want all of our lives?"

"Hahaha, I'm doing my best too. Here I am tired like a dog." Wu ShenEn was pleased with the Director's words. After all only popular people were busy. "Everyday I spent 19-20 hours filming. I've about to sprout pimples on my face. All so I could hurry to rush back here. Aren't I very professional? Director Zhou, you should be adding my scenes instead ba!"

At this time the actress for the female lead Wu XinYa, Fan Shan, also came closer. She said with a radiant smile, "However Bai Lang has improved a lot. He saved us a lot of time. Was it because you were encouraged by all the messages left by the fans?"

Fan Shan was also a small starlet that can be considered only half-famous. She had a clean and cute appearance which meant, in other words, there was nothing really special about her. "Partners" was broadcasted at the awkward time between 6PM and 7PM, a small production during the time most people were commuting from work. This was the only reason they had picked her as the female lead. However unexpectedly the drama had good ratings. Among the four main characters, she had the longest experience in the acting industry so she often spoke as though she were a senior to the others.

"Previously I wasted a lot of everyone's time," Bai Lang went along with it. "In the future I will be more careful."

Fan Shan gave him a friendly smile. She nodded cutely. Although she was older however her figure was small and cute, only reaching Bai Lang's shoulder. "Then I feel even more assured ah. You should know, according to a lot of discussion online, they think the two of us should be a pair. Maybe in the future we will have a lot of scenes together."

"They think that?" Wu ShenEn was both shocked and displeased. "Where are you getting your statistics from? How come I didn't see it?"

Everyone knew that the rest of the story would be refined in accordance with the fan's tastes. So everyone was very conscious to keep an eye on what was on the online discussion boards.

"On the normal boards of course there's no official statistics, but you definitely haven't been by the fanfiction areas have you." Fan Shan happily reminded him. "In the majority of the fanfiction, me and Jiang XinCheng are a pair ah."

"Fanfiction?" Even Bai Lang was surprised. Just like Wu ShenEn, he had only looked at the plot discussion boards.

"Yes. Right now I'm following one of the stories there. Everyday there's a small update, ai, it really makes the heart itchy. I really want the scriptwriter to go and contact that person." Fan Shan said in an exaggerated tone.

Fan Shan also had an ulterior motive in being interested in all this. It was because she wanted to suppress Chen MeiYu's character. In the relationship between the four people, it was actually Chen MeiYu who was involved in a triangle relationship with the male lead and the supporting male character. It had won a lot of heated discussion among the netizens.

In comparison, the female lead Wu XinYa was riding a one wheel unicyle. She was only involved emotionally with the male lead. Although there were some scenes in the script of fighting between her and Chen MeiYu, however it didn't seem to garner much interest from the fans. So there was much less discussion about it.

That's why Fan Shan felt unsettled. Clearly she was the female lead, how come the glory was taken by the supporting female role? If in the script she could also have some kind of relationship with Jiang XinCheng, then everyone's attention would return to her.

Unexpectedly Zhou ChunCun suddenly laughed mysteriously. "He he, how do you know we haven't looked for her?"

Fan Shan's eyes brightened. Wu ShenEn changed color. He looked at Bai Lang and his gaze had animosity.

At this time, there was a voice which interrupted them. "Senior brother, brother Ma asked me to bring some snacks and visit you on set."

Bai Lang's back went cold and he slowly turned around.

It really was Kang Jian.

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