“Who’s the person next to the director? They seem close,” Joomin tilted her head as she said that.
“A person from the TV station, probably. Rather than that, noona, let’s try the lines over here,” Dongho said while picking up the script.
Joomin, who was looking at the director, turned her attention to the script.
“You two can do it by yourself for now. I need to send a text.”
Maru leaned back in the chair and started typing. After sending the text, he got a reply soon. It was from Geunsoo.
-Don’t worry about me and just focus on the shoot.
Maru put his phone in his pocket and joined in the read-through. In the middle of their practice, Joomin suddenly interrupted.
“To think that the episode after the one about first love is about bullying, huh. That changed quickly.”
“Maybe it’s to show that it’s not a sweet youth love story. But noona, who’s going to be the bullied kid?”
“I’m not sure. Apparently, they’re a one-off character for episode 15.”
“I wonder who it is.”
“Don’t you think it’s likely that they’re going to bring someone from an academy?”
Maru listened to the conversation between Dongho and Joomin as he scanned his script. As the scene wasn’t that long, there was no room for mistakes. If the shoot progressed without a hitch, it would end in around 30 minutes.
“Maru, don’t you know something?”
Joomin looked at him expectantly. Dongho was the same.
“I don’t know anything either.”
“Really? I thought you of all people would know something.”
“How would I know anything about the drama’s production schedule?”
“You talk to the director from time to time, don’t you? Weren’t you talking about the drama?”
“No, it’d be tiring to talk about work during breaks. The director is human too.”
“Then what do you talk about? From what I saw last time, you talked for quite a long time over a cup of coffee.”
“Just about this and that. Fishing, real estate, hidden good restaurants, and stuff like that. We just talk about what’s going on in the world.”
“Don’t think that the director is hard to handle. He only acted scary in order to scold us a bit. He’s a soft man at heart.”
At that moment, they saw director Park Hoon shout at the assistant director. Joomin and Dongho narrowed their eyes and looked at Maru.
“He’s only like that to the assistant director. You know the saying that goes: a lion pushes its cubs off the cliff to raise them strong.”
“I still find it hard to talk to him. Of course, I’m sure that he’s a good person since he listens to us a lot.”
“He’s a superior in terms of work after all. It can’t be helped. It’s not like he’s someone who would push you away just because you approach him though, so if you want to talk to him, try buying him a cup of coffee. He’ll ask what’s up.”
Maru looked at Joomin after saying those words. Joomin nodded in understanding.
“Hey, hey. There they are,” Dongho said as he tapped on Maru’s shoulder.
Maru turned his gaze to where Dongho was pointing. While the shoot was on a small break, some people came from YBS. It was the reporter and shooting team of the main program for YBS’s entertainment channel ‘The Entertainment Show.’
“It’s Nam Joongyeon,” Dongho said.
Maru remembered that man as well. When he was shooting ‘The Witness’ a while back, he came to the set. He found out then that he was one of the crucial reporters in ‘The Entertainment Show’. Joongyeon, wearing a casual suit, was interviewing the 3 main characters of New Semester.
To the left was Ahn Yeseul, the main-main character, and next to her was Kang Giwoo, followed by Park Jichan. The shooting staff for New Semester had left the scene temporarily so as to not disrupt them.
“I wonder what they’re talking about,” Joomin said, resting her chin on her hands.
“They’re probably being asked why the drama is performing well and stuff like that. Ah, I wonder why we don’t have any interviews. Those three look like they’re doing a lot,” Dongho complained.
It had been nearly two months since New Semester went on air. It showed a steady increase in viewing rate until the 4th episode, which was aired on the last week of March, and at the start of April, the viewing rate surpassed ‘Youth Generation’ which was aired by RBS. These two dramas were similar in the sense that they centered around a girl, but Youth Generation focused on looking into the girl’s heart, while New Semester focused on provoking sympathy by talking about many different topics.
To resolve the conflict between generations. These were the words from writer Lee Hanmi, who was in charge of the script for New Semester. Her starting point seemed to have been finding something the two generations could sympathize on. Perhaps thanks to that, New Semester received good reviews from both the student demographic as well as the parent demographic.
‘There are many people who state that they’re parents on the forums after all.’
