Chapter 281

The shoot was delayed by 20 minutes. As such delays were quite common, no one was in a fluster or anything.

“It’s good that there’s no one picky this time.”

Sooyeol spoke with a comfortable expression as he sipped some coffee. Joohyun nodded her head. The moodmakers of the set were not the staff that made up the majority of the people present, but the director and the actors, who were the minority. The air would become very volatile if one of the actors, especially if he or she was popular with the public, started becoming annoyed. If there was an actor that could even suppress the director, then the atmosphere on the set would change according to that actor’s mood at every moment.

“Senior Joojin was quite something when he was still around. He always got into fights with the director and whimsically said that he’d quit or whatnot. The assistant director from back then always drank some bile juice[1], and he told me that it was in order to live.”

“I’ve heard of the rumors. I’ve never done something together with him, so I’ve never seen him do it in person.”

Joohyun closed her script. Someone made an okay sign from the set.

“The director told me to say that you should prepare for the rehearsal,” a person from the production team ran up to her and said.

As she was aware, she just nodded and walked into the set. Two rooms were created for the two daughters next to the living room and the kitchen set. Suyeon’s room was flamboyant, and Yoojin’s room looked like a typical girl’s room.

“Well then, let’s get going.”

Director Joonggeun stood at the entrance of the set house with the storyboard in hand. Joohyun took off the blanket on her shoulders and put it on her chair before standing next to the director.

“Okay then. The camera is on that side. Sooyeol, your movement goes like this. You’ll start from the entrance and end in the kitchen, that’s one cut. Then, we’ll move the camera to this side and have a two shot with the two of you. It’s supposed to be a happy family, but make it look like the wife is in power.”

“What do you think of my makeup?” Joohyun asked as she moved her head right and left.

“Try standing in front of the reflector.”

She stood in front of the reflector that the lightings team brought. The director groaned for a moment before making an okay with his hand.

“It’s good. Let’s just leave it at that since it’s one of the early scenes. Make it darker as we do later shots. Oh, and, hey! Bring the ring!”

The props team brought over a ring. It was a small ring with a diamond in the middle. It was nothing fancy, but it felt elegant.

“Wear this for the ring.”

“Paid promotion, is it?”

“Yeah. Suyeon, Yoojin, come here as well. Suyeon, you wear this watch, and Yoojin, tie your hair up with this hairband.”

“I don’t get anything?” Sooyeol smiled as he spoke.

All he got back was a ‘you got a suit’ from the director.

The number of paid sponsorships changed according to the background of the movie. For movies with famous actors and famous directors, there would be all sorts of sponsorships, big and small. This was business after all. Joohyun looked down at the ring on her finger.

“Is it cubic zirconia?”

“No, it’s the real deal. It’s worth 8 million won so be careful. We have to give it back.”

“Phew.”

Joohyun shrugged her shoulders. There were snacks and drinks within the house. Although some of them were necessary for the story, most of them were there because of sponsorships. The labels of those snacks were exposed to the camera in a way that didn’t disturb the scene. If it was too obvious, it would make the audience feel animosity towards the product instead, so it had to be captured in a natural light as much as possible. Although new actors did not know the meaning behind the positioning of the products, people like Joohyun took notice of those first.

“Suyeon shouldn’t be a problem. Yoojin.”

“Yes!”

“Just do the basics. I’m expecting a fresh high school student from you, so don’t be too nervous. Try calling Joohyun ‘mom’ from time to time. It should stick to your mouth.”

“I’ll bear that in mind.”

“Good. Let’s go over the cut one more time and start the rehearsal right after.”

A light was put up to simulate daylight and the camera was put on rails. The camera director checked the angle several times before signalling standby.

Sooyeol first entered the door and said his line. Joohyun, who was in the kitchen, started chopping carrots. A rehearsal was no different from the real deal. A mistake in the rehearsal was very likely to continue into the real shoot after all. She controlled her emotions. The situation here was that she was preparing dinner for her husband who came back from work, but inwardly, she was very annoyed because of her father-in-law. Joohyun reminded herself - why do I need to take care of my father-in-law? What is my husband thinking? Does he think it’s easy to look after the elderly? No, in the first place, that old dude isn’t dead yet?

