Chapter 513

He was at a loss for words for a moment due to the positive reply he got.

“Say it if you have anything to say. We need to get the next shot going.”

“YES.”

After exchanging gazes with Joomin, he opened the script in front of the director.

“About this part.”

-Feeling slight pity and heartbroken yet not bursting out in anger.

After seeing Park Hoon’s eyes move according to the text, he continued speaking.

“I think it’s telling me to express conflicting emotions, but I wonder what you’re expecting as a director when it says ‘heartbroken yet not sad’.”

“Writer Lee Hanmi likes lines like that. She always writes based on the principle that humans are never simple, are wicked at heart, and that they don’t even know that. That’s why you need to look at the context before and after that line when you get complex directions like that. Sometimes, it helps to talk about it with the actor you’re saying that line to.”

“This scene is about Lee Chan’s internal struggles, so I didn’t have anyone suitable to ask. Looking at the narration, the lines before, and the lines after it, he seems to be regretting urging Dongwook to play that prank, but he also looks like he doesn’t like how a teacher-in-training burst into tears with just that. Heartbroken probably stems from regret, and the anger part sounds like he’s a little flabbergasted that the teacher-in-training is so immature….”

“If you interpreted it that way, I think it’s good. If you can express your character’s emotions in words, it shows that you haven’t looked at it lightly. The problem then comes down to whether you can accept that interpretation or not, right?”

Maru nodded. He had a look at the context and figured out most of the emotions that his current character should have, but he doubted whether that was the writer’s intention or not. That doubt immediately led to his distrust of his own interpretations. If he could accept it himself, he could just push forward with that, but this time around, he didn’t have that confidence.

“What’s the Lee Chan that you’re playing like in your understanding?”

“Lee Chan is a smart kid. That’s why he doesn’t do things that might get him into trouble. The fact that he had Dongwook do the prank is also to watch from behind the scenes after all. He also has a bit of pride in the perfect pranks that he plans. His character background does say that he inwardly rejoices when his classmates talk about the pranks he planned during his first year. That doesn’t mean that he’s twisted at heart though. He just thinks that doing something himself is being childish.”

“And what’s the current situation like?”

“Since the teacher-in-training burst into tears, the kids in the class started to look for someone to blame, and their arrows were turning towards Dongwook. Lee Chan feels a bit of pity that his prank didn’t go well, sorry towards Dongwook who gets the blame instead of him, and lastly, feels angry towards the teacher-in-training. All of these combined should be making him incredibly irritated right now. That’s what I think.”

“You can see it that way, but he might be angry not at the teacher-in-training, but at himself. Like you said, Lee Chan is someone who is confident in his smarts. He had planned a perfect prank, but that was ruined, so this is a possibility as well.”

“That’s true. Then which one’s correct?”

“Try both.”

“What?”

“Let’s try both of them out. There is no correct answer. What the writer wants is already in the script. It’s the actor’s job to interpret that and show it to the camera. You might have a better grasp on his personality if you knew how Lee Chan would act after this, but as you know, the script isn’t out yet. Only the writer knows how Lee Chan would act in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh episodes. That’s why it’s important to keep researching what the writer wants, but at the same time, creating a character based on your own understanding. As for me, my job is to watch your acting in the editing room and choose the better one. We’re still in the early stages. We aren’t sure if there will be episodes in the future with Lee Chan as the main. So for now, show me everything you can.”

The assistant director came and said that everything was ready.

“Wait a bit. I’ll go up after I talk to these two.”

“Yes. I’ll go up first then.”

“Alright.”

Park Hoon looked at Maru.

“Anything else?”

It was time for the shoot, yet the director was sparing his time for them. There was no need to ask the foolish question of ‘don’t you have to go?’. He spoke since he was allowed to.

“I guess this might concern your personal preferences, but how do you suppose I express the line ‘red eyes’? Do you think I should actually rub my eyes and make them look red, or just express my agitation, or perhaps sadness, in actions only?”