It was natural for a TV company to promote their own drama when it was doing well. The fact that Nam Joongyeon was here proved that those three were popular.
“I want to do the interview too.”
“Go and ask if you can join,” Maru said.
“Don’t you think they would call us?”
Joomin looked at the shooting team for The Entertainment Show, slightly expectant. Maru thought that there was a possibility. It wasn’t anything special, but they would definitely go on the program as a ‘no-name actor’ who shouts ‘Fighting!’ at the end with a group photo. Whether that could be called an interview was a different question.
“I think it’s almost over now.”
Maru saw Joongyeon stand next to the three actors. It seemed that he was about to finish the shoot with a closing comment. Some people from The Entertainment Show team talked with Park Hoon. Something along the lines of a ‘thank you for your cooperation’ conversation was probably going on between them.
“Actors, please come here.”
A staff member from The Entertainment Show team called the rest of the actors. Joomin and Dongho stood up excitedly. Even Okseon, who had been sitting down quietly this whole time, combed her hair before walking over to the main actors. Maru put on the glasses that he had taken off. From the way they were called as a group, it was definitely not an interview.
“Stand here, here and here. Can you bend your knees just a little? Yes, yes. That looks good.”
The three main characters stood at the front while the four supporting characters stood behind them. Maru looked at Dongho and Joomin through the corner of his eyes. They looked slightly disappointed, but they soon smiled and raised their fists in the air.
“Well, then. Once I give you the signal, shout ‘New Semester, fighting!’. Follow that with ‘Give us lots of love!’ with Energy, okay?”
They shouted fighting at the cameraman’s signal.
“That was good. Thank you all.”
That was it. Maru yawned slightly before returning to the classroom.
“They should’ve let us talk a bit as well.”
“I looked forward to it too. What a pity.”
The two lied down on the desk as they spoke. Maru patted both of them on the back.
“Looks like Suyeon-seonbae gets an interview of her own.”
Maru saw the team from The Entertainment Show switch places, taking Suyeon with them since she didn’t appear in the next part. It seemed that her interview was going to be on the show to show a contrast between her and the child actors. The noisy shooting location became quiet again. The staff, who were resting, returned to their places and started preparing for the shoot.
“It would’ve been good if everyone could do it. Now, I’m feeling sorry.”
Giwoo said that as he approached. Joomin waved her hand and said that that wasn’t true.
“Noona, I’ll try telling them next time. That they should interview us together.”
“Don’t push it. They have their own circumstances. It’s only right that the main characters do the interview,” Joomin said as she looked at Giwoo.
Giwoo made an apologetic expression.
“Dongho, when they come for an interview next time, I’ll try to sneak you in there.”
“Hey, hey. You’ll get scolded.”
“You never know. They might let us go thinking that we’re cute. You have a good sense of humor after all. Once people find out, they would definitely approach you for an interview first.”
“Well, I do have a good sense of humor.”
“I hope that we can do the interview together next time.”
Giwoo’s eyes headed towards Maru. Maru smiled and just looked back. Giwoo faintly smiled without saying anything before turning around.
“Giwoo has good eyes.”
Maru just smiled at Dongho, who shrugged. Just when they were planning to prepare for the shoot after talking, Maru met eyes with Okseon, who was sitting at a table far away. Okseon flinched before turning her head around.
“Did you two get into a fight?” Joomin asked worriedly.
It seemed that she saw that just now.
“I kinda let my tongue slip in front of her.”
“You should get that resolved quickly.”
“Yes, noona, I will do that. Okseon is a good girl so she should accept my apology.”
“Yeah, she probably would. Oh, yeah. I didn’t talk about it last time, right? I asked Okseon if she would eat dinner with us like you told me, and she accepted for the first time.”
“Thanks to that, I had an unpleasant time eating. Okseon, that kid doesn’t say a word, and Joomin-noona had to keep talking.”
“But it was quite unexpected, you know?”
“Okseon didn’t say much back then, but everything she did talk about was related to you. I thought that she might be interested in you or something, but from the looks of it, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Maybe she has a hard time dealing with you.”
