When Fang Shaoyi answered the phone, his voice was so alluring. The deep tone lingered at the end, making anyone who heard it feel a little bit teased.
Yuan Ye's voice came through the phone, and it was very quiet on the other end. He called out, "Brother Yi?"
Fang Shaoyi responded again and asked, "What's up?"
Ji Xiaotao had a keen eye and lifted Fang Shaoyi's clothes to stick a patch on his shoulder. Then, he placed a warm pad on the outside of his clothes. After finishing, he gestured to Fang Shaoyi and went back to his room to sleep.
Yuan Ye cleared his throat and said, "Nothing, just wanted to ask how you've been lately."
It had been too long since they last spoke on the phone. The simple conversation they were having now felt familiar and intimate, despite the year that had passed between them. The warm light in the room made Fang Shaoyi's heart feel soft. His voice was deep and alluring as it came through the receiver, "I'm doing okay."
He propped a pillow behind his back and leaned against the headboard, listening as Yuan Ye asked him, "It's pretty cold where you are, right? How's your shoulder?"
"Mm, it's fine," Fang Shaoyi replied.
There was no particular reason for Yuan Ye to make this call, except that he felt uneasy after seeing the photos posted by Ji Xiaotao. He decided to call and ask about it. After that, the two of them didn't have much to say. It had been too long since they last spoke on the phone, and they had forgotten what to talk about. Or maybe they just didn't know what to say to each other anymore.
After a brief moment of silence, Fang Shaoyi spoke first and asked, "What are you doing?"
His tone was gentle, almost tender. Yuan Ye absentmindedly scratched his phone with his finger and replied, "I'm writing something."
Fang Shaoyi asked again, "What are you writing?"
Yuan Ye said, "It's the same thing as before. I haven't written much lately, but I feel calm now, so I decided to pick it up again."
Fang Shaoyi let out a soft "Mm" and then both of them fell silent. For a long time, there was only the sound of their breathing on the phone, and later the sound of Yuan Ye typing on the keyboard.
Surprisingly, neither of them mentioned hanging up. Fang Shaoyi held the phone up with his hand while Yuan Ye tilted his head and held it with his shoulder, not knowing what to do. It seemed like they had both forgotten about hanging up and just wanted to listen to each other's breathing.
After a while, Yuan Ye lowered his voice and asked, "Are you asleep?"
Fang Shaoyi replied, "No."
Yuan Ye burst out laughing and said, "I thought you had fallen asleep. What time is it? Why aren't you sleeping? You don't have to film tomorrow?"
Fang Shaoyi closed his eyes and his Adam's apple moved slightly as he laughed and said, "I was reluctant to sleep."
The sound of typing abruptly stopped, and there was a heavy silence on the other end of the phone. Then, Yuan Ye cleared his throat and called out, "Brother."
"Mm?" came the response.
There was a soft sound of sparks as Yuan Ye lit a cigarette and exhaled his first puff of smoke. With one hand holding his phone, he crouched in his chair and suddenly said, "...I'm sorry."
Fang Shaoyi, who had been closing his eyes, opened them and asked, "Why are you apologizing?"
Maybe it was because the atmosphere tonight was too good, or maybe Fang Shaoyi was just too gentle, but Yuan Ye suddenly felt the urge to say it. Without holding back, he took another drag of his cigarette and said, "Why...I don't know, for many things, I guess."
According to Fang Shaoyi's personality, he wouldn't continue asking after saying that, but today he asked again, "For example?"
Yuan Ye crouched there, laughing softly. His laughter carried the timbre of a man who had weathered the years. "Like that mess we got into the other day. I couldn't keep my mouth shut."
After that incident, there was still some awkwardness between the two of them. But now that Yuan Ye had brought it up, Fang Shaoyi said, "I don't blame you. It was my fault."
"Ah, forget about it," Yuan Ye leaned forward and flicked his cigarette ash. "We're both pretty shameless for even talking about it after we've slept together."
Today, Yuan Ye was unusually gentle. He didn't even seem like himself, but rather soft and without any sharp edges. He had shed his hard shell and become soft and pliable.
