Zhou Xiang drove to the studio early the next morning. They were shooting on location today, so after they gathered at the studio, they all boarded a bus to head for the filming location.
Today's scenes were a bit demanding. There was a five to six minute combat scene which needed to be filmed in water and half of that scene needed to be filmed by a body double. It was already fall. Even during noon, the hottest time of the day, the temperature was only around eighteen to nineteen degrees, and the water temperature was even colder.
Zhou Xiang didn't feel there was anything to complain about. This was the reality of filming. He had to complete the scene even if he had to clench his teeth. Since when was earning money easy?
Wang Yudong arrived with his assistants half an hour later. The number of times Zhou Xiang had seen him lately had grown noticeably. Before, they would always shoot their scenes separately. However, apparently, Director Wang's next movie was going to be a 3D Xuanhuan blockbuster. Wang Yudong was currently fighting for the protagonist role, so he had been coming to the studio a lot more frequently.
Although an actor didn't need to film together with his body double, the result was a bit better if they filmed together. Director Wang was a serious person who pursued perfection. Every time he would request for Wang Yudong and Zhou Xiang to come together. However, if Wang Yudong didn't need to film, most of the time, he didn't come. Hence, Director Wang's complexion improved slightly after seeing that Wang Yudong was here today.
Zhou Xiang was having his makeup applied in the temporarily erected tent when Wang Yudong came in. Zhou Xiang saw him in the mirror and greeted him with a smile, "Dong'ge, you're here."
Wang Yudong smiled and said to Mi You, "Young lady, lighten the hair on his temples, his hair colour is clearly darker than mine."
Mi You glanced at her watch. There wasn't enough time. She was about to talk back but Zhou Xiang pulled her sleeve, using his eyes to warn her not to speak.
Zhou Xiang had tasted the fickleness of human nature since he was small. Observing a person's words and gestures was his most fundamental survival skill. Zhou Xiang had a pretty close grasp of Wang Yudong's personality. In one glance he could tell that Wang Yudong was in a very bad mood. Although his smile was still as charming as always, he had probably been forced by his agency to butter up to Director Wang, and had probably been very unwilling to get up this early in the morning.
Zhou Xiang would rather interact with someone who was blunt and had an explosive temper, than be at odds with a person like Wang Yudong who would say one thing but mean something different. It was best to go along with him as much as possible, so he hastily warned Mi You, who hadn’t read into things deeply enough, that Wang Yudong wasn't in a good mood, and that he was purposely using them to annoy Director Wang.
Mi You discontentedly pursed her lips. Although dyeing his hair wouldn't take much time, the main issue was that she had already finished doing up Zhou Xiang's hair. To dye, she would need to take off the wig and attach it back on again after dyeing. This would take at least ten minutes and it was almost time to start shooting. At that time, the people Director Wang would yell at would naturally be her and Zhou Xiang.
Wang Yudong sat next to Zhou Xiang as if no one else was present. His exclusive makeup artist immediately started applying makeup on him.
Mi You had no other choice but to quickly tear off the wig, and begin dyeing. Xiao Liu also joined in to help her. The two rushed as fast as they could, but were still five minutes late. The assistant director walked into the tent with a dark face. He frowned as he watched Mi You fix the wig on Zhou Xiang's head, and said grumpily, "Everyone is waiting for you guys."
Mi You continuously apologised. She felt so wronged her eyes were a bit red.
Zhou Xiang apologetically smiled, "Zhang'ge, we're very sorry. The soccer match last night was too intense, otherwise I would've been able to get up an hour earlier."
The assistant director was a diehard soccer fan. His attention was immediately diverted, and he responded, grinning, "I predicted correctly, I managed to win four thousand in one night yesterday."
"Zhang'ge you must have really good eyes."
After they chatted a little more, Mi You finished doing up his hair. Zhou Xiang rushed out with the assistant director. When they reached Director Wang, the assistant director also put in a few good words for Zhou Xiang. Director Wang cast him two glances, and didn't make things difficult for him.
Zhou Xiang breathed a sigh of relief.
In this sequence of scenes, Zhou Xiang first needed to defeat a few bandits on the shore, and then fly across the surface of the water to the boat while dangling on a wire. Then from the boat, he needed to jump into the water, and rescue the supporting female character, who had fallen into the water, from the river.
The shore scene was filmed without a hitch, and after that they started filming the scene where he had to fly to the boat by skimming across the water surface while holding a saber.