“There aren’t any actors that like artificial things. Nor are there any that like what seems ‘normal’, and ‘common’. Actors definitely have the desire to show their ‘acting’. This should apply to you as well. That’s why they show some agreed-upon things when expressing certain emotions according to their experience, but I don’t like things like that. If you did this part and your eyes naturally became red, I’m okay with that. If you put up a pretense when you act just to show that your eyes are red when they aren’t, then that’s a no-no. However, this is up to your acting skills as well. If you rub your eyes to make them red and manage to persuade me through the monitor that you are truly agitated, then that’s of course okay. Making ‘common’ things look ‘uncommon’, and ‘artificial’ things look ‘natural’ is what acting is about after all. Of course, this acting philosophy is something different for every actor, so don’t take that too seriously.”

Anything else? - Park Hoon asked.

Maru replied that there was no more. He resolved most of his questions thanks to the answers he just heard. He might get new questions in the next episode, but he didn’t have any for now.

“Then next, Joomin. What do you want to talk about?”

Maru took a step back and looked at Park Hoon and Joomin. The two started a long conversation once again. When Park Hoon’s walkie-talkie asked him when they were going to resume the shoot, Park Hoon said ‘ten minutes’ before focusing on Joomin again.

Considering the time he spent with Maru, it meant that the shoot was delayed by about 15 minutes. Actually, he didn’t think that he would have such an in-depth conversation. He thought that the director would briefly explain what he was looking for if he asked a question. However, that wasn’t the case. He replied to a question with a question, and that led to a short discussion. It wasn’t ‘what you’re thinking is wrong’ but ‘what I think is this’. It was quite unexpected to see the director like that.

He might have just come up with a misunderstanding himself. Maru looked at producer Park Hoon nodding as he listened to Joomin. Directors were authoritative. They did not forgive those that challenged their authority - maybe he had consolidated that misconception in his mind.

Of course, not every director would be like Park Hoon. There should be a lot of directors who, like Park Joongjin, thought that an actor’s interpretation was not important.

The acting method might change according to the director. Maru thought that he should ask more questions in the future. Park Hoon was not the ‘caring mother’ character. However, he would even delay the shoot to listen to him when he asked something. He did not look down on younger actors and did not scold people for not knowing something. A companion - that was the word that came to Maru’s mind when he looked at Park Hoon. He was someone that could be relied upon on this rocky journey that was the drama.

“Thank you.”

Joomin turned around after thanking him. Only then did Park Hoon stand up and move. Maru looked at Joomin, who had an excited face, and asked.

“What’d he say?”

“He didn’t tell me to do anything specific, but I feel like I’m much more clear-headed now. He told me not to fear NGs. If I don’t make a mistake, someone else will.”

“Haha, that’s true.”

“It’s good to change up the expressions, but he told me that it would be reckless to try to do that during the shoot. He told me to bring only the verified expressions.

“Looks like you have a lot of practice to do if you want to do the acting you are satisfied with.”

“Right. Looks like I’ll be staying in front of the mirror for a long time now. Also, in the same line of thought, can you practice with me until the scene? I want to return to how I was doing things before.”

“Let’s call Dongho as well. He’ll be waiting for a while once the next scene is over.”

“Sounds good.”

Maru closed the script and walked towards the staircase.

* * *

Okseon, who was reading the script at the end of the corridor, yawned slightly and closed the script. She decided to take a short break.

Since almost everything was shot on the weekend, the waiting time was pretty long. Shoot, then wait, shoot then wait. It was an endless repetition of that.

He looks energetic as always - Okseon thought as she looked at Giwoo, who was quite eye-catching among the actors gathered there. During the early days, Giwoo would put on a rather eerie smile from time to time, but these days, he acted very politely to the point that it made her wonder if what she saw was wrong. Perhaps thanks to that, the adults were very attentive to Giwoo as well. Giwoo acted kindly towards all adult actors, especially to the eldest, Hwang Joonghoon, going as far as to call him ‘father’. Just until three months ago, all of them found the adult actors hard to deal with, but thanks to Giwoo, it was a lot better now. Of course, none of them were as close to the adults as Giwoo was though.