Yuan Ye said, "You go to sleep, rest early. Take care of yourself, you're not young anymore, Brother Yi."
Fang Shaoyi replied, "Okay."
Yuan Ye smiled and said softly, "So, I'm hanging up?"
Fang Shaoyi also smiled, and his warm laughter came through the phone, "Hang up."
Tonight's phone call was unexpected for both parties. Yuan Ye impulsively called after seeing a photo, and Fang Shaoyi's softened attitude made Yuan Ye lower his head again. One phone call allowed the two to talk calmly without any hostility or sarcasm. After the call ended, their hearts were filled with warmth.
The next morning, Ji Xiaotao pushed open the door and found Fang Shaoyi still sleeping. He slapped the light switch and said, "Wake up, Brother."
Fang Shaoyi furrowed his brows and sat up, saying, "I got it."
Ji Xiaotao went to get his clothes, but couldn't resist his gossiping nature and asked while handing him the clothes, "What did Brother Ye say on the phone last night?"
Fang Shaoyi glanced at him, put on his pants, and went to the bathroom, "He asked why you've been so annoying lately."
"..." Ji Xiaotao thought to himself, "You seem to be in a good mood this morning, full of energy."
The scene had to be carefully crafted, and every detail of Fang Shaoyi's makeup was essential. He had to apply the flesh-colored makeup to his exposed skin before putting on his costume. One of his character's eyes was blind, and it was challenging to make it look realistic. Unlike TV dramas, movies require attention to every detail, and perfection is key.
The final scene was a tragic one, regardless of whether the protagonist lived or died. It was a heartbreaking ending to a story of a nation in turmoil. Until the scene was filmed, Fang Shaoyi had to immerse himself in despair.
The makeup process was also a time for him to prepare mentally. Once the makeup was applied, he transformed into his character and became fully immersed in the role. When he left the makeup room, he was no longer Fang Shaoyi but the half-blind wanderer from the movie.
His movie needs no further introduction. The problem now is not with the actors' performance, but with the coordination and unpredictable situations at each point.
When Geng Jinwei arrived, Fang Shaoyi was standing next to the director, watching the playback on the monitor. He had just taken a shot that didn't work out. The explosion effect was not ideal, and the city wall did not explode.
Fang Shaoyi pointed to a young actor behind him in the camera and said, "Little Wei's expression is wrong. He started crying before I finished my lines."
The young actor behind him said, "Something got into my eye, a small stone flew in. I thought I could tough it out."
Fang Shaoyi told him, "Next time, if this happens, just call for a cut. If the explosion hasn't happened yet, it's not a big deal. Don't force it and hurt your eyes."
"Okay, Brother Shaoyi." The other person nodded repeatedly.
Behind him, Ji Xiaotao called out to Fang Shaoyi, "Brother Geng is here."
Fang Shaoyi turned around and saw Geng Jinwei walking over with a youth. He shook hands with the director and greeted him with a smile, greeting him with a "Director Xin."
The director pointed at him with a smile and said, "You're a busy man, huh?"
Geng Jinwei replied, "Not at all." He then gestured towards the youth next to him and said to the director, "I just signed this kid. He needs some polishing."
The youth looked very good, with a well-proportioned figure and a clean, white face that exuded quality. He respectfully greeted the director with a "nice to meet you" and then nodded at Fang Shaoyi, saying "Brother Shaoyi, nice to meet you."
The director smiled and praised him, "Not bad. If there's a chance, send him over to me for some polishing."
The young man politely pursed his lips and said, "Thank you, director."
Geng Jinwei didn't actually come to visit the set on purpose. He had gone to Guangdong and stopped by the set for a day on his way back. After greeting the director, Geng Jinwei talked to Fang Shaoyi and pointed to the young man standing on the side, saying, "I mentioned him to you before, bringing him here for you to take a look."
Fang Shaoyi only had one eye that he could use, the other was still blurry. He glanced over and nodded, saying, "He has good potential. I can't see much else, but you can decide this matter."
Geng Jinwei said, "I want you to take him under your wing for Director Jiang's film. He hasn't acted before, so guide him."