He performed the scene two times, but Director Wang was still unsatisfied with his movements, feeling that it wasn't graceful enough.
The steel wire dug into his skin and was very painful. It was also very uncomfortable having to wear thin layers in this cold weather. Gritting his teeth, he redid the scene over and over again. Only on the fifth take did that short ten second scene finally get a pass.
Then, it was time to film the jumping from the boat into the water scene.
In order to reduce the time the actress had to stay in the water, and so that he wouldn't have to go and change into dry set of clothes again, he had to succeed in the first take.
He and the action director discussed the choreography over and over again, so that he'd feel perfectly confident when it was time to do it.
As soon as the director yelled 'action', Zhou Xiang elegantly flipped in the air and jumped into the water. The river water was bone-chillingly cold, and pierced his skin like ice needles. After he landed in the water, he immediately swam to the actress. As he was originally a swimming major, his swimming form was especially beautiful. He reached her in several strokes, and held the girl, whose lips had turned purple from the cold, into his embrace.
"Very good!" Director Wang nodded in satisfaction. "This scene passes."
The actress said, her voice trembling, "Xiang'ge, I'm so cold."
"I know, I know. Be good, bear for it a little longer. You still have to film with Wang Yudong." Zhou Xiang couldn't help but pity her a bit. He only needed to jump in the water once. This actress still needed to act out the hero-saves-beauty scene with Wang Yudong in the water.
The actress' voice was tearful. "Get me to the shore fast. I'm going to freeze to death."
Zhou Xiang swam her to shore and the crew members helped pull them up.
The two of them immediately rushed into the tent. Zhou Xiang rapidly changed out of his wet clothes, and sat there wrapped in a blanket with warm air blowing at him.
Mi You cheerily helped him blow-dry his hair. "Congratulations on passing in one take, Xiang'ge."
Zhou Xiang laughed, "That's because your Xiang'ge had to pass in one take no matter what." Eyes half closed, he let Mi You run her fingers back and forth through his hair. The air from the hair dryer was nice and warm, and his ice-cold body gradually recovered its warmth.
When Yan Mingxiu walked in carrying food in his hand, this was the sight that he saw: Zhou Xiang, with a content look on his face, half leaning against the body of a beautiful girl, letting the girl blow his hair. Yan Mingxiu knitted his brows. He didn't know why but he found this scene extremely displeasing to the eye.
Zhou Xiang opened his eyes and looked at Yan Mingxiu in surprise. "Oh? What're you doing here?"
Yan Mingxiu glared at him and coldly asked, "Where's Wang Yudong?"
"Oh, he's filming by the river." He glanced at the bag in Yan Mingxiu's hand. There was a logo of some restaurant printed on the bag. Had he specially come to deliver food to Wang Yudong? Zhou Xiang felt a bit upset. It was an undeniable fact that they had slept with each other, but Yan Mingxiu was acting like absolutely nothing had happened between them, and he even specially came out this far just to deliver food to Wang Yudong. He treats the superstar so well.
Yan Mingxiu coldly glanced at him, turned and headed towards the river.
Mi You asked with shock, "You two know each other?"
“Hm,” Zhou Xiang responded. "I came across him that day when I was leaving, and gave him a ride."
Mi You curled her lip. "He certainly is really handsome, but why so haughty and arrogant?"
Zhou Xiang shrugged his shoulders. "Who knows?"
After Zhou Xiang cleaned himself up and changed into other clothes, Wang Yudong had also finished shooting his scene. It was now his turn to shiver with cold in the tent while being blown with warm air. Yan Mingxiu accompanied Wang Yudong the entire time, and even helped blow-dry Wang Yudong’s hair in front of Zhou Xiang. Furthermore, while Yan Mingxiu was blowing, he even shot Zhou Xiang a cold look.
Zhou Xiang didn't know what was wrong with Yan Mingxiu. Yan Mingxiu suddenly seemed to have a grudge against him. Could it be that he's angry that I didn’t keep him company yesterday?
Zhou Xiang didn’t want to meet with disaster by interacting with Yan Mingxiu at this time either, so he acted like they barely knew each other, and he went over to sit with the people in his company with his chicken drumstick lunch, eating while chatting.
Wang Yudong and Yan Mingxiu's food was a lot better than their simple and crude dishes. Their four dishes and one soup which came from a big restaurant were tightly and cleanly packed in plastic lunchboxes.