“Okseon, want to practice together?” Joomin came to her and asked.

Okseon shook her head. She was taking a break just after a round of practice, so she didn’t want to go back immediately. Joomin made a disappointed expression before smiling and nodding. This unni didn’t change either. She looked after the others a lot. She felt thankful that she cared for her, but joining a group to share something and act together was honestly too much of a hassle for her. It was much easier for her to stay away.

Joomin, Maru, and Dongho. Those three were practicing in a corner today as well. Whenever she heard something during her waiting time, it was usually those three practicing together. Once the camera started rolling, they would leave the building so that they didn’t interrupt the shoot. During lunchtime, some loud noises could be heard as well, and it was mostly Maru or Dongho doing vocal practice. The staff members seemed to have gotten used to that as well, some even saying that they didn’t feel like they were having lunch if they didn’t hear that. Those two worked quite hard. While she respected their passion, she really did not want to join them. She had to take a break when she needed to.

“Why do you look like you’re being bullied? Let’s go.”

Jichan talked to her. Okseon shook her head without a word as she always did. Jichan used some unpleasant words from time to time, but that wasn’t out of malice. It was just that he was stupid. Dongho was also similar one time, but he was very calm these days. This guy was probably using some ‘rough’ words to look cool, but he would probably find it embarrassing later on in life.

Please have lunch - It was now lunch, just at 3 in the afternoon. Some actors left the school to get food, but Okseon received the lunchbox.

“You’re going to eat by yourself again, aren’t you?”

Yeseul glimpsed at her before jeering at her. Okseon didn’t reply and just received a lunch box before going somewhere quiet. While she wanted ‘quiet’, she was just sitting on the opposite end of the other kids. She wanted to get an empty classroom to herself, but she wasn’t allowed to enter classrooms other than the ones she was permitted to.

The adult actors probably went to the restaurant in front of the school, while the staff members ate on the floor below. From some time onwards, it became the norm for only the child actors to remain behind in this classroom, and at this point, it felt natural.

In this classroom where laughs could be heard every now and then, Okseon observed Maru and Giwoo closely.

Observing people - that was something Okseon did for fun, and for studying. She didn’t want to join the others and talk to them, but watching them from afar was quite fun. If she joined them, she would be pushed around here and there, but watching them from outside allowed her to indirectly experience the things happening among them without being influenced.

The reason she observed Maru recently was nothing special, it was because of his acting. How could he look so natural? Maru did not become stiff just because he was in front of the camera, and looked relaxed whenever she saw him. The fact that his real personality was similar to Lee Chan should have helped him a lot with that, but there seemed to be a special way he practiced other than that as well.

Similarly, the reason she observed Giwoo was because his acting became more and more similar to Maru’s. Last time, she even heard the director say that his character became Lee Chan-like. Giwoo immediately changed up his acting, but Okseon could still feel that Giwoo was giving off similar vibes to Maru. It wasn’t just his acting, but his hand gestures, his tone when laughing, his speech, and even his trivial habits. Of course, they weren’t eye-catching. Only Okseon, who thought of herself as really developed when it came to observing people, found out after watching him for a long time.

Was it a coincidence?

Okseon ate a spoonful of rice before observing the two. Giwoo was scratching his eyebrows just like Maru.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Ooh...

Giwoo copying Maru's acting...

Will the copy never win against the ever-improving original? Or does Giwoo win by default because of his handsome face?

Editor's Note:
I could see it going both ways. Maru does have a stronger backing in the industry world, but Giwoo has a larger fanbase. I'm guessing it depends on whether Maru gains popularity through this drama. If he does more people will notice that it's actually Giwoo copying Maru rather than the other way around which would prob be started by Giwoo himself.