As she immersed herself into the role, her hands became filled with annoyance. The carrots that she cut were out of shape. Meanwhile, she still became more and more absorbed in her role and became more emotional.

Eventually, she saw her husband who approached her as he took off his tie. Joohyun felt angry inside, but did not get annoyed at him immediately and just welcomed him.

“Welcome home.”

Then,

“Good. Let’s keep that going. We can record the chopping board sound after the fact so you don’t have to try to make the noises!”

Hearing the feedback from the director, Joohyun heaved out a deep breath. She put down the knife and looked at her two daughters. They were giggling on the sofa. Suyeon looked natural. Thanks to her young-looking face, she didn’t look out of place despite wearing a school uniform. Yoojin was doing good as well. Her arm looked a little stiff, but it wasn’t that noticeable.

She felt that this was why she could be at ease around people that have experience acting. There were a lot of new actors who came straight to dramas and movies, but watching them made her feel sick. Their pronunciation was all over the place, and most of the time, they weren’t looking at the right places either. She didn’t know what kind of backing they had so that they came straight to dramas, but working with them tired her out endlessly.

Meanwhile, those that had theater experience had the basics down. It wasn’t that surprising since theaters did not allow for use of mics and they had to do everything with raw voice, so pronunciation was not a problem for those people. They were generally aware of how to use their bodies so most of the time, they wouldn’t get stiff in front of the camera.

After Joonggeun’s cut sign, Joohyun went behind Yoojin’s back and started massaging her shoulders lightly. Yoojin was startled and quickly looked back.

“You’re a little too stiff. It’s better if you loosen up a little.”

“Ah, okay.”

Yoojin took a deep breath before breathing back out. Her stiff left shoulder relaxed slightly. Joohyun nodded and told her that she was doing good.

“There there! Let’s roll the film. The audio and the lights are good. Let’s get this done in a single shot.”

Joonggeun clapped as he spoke.

It was time for the real deal.

* * *

“Thank you for your work.”

Yoojin took a deep bow. As a new actor, greeting everyone was key. It was like that regardless of the industry. No one disliked people who greeted them, but the opposite was true. Sometimes, problems would arise due to not greeting people.

“Well done today.”

Yoojin couldn’t hide her smile when she heard Joohyun compliment her. She was happy that she was able to shoot with an actress she respected, but now, she was complimented as well.

“Your pronunciation was good. I was surprised.”

“That’s the one thing I’m confident in.”

“That’s a good weapon you have there. I actually had a hard time because of my pronunciation.”

“You did?”

Yoojin blinked several times in wonder. Joohyun had become a superstar through a one-act play and she seemed flawless back then. Even when she came back after pausing her career for a while, she showed flawless acting skills and swept various prizes. Such a person actually had a hard time because of pronunciation?

“What?”

“I thought you were a perfect superwoman.”

“If I was perfect like you said, then I wouldn’t be in all the controversy. Even when I look at myself, I can find many flaws. Above all, I have a foul mouth.”

“Ha, haha.”

“Don’t live like me. It feels refreshing when you say it, but the aftermath is a hell to deal with. These days, it’s so easy to see bad comments on the internet as well.”

“But I want to live with dignity like you.”

“I don’t recommend it, but I guess I feel thankful when you put it like that.”

Yoojin was happy since she felt that she had gotten closer to Joohyun. She thought that it would be even better if they could act like sisters privately as well.

At that moment, Joohyun put her chin on Yoojin’s head, saying that she was exhausted. Yoojin felt that Joohyun was really tall. Sooyeol was 180cm tall, but she didn’t seem that much smaller when she stood next to him. Although wearing heels should have something to do with it, she should be somewhere around 170cm even without wearing heels.

“Does that bother you?”

“Not at all!”

“Really? You’re cheerful. I like it.”

Her head felt a little painful, but she decided to endure it since Joohyun was acting nice towards her. Just as she was about to leave the set in search for her manager, she saw Suyeon walking together with a man. She sneakily held his arm and the man immediately pulled out, startled.

“Looks like she doesn’t get tired of that. Yoojin.”