Maru nodded before giving Okseon a glance. He couldn’t see her expression since she had her head turned away, but Maru could imagine what she felt. She probably asked how Maru acted normally. She probably tried to find out what kind of person Maru was, and the replies that Dongho and Joomin gave her probably made her feel even more chaotic.
“Actors, please get ready.”
They returned to their seats when a staff member made the announcement. Maru put the script inside the desk drawers before walking over to Okseon.
“Let’s not concern ourselves with each other so much. I didn’t do anything wrong to you, did I?”
“So, did you decide to talk to Giwoo about it?”
“No, I thought it would be better if I improved myself.”
“If you did, then I guess that’s that taken care of. Let’s get along together in the future, okay? As coworkers.”
He lightly waved at Okseon before sitting down. He felt Okseon’s gaze but did not bother looking back. She was a smart kid, so she should have understood the meaning behind his words. She probably wouldn’t see him again with a stiff expression again.
“Did you apologize?” Joomin asked with a bright smile.
“Yes, noona,” Maru replied.
* * *
“If it’s about JA Production, I guess I can’t leave out talking about president Lee Junmin.”
“This is why being a part of JA is sometimes quite pressuring. They always talk about the president.”
“Haha, we can’t help it. He’s one of the few agency CEOs who is getting a lot of attention from the public. Everyone that went through his hands became high class actors, so we can’t help it.”
“Hm, does that make me one of the high class actors as well?”
“You always were, Miss Suyeon.”
“Really? Looks like I should thank the president.”
Nam Joongyeon flipped over a page.
“Mr. Yoo Sooil, who’s been getting a lot of attention recently, also belongs to JA, doesn’t he?”
“Yes. You can look forward to his future.”
“That same person recently revealed that you acted incredibly badly when drunk in an interview with another media. There’s even a rumor that you cry in a cute way.”
“I do? Oh, how embarrassing. I’m not good at drinking. I just drink to go with the flow, and I believed that I didn’t have any bad drunk habits until now. I wonder why no one told me about it.”
“Maybe it was because you were cute.”
Suyeon covered her mouth and laughed before slapping Joongyeon’s arm lightly.
“But that might be Sooil’s lie. Sooil still can’t drink because he’s a minor.”
“He testified that he heard about it from another senior actor.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“Actually, we have a voice recording of Miss Suyoen’s cute drunk speech. I will play this for a brief moment during the broadcast.”
“Please don’t. It’s really embarrassing.”
“Misters, pay attention. It will only last a brief moment.”
Joongyeon flipped over the page after that. Suyeon raised her hand slightly.
“Ah, yes. Miss Suyeon.”
“I’m a bit thirsty.”
Suyeon drank some water. Forcefully smiling was definitely taxing. She knew that only a few seconds of this long interview would show up in the actual program, but she had to act as a cheerful and bright actress since she wanted that brief moment to last as long as possible.
“Sorry about that. Please continue.”
“Okay, then I’ll start where we left off.”
Obvious questions came after that. She barely held herself back from yawning, and the interview eventually ended. It was an interview in name only. Since they interviewed a bunch of kids who weren’t good with words, they probably lacked content for editing and seemed to have decided to fill up the rest with this interview.
“Thank you for the interview.”
“Thank you too.”
She felt tired. Suyeon stood up before walking over to the classroom next door, where the shoot was in progress. It was a short scene, so it should have finished by now. Just as she had expected, they were cleaning up and getting ready to move.
“I wonder where my darling Mr. Geunsoo has gone.”
He was definitely someone who would leave without saying his goodbyes. She yawned slightly and leaned against the wall. Just then, Nam Joongyeon, who followed her out of the classroom, looked inside before walking in. She wondered who he was going to. Breaking her expectation that he would go to one of the main actors, the person Joongyeon stopped in front of was Maru, who was getting ready to go home after the shoot. With her curiosity piqued, Suyeon quietly walked inside the classroom.
“I was right. I was a little confused because you were wearing glasses, but you saw me in The Witness, didn’t you?”
Those were Nam Joongyeon’s words.
 The Korean shout. It’s to wish good luck to the team and the work in this case.
Urgh, Giwoo's hypocrisy really makes me nauseous.
Bullied character is definitely Daemyung. If it's not ill be shocked.