Zhou Xiang thought to himself, Yan Mingxiu's family's financial situation must been very good. He had heard that Wang Yudong came from a very good family background. If their families were acquainted, then Yan Mingxiu's background definitely wouldn't inferior to Wang Yudong’s by much. No wonder Yan Mingxiu looked like he was so contemptuous towards Zhou Xiang’s job.
Zhou Xiang didn't have any opinion regarding this; every person is destined to their own life, that's all. The only thing that made him depressed was Yan Mingxiu's cold attitude towards him. Was no chance between them anymore?
There were a several scenes to shoot in the afternoon, but Zhou Xiang didn't have that many.
Everyone was busy applying makeup on the other actors and actresses. Zhou Xiang had nothing to do so he sat on the side playing on his phone. He inadvertently lifted his head and then saw that Yan Mingxiu was walking over to him.
Zhou Xiang stood up as well, and smiled at him.
Yan Mingxiu said, "Come out."
Zhou Xiang was slightly startled for a moment and then followed Yan Mingxiu out of the tent. They walked to an area which was behind several trees and a distance from the production team.
Zhou Xiang laughed, "You're still angry with me? When I came back and saw you were gone, I was so disappointed."
Yan Mingxiu didn't pay any heed to his regret and went straight to the point. "You haven't told anyone about our relationship right?"
Zhou Xiang froze. "Why would I? I don't have the hobby of sharing my private life to others."
Yan Mingxiu's expression eased slightly, but immediately after, he seemed to recall something, and said ill-temperedly, "Are you gay or do you eat both?"
Zhou Xiang replied helplessly, "I only like men."
"You seemed really close to that makeup artist."
Zhou Xiang happily laughed. "Are you jealous? I introduced Mi You to the company. She and I are just friends.
Yan Mingxiu sneered in contempt upon hearing the word 'jealous'.
Zhou Xiang was just joking when he said that, but he hadn't expected that Yan Mingxiu would look so disdainful. He couldn't help but feel a bit awkward and said with embarrassment, "You treat Wang Yudong so well, even specially coming over to deliver food to him, do you like him, by any chance?"
He was just casually asking, but Yan Mingxiu complexion turned extremely ugly and he said bluntly, "He's my sister's boyfriend, don’t talk nonsense."
Zhou Xiang was taken aback for a moment. So that's it, no wonder their relationship is so close, but Wang Yudong sure hid it deep enough, absolutely no one knows that he has a girlfriend.
Yan Mingxiu said coldly, "You are not allowed to reveal this to anyone."
"Don't worry." Yan Mingxiu's tone was getting more and more impolite. Zhou Xiang felt that there was no point talking to him anymore. Although Zhou Xiang had a good temper, that was usually towards the people he had a good relationship with. As Yan Mingxiu was acting so aloof, and Zhou Xiang couldn’t be bothered indulging him, Zhou Xiang said, "Gotta go" and left.
Yan Mingxiu stood there looking Zhou Xiang's back and then narrowed his eyes slightly.
When he and Wang Yudong wore the same set of clothes and had the same hair-style, even Yan Mingxiu felt that it was very hard to differentiate them from their backs. If this man's back view wasn't so similar to Wang Yudong's, he truly wasn't worth his notice.
Because of his conversation with Yan Mingxiu, Zhou Xiang's mood wasn’t very good in the afternoon. He messed up his last scene six to seven times. Everyone had to wait for him before they could knock off and go to dinner. Zhou Xiang was always the least likely person to cause problems, but this time he ended up dragging on the shoot for half an hour. Everyone was very astonished.
Luckily, Zhou Xiang had a really good relationship with the crew. Everyone patiently waited for him. Zhou Xiang felt really apologetic. He worked hard to pull himself together, and finally finished shooting his scene.
By the time they got off work, Wang Yudong and Yan Mingxiu had already left a long time ago. Zhou Xiang gloomily packed his belongings, and drove off.
As the filming location was very far from the urban area, Zhou Xiang took over two hours to drive back. He was so hungry his stomach was rumbling.
After a very long drive, he finally arrived home. Holding the takeout food that he had bought on the way in his hand, he rushed up the stairs while skipping steps, but froze with shock when he reached his floor.
Yan Mingxiu was leaning against the door frame with ear-plugs in his ears. When he saw Zhou Xiang come up the stairs, he indifferently glanced at him.