“Yes?”

“A woman’s body is a master key that works on all men in this world. It’ll be really easy if you decide to use it to your advantage.”

“....”

“Once you grow up and start working in this world for real, you’ll realize how hard and cruel the land of Korea is to women. You’ll have a hard time, and if you keep going, you’ll find yourself in a situation where using your body will make your life much easier.”

“I will never do such a thing,” Yoojin spoke determinedly.

“I like that attitude. But sometimes, your refusal isn’t enough to overcome that hurdle. They’ll say that you’re just trying to act coquettish. If you do end up in such a situation….”

Joohyun moved out a little before doing a knee kick towards empty air. Yoojin slacked her jaws when she heard the sharp sound.

“You should give them a kick like this. Then, I’ll take care of the rest.”

While they talked to each other, the man and Suyeon disappeared from sight. Yoojin thought that Suyeon was really the woman true to her rumors.

“I don’t want to live an easy life,” Yoojin spoke as she followed Suyeon with her eyes.

At that moment, Joohyun put her hand on Yoojin’s head and made a faint smile.

“It’s not always like that. There’s no such thing as an easy life. There’s a life that looks easy, but if you look close enough, you’ll find that it isn’t.”

Patting on Yoojin’s head, Joohyun continued speaking,

“Do you want to go grab something to eat with this unni?”

“May I?”

“If you aren’t busy.”

“I’m not busy!”

“Then let’s go. I don’t have any schedule either. It should be fine to talk with the juniors like this from time to time.”

Yoojin followed Joohyun who walked up front. As she did so, she told her manager that she could have an early leave.

Joohyun sat on the driver’s seat. Yoojin carefully opened the door and sat on the passenger seat. She wondered about the presence of Joohyun’s manager.

“I go around without my manager for nearby places, because I like driving.”

Yoojin faintly smiled because she felt like Joohyun had read her mind.

Looking around the neat car, Yoojin saw a small framed photo on the top of the dashboard. Inside the photo was a younger-looking Joohyun and a woman she didn’t know. Although it was an ordinary photo, Yoojin couldn’t take her eyes off it for some reason. It wasn’t because of Joohyun, but due to the woman with a faint smile next to her.

“She’s the reason I became an actor,” Joohyun spoke just then.

“The reason you became an actor?”

“Yeah. I developed my dream while looking up to this person. She’s the only one that I respect and at the same time, she’s the only one that gave me despair. I told you that no one is perfect, right? Actually, there is one. There is a perfect person when it comes to acting. She was too perfect that she earned the jealousy of the heavens….”

Joohyun’s eyes looked too bitter as she talked about the woman in the photo, which made Yoojin unable to speak. Although Joohyun didn’t say it, Yoojin intuitively realized that the woman was no longer in this world.

“The fact that I could meet her was a blessing of my lifetime, but at the same time, it was a net that bound me. That was because I could never be satisfied with my own acting after looking at hers. Anyone would feel like that. This unni was just… the best.”

Joohyun turned her head around and smiled. Yoojin had a look at the woman in the photo again. An actress admired by the actress that she admired. She had never met this person nor knew her name, but for some reason, she felt admiration towards her. What kind of acting did she do? What was the world of emotions that she showed others?

“Jung Haejoo. That’s her name. She’s the best nameless actress.”

Joohyun rolled down the window. The strong winds blew away the name Jung Haejoo from the car. Yoojin became silent for a moment. She had a moment of mourning.


[1] I have no idea why

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Why would anyone drink bile juice...?

Jung Haejoo is the peerless actress that Junmin excavated that passed away in a car accident.

So this makes it clear that it was Haejoo that said the "another rational self looking over the emotional self" that Maru said before.

Just saying in case you don't remember who she is...

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Note. Some readers seems displeased with my comments regarding certain controversial topics. They have been removed, and they will not happen again. I'm sorry that you had to read them, and I hope you can forgive me this time.

Also, people are complaining due to the number of mistakes in each chapter. I know this is an issue, and I'll try to fix it, but do remember that mistakes can be found even after editing. I've had people pointing out errors in chapters 4 and 7 recently in discord chat...

Again, apologies for my wrongdoings.