Fang Shaoyi acquiesced with a "Mm" and said, "You ask if there are any available roles left and discuss it with them first."
Geng Jinwei is now in his forties, always wearing a white shirt and suit pants. Now that it's cold outside, he's wearing a coat, and his cold, hard face looks quite fierce, creating a sense of distance. But his status is evident, and he has built a significant position in the industry over the years. People who have met him before always come over to say hello.
After talking about the newly signed artist, Geng Jinwei lit a cigarette and pulled Fang Shaoyi to the side, telling him, "There's that matter of yours. Let's talk about it now, you should have an idea in your mind."
Fang Shaoyi looked at him and asked, "What's matter?"
Geng Jinwei replied, "Why are you asking me when you already know?"
Fang Shaoyi raised his eyebrows and asked, "My divorce?"
Geng Jinwei nodded and said, "Yes, someone is looking for me. They want money."
Fang Shaoyi asked, "Who?"
"It's just a small company starting out, not very influential. If they can't be squeeze you for money, they'll use your situation to stir up trouble," said Geng Jinwei.
Fang Shaoyi asked him, "What did you say?"
"I ignored it," Geng Jinwei said, taking a drag of his cigarette and glancing at Fang Shaoyi. "Your situation can't be kept secret. I don't know where the news came from, but there's no privacy when you're alive. If everyone knows, there's nothing to be pressured about. It's meaningless. Who knows, one day it might explode, and there's more than one source of leaks."
Fang Shaoyi didn't say anything, lowered his head in silence, and then said, "If we can't keep it under wraps, let it be."
Geng Jinwei furrowed his brow and said, "Your problem is like a knife hanging over my head. If I don't hide well, we'll both get cut. I've already talked to the PR department and prepared emergency plans. I'll show them to you later. But this isn't urgent. It's stable for now and won't explode in the short term. At least not before the program finishes airing. Let's talk about it later."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and said, "No one cheated and there's no negative news. I've divorced already, so that's that. People will gossip for a couple of days and then forget about it. It won't be a big deal. Let's just handle it calmly and peacefully. You know what I mean."
Geng Jinwei laughed and turned his head to curse, "Not to pit Yuan Ye? You're really beating around the bush."
Fang Shaoyi repeated himself, saying, "Mm, he's an outsider to our circle, he doesn't understand these things, don't pit him."
Fang Shaoyi still had the appearance of a worn-out hero, with little expression on his face. He spoke lightly about the matter, with only one main point - to handle public relations normally and not to take advantage of Yuan Ye.
Geng Jinwei chuckled and said, "You really are a hero, playing that whole 'heroic and tender' act, do you think I'm f*cking bored and have nothing to do."
Fang Shaoyi also laughed and didn't say anything more.
In the afternoon, Geng Jinwei didn't leave. He had something to discuss with Fang Shaoyi and brought the newly signed artist to the set to watch Fang Shaoyi act. The artist's name was Yang Siran, who looked young but was actually 25 years old. Geng Jinwei told him, "Learn from him well. When he was your age, he was already a male actor recognised by Wei Hua."
Yang Siran nodded and said, "Okay, President Geng."
Ji Xiaotao ran over, grinning and talking to Geng Jinwei, "Brother Geng, good to see you."
"What's so good about me? I asked you to come back and help me with the new guys, but you pretended not to hear me," Geng Jinwei scolded him.
"I can't teach others. My brother can't do without me," Ji Xiaotao said without feeling embarrassed, "My brother is getting old and can't handle it anymore."
As Ji Xiaotao chatted with Geng Jinwei, a makeup assistant ran over and called out to him, "Brother Tao, someone has sent something for you to sign for."
"What is it?" Ji Xiaotao turned back and gestured to Geng Jinwei, asking as he walked back.
After the performance that day, Geng Jinwei had watched as Fang Shaoyi sat with an electric heater warming him up on each side. He closed his eyes and sat in his chair waiting for his makeup to be removed, putting on a grand display. Ji Xiaotao said it was all arranged by his "Brother Ye."
Geng Jinwei looked for a while, then gave a snort of laughter and went out to smoke.
Damn, they really know how to play, but who are they playing?
They're just plain crazy.