“Have you watched historical dramas?”
Maru replied as he looked at Junmin who was taking in the smell of the tea.
“I’m watching all the recent ones that are airing.”
The only TV programs he watched were the news and long-running historical dramas.
“The one on YBS?”
“That’s rather fortunate. Isn’t that right, sir?”
Moonjoong nodded. Maru wondered why Junmin was talking about this. Maru looked at Moonjoong who had a satisfied smile on his face. It seemed that he held the answer to this.
“A director I’ve known for a long time is starting a historical drama soon. It will be airing on RBS.”
“An RBS historical drama?”
YBS historical dramas were called the ‘traditional’ historical dramas. It was mainly targeted towards the older generation and recruited heavyweight actors to do it. Meanwhile, historical dramas on RBS were mainly targeted towards the younger generation. Rather than talking about the sharp conflict between political people, they mainly dealt with romance or heroism.
“Yes, a historical drama on RBS. I was planning to rest a little, but this fellow asked me to do it. When I received the script, I became interested since it was a character I’ve never done before. And that’s where you come in. Maru, do you want to try doing a child character in a historical drama?” Moonjoong asked as he leaned back in his chair.
“A historical drama?”
“Well, for me, I’d love to if I have the chance, but wouldn’t I have to go through an audition?”
“You won’t have to do an audition. I already said that I guarantee your acting skills. Also, it’s not that big of a role.”
“Can I ask what kind of role I’ll be doing?”
Moonjoong smiled before replying,
* * *
“You can go back now.”
“I’ll drive you home.”
Junmin said that, but Moonjoong waved his hand in refusal.
“It’s fine. I’m not so weak that I have to have the support of others. Then Junmin, see you next time. And Maru, see you in a while.”
Moonjoong left after saying that he’d go home after looking around for a bit. After watching Moonjoong walk away from the building for a while, Junmin spoke.
“I have some more to talk about. Let’s go in.”
He followed Junmin to the coffee shop on the first floor. He could see company employees eagerly waiting next to the counter. It seemed that they were new recruits at their respective companies.
They sat at a table in the corner. Junmin took off his flat cap and spoke.
“I heard that Suyeon asked you a favor.”
“She told me to play a minor role so I went.”
“And it was doable?”
“It was just a couple of lines while chopping with a knife, so it wasn’t that hard.”
“I see. You’re becoming more used to it now.”
“I kept doing it and I guess I’m learning my way around.”
“How is it compared to shooting movies?”
“I can’t say for sure since I only shot one movie, but from what I felt, shooting a movie was a lot harder.”
“It must have been harder since it was your first time. Then how about in the perspective of interest?” Junmin asked as he took out a notepad from his pocket.
Maru thought about it a little before replying.
“It was hard, but I felt more fun and there was a bigger sense of achievement when I shot the movie.”
“Why is there such a difference even though you were a minor actor in both?”
“I think it’s a matter of concentration.”
“So you focus less on dramas?”
“It’s not about focusing less. I just didn’t need to focus as much because not many expectations were placed on me. During the movie shoot, I felt that each and every frame was mine. There was a lot of pressure as well. However, the drama shoots weren’t like that. I could’ve done better, yet the producers that shot the drama just shout cut and go to the next scene, so it’s actually not fun at all. It’s not like I can ask the producers to shoot again when I’m just a minor actor.”
What he found out through playing minor roles in dramas was that shooting dramas was a war against time. There were almost no dramas in South Korea where they started shooting with a finished script and shot everything before the first episode. First, the main and secondary writers will write their scripts after every episode, then the shooting team will have to get ready in a busy fashion, and the actors will have to prepare, no, do their acts in a short time, as though it was fast food. No producers would want detailed acting from a minor role. They had it busy enough already. Minor roles were fine as long as they were decent in the background.
“Like that, my part goes by in a flash so I got used to that flow. I focused on not making mistakes as much as possible, so it does feel a little mind-numbing. When I went through that a couple of times, I realized that what I’m doing now is just work.”
“That’s a good realization you have there. Many actors expect too much from what they’re doing, not realizing that it was just work. Those actors will fall and not be able to climb up again.”
“Is it a good thing?”
“It is a good thing. You’re not going to live as an actor for plays.”
“I do want to do plays, but as I expected….”
“You want something that can earn you money?”
“That’s how it is.”
“Then you’ll have to get used to the TV media that much more. When you’re a minor actor, you at least have the time to think that your work is boring, but once you climb up to the ranks of supporting actors and lead actors, you won’t even have time to think about that. There will be scripts upon scripts upon scripts. At worst, you’ll receive the script just as you’re starting to shoot, so there’s no time to be bored. Mini-series and planned dramas are a bit better, but in the case of morning dramas and daily dramas, there are plenty of occasions where the scenes change due to advertising issues. That’s why actors that don’t adapt to the speed of daily dramas become thinner every day.”
“My mother used to talk about that as well. About how some actors looked very tired.”
“It is a tiresome matter. Everything is like that. There’s a line. Once you cross that line, you’re treated differently. When planning a shooting schedule, unless they’re borrowing a location for a specific period of time, everything is adjusted to fit the main actors. The actors that can’t climb up sometimes have several shoots away from the city. If they rest just a little because they’re tired, then cheaper, and better actors climb their way up. There’s no worse red ocean than this.”
“Aren’t you a little cruel towards a youth that’s just about to step into that industry?”
“I’m saying it because you’re serious about this. There’s no need to show fantasies to someone who’s serious.”
“Well, I guess that’s true as well.”
Just when they were in the middle of their conversation, a lady that seemed to work here approached them carefully.
“Excuse me, customers. I’m really sorry to tell you this, but you can’t be sitting in our store if you do not order any drinks due to the changes in the store regulations.”
The lady seemed very worried as she said that. It seemed that she was worried that a fight would break out. Maru smiled back awkwardly at her.
“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t know. I’ll order green tea then. Maru, what would you like to drink?”
“I’ll have a latte, please.”
The lady apologized again before confirming their order.
“Uhm, may I bring you a cup of green tea latte instead? There’s no green tea on our menu.”
“I’m okay with that.”
The lady turned around with a smile.
“You don’t say stuff like ‘I own this building!’ like in the dramas.”
“Do you think a person with a proper mindset can say something embarrassing like that?”
Junmin smiled and called someone. Even when their drinks came out, Junmin’s call continued. Maru drank his latte and waited for Junmin to finish his call.
“Sorry about that.”
“No worries. But was that all you were going to tell me when you said that you needed to talk to me?”
“No, I just asked those as someone that will give you work in the future.”
Junmin sipped his green tea latte before continuing to speak.
“Now, I’m going to ask some personal things.”
“I’m not sure if I’m understanding.”
“So you’re practicing action for the movie you’re about to shoot?”
“Have you met the director?”
“We had dinner together a while ago.”
“With director Park Joongjin?”
“I see, what kind of a person is he?”
Junmin crossed his arms. He looked quite serious.
“He was peculiar.”
“Yes. Just the casting process was strange. He picked people on our first meeting. He never had us try some lines, and just picked people based on their body shapes. Ah, there was also one more criterion. His intuition.”
“Yes. He told me that he trusts his intuition the most. He says that intuition is everything. He is definitely eccentric.”
“Eccentric, you say. I guess that’s the most suitable word that describes him.”
“You know of director Park Joongjin?”
“I do. I’ve been acquainted with him for a long time as well. No, I guess I shouldn’t really call it ‘acquainted’. We aren’t on good terms.”
Junmin turned his head to look outside the window. Maru waited since Junmin looked like he was in deep thought.
“Did you hear what word people use to call director Park Joongjin?”
“Yes. They call him a genius.”
“Yes, a genius. I’ve met many people when I dived into this business, but there were only five people that I call geniuses according to my standards. Director Park Joongjin is one of them. He, like you said, is eccentric. He looks at the world in a different way from others.”
Maru nodded. The conversation he had with Joongjin, as well as his actions, were still clear in his mind. There shouldn’t be that many people that press all the sides of a steak with their fingers just to get a precise feel of what the sensation is like.
“I met him a while ago. He said he’s taken a liking to you.”
“Am I supposed to be happy?” Maru asked with a smile.
“You can be. After all, a genius likes you. Steal as many things as you can from him. It won’t be that easy. He has a completely different thinking circuit than us. But think about the same things he is thinking about, and think about the instructions he gives to the actors. You’ll definitely gain a lot of things.”
“I’m not a man of many talents, but I am a little good at learning things from others.”
“Yes. That’s the attitude. A director’s mindset is very different from that of an actor’s. It’s much more inclusive. If you learn that mindset from him, it will help you out a lot throughout your actor career.”
“Also, one last question.”
“...Have you heard him mentioning the name Jung Haejoo?”
“Jung Haejoo? No, this is the first time I’ve heard of that name.”
“I see, I see. Alright.”
“Is she someone you know?”
Junmin slowly nodded.
“She was one of the geniuses I knew of.”
For a brief moment, Junmin looked very fragile when he said that. Maru thought that he must have been mistaken and shook his head before looking at him again. As he had expected, he could only see the perfectionist Junmin in front of him. Just then, Maru thought that the name Jung Haejoo didn’t sound that unfamiliar to him. He thought that he had heard that name somewhere. However, he couldn’t remember. He could have been mistaken so he decided to stay quiet about it.
“Ah, also, there’s someone I want to introduce to you today. He’s one of the reasons I called you here.”
Junmin looked at his watch and said that it was about time. At the same time, the automatic entrance to the building opened and a boy walked in. After looking around, the boy looked at the coffee shop before walking towards it with quick steps.
“I’ve arrived, president.”
The boy bowed. He seemed a little shorter than 170cm. His stature was rather thin. He looked mature, but his face looked quite young. Maru greeted the boy that seemed to be around the same age as him with a slight nod.
“Go ahead and introduce yourselves. This is Yoo Sooil, and this is Han Maru.”
“Hello. My name is Yoo Sooil.”
“Nice to meet you. My name is Han Maru.”
They stood up and shook hands.
“Wow, you have thick hands.”
“How old are you?”
“I’m eighteen this year.”
“Oh, I’m eighteen as well. It looks like we are the same age.”
Sooil joyfully shook hands.
“Stop shaking hands and sit down.”
Sooil brought a chair from the next table over and sat down. Maru wondered who this boy could be. It was likely that he was one of the artists in JA. Perhaps he was an actor who was doing activities. He was a little dumbstruck that Maru didn’t recognize him.
“Is the three hundred million won you talked about last time this fellow here, president?”
“Yes, he is.”
“Wow. I always wanted to know who it was after I heard that. Oh, and when you told me to deceive journalist Dongwook, was that also related to him?”
Junmin nodded his head. Maru couldn’t follow the conversation. It seemed that they were talking about something that only the two of them knew about.
“It’s really nice to meet you. You might not know me, but I’ve heard stories about you. Oh, you should also know that you have a small debt towards me.”
Sooil was smiling.
“You’ll meet a lot in the future. You are the two people I plan to push,” Junmin spoke as he raised his cup.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Was it Joohyun that mentioned Jung Haejoo to him when they met at the party?
Man, I wonder how Haejoo will tie in with Maru. Seems too important to just be someone only side charas are involved with.