Fang Shaoyi's jet lag was innate, a strange illness that may or may not be considered a disease. Jet lag would cause his nervous system to go haywire, and the greater the time difference, the more severe the impact.
It was only through Fang Shaoyi that Yuan Ye first learned of this condition. Jet lag could cause his biological mechanisms to go awry, and while others may only need a nap to recover from jet lag, Fang Shaoyi may need three or four days or even more, during which he could hardly do anything and felt extremely uncomfortable.
Fang Shaoyi's profession meant that traveling abroad and dealing with jet lag are commonplace. But for him, jet lag is a real limitation, so before every trip abroad, Ji Xiaotao must arrange his schedule properly and leave a few days before and after the trip. If the time was too tight, he will push back any activities abroad.
Only those close to him know about this, while others simply think Fang Shaoyi is too aloof to attend events. In reality, he just can't handle jet lag.
During his stay in Paris, Fang Shaoyi didn't venture out much. Occasionally, when the weather was nice, he would invite Yuan Ye to take a walk and enjoy the breeze.
The stylist was out from dawn till late at night. How could anyone in the fashion industry stay put in a hotel after arriving in France? Even before he arrived, he had already arranged for a packed schedule.
Ji Xiaotao sometimes followed the two guys around, but most of the time, he stayed in the hotel or went out to find some delicious food to bring back for them.
There was no need to be pretentious and book two separate rooms now that they were here. Besides, Yuan Ye didn't want to leave Fang Shaoyi alone in his current state, so they all stayed together.
Since returning from the set, the two of them hadn't talked about the movie. Yuan Ye hadn't shared his thoughts, and Fang Shaoyi hadn't brought it up either. Yuan Ye hadn't shown any signs of disliking the topic, keeping his emotions hidden beneath the surface.
Whether he was resistant or conflicted, he was digesting it all on his own. Fang Shaoyi's jet lag had left him in a vulnerable state, in need of careful attention. These past few days, Yuan Ye had been speaking to him in a soft, gentle voice.
On their last night in Paris, Fang Shaoyi played the pity card.
Under the warm yellow light, Yuan Ye was reading the script that Ning Lu had sent him on his phone. The more he read, the more he furrowed his brow. Finally, he let out a "tsk" and began rapidly scrolling through the pages.
Fang Shaoyi asked him, "What's wrong?"
Yuan Ye said to him, "Ning Lu, this silly son, he's over thirty but his brain is filled with water, making him an easy target for manipulation."
Fang Shaoyi raised an eyebrow in doubt, and Yuan Ye continued, "He spent a lot of money buying a script from Shi Song, but it's completely unworkable. He's treating it like a treasure and carrying it around, afraid someone will steal it. I told him to rewrite it, and he formed a group of screenwriters and the writing is going nowhere."
"Shi Song?" Fang Shaoyi thought for a moment. "The one who wrote "Ten Steps to Red Dust"? There shouldn't be a problem. I remember you got along well with him when filming 'Ten Steps to Red Dust'."
"Yea, it's him," Yuan Ye sneered. "Shi-laoshi is a veteran screenwriter, but that book was probably just cobbled together by his junior writers, each writing a little here and there. It's common practice to put someone's name on something to fool investors."
"Did he not consult with you before buying it?" Fang Shaoyi asked.
Yuan Ye gave him a glance and said with a half-smile, "I had just finished filming a variety show at the time and disappeared for a while."
At that time, Yuan Ye was dealing with his own divorce and had declared his intention to pursue Fang Shaoyi again. He cut off contact with the outside world to find some peace. Fang Shaoyi smiled and Yuan Ye picked up his phone and sent a voice message to Ning Lu, "I've seen it, it's not great. I told you to sell it at a lower price, but you didn't listen. When I get back, come to my house and I'll explain it to you in detail."
Ning Lu replied quickly, he was probably waiting for his message: "Still not good enough? Master... I didn't expect to win any awards with this, just as long as I don't lose money and make a little profit. Can you lower your standards a bit and take another look? How about hiring two box office stars for a popcorn movie?"
Even Fang Shaoyi laughed at his comment. Yuan Ye looked at him helplessly and replied, "You didn't expect to win any awards... what are you even expecting? With this piece of junk... weren't you planning to invest 60 million? That money isn't even enough to hire that level of star. Don't act so naive with me, wait till I get back. You little cutie."
After Yuan Ye finished speaking, he threw his phone and shook his head, saying, "Guan Zhou always says that Ning Lu becomes more and more brainless as he gets older. I didn't take it seriously before, but now I'm starting to worry."
Fang Shaoyi had eaten something that didn't agree with him and was feeling a bit nauseous. He slowly sipped on his tea while lying down. He had put down his phone when he called out to him, "Yuan Ye."
Yuan Ye responded with a smile, "Yea, what's up?"
Fang Shaoyi blinked and looked at him, "Let's chat."
Yuan Ye could sense something in his gaze and paused for a moment before smiling and saying, "Sure, let's chat."
What is there left to talk about? Their understanding of each other goes deep down to the bone, knowing exactly what the other is thinking without even needing to speak. They share similar values and have a general compatibility, but there are still individual differences mixed in. These differences are determined by their upbringing, personalities, and ways of handling things.
They're not something that appeared suddenly, nor will they disappear in the future.
At the time, Fang Shaoyi didn't directly tell Yuan Ye about the director's plan. One reason was that he was afraid Yuan Ye wouldn't be able to accept it. Yuan Ye had always been kept in the dark, and Fang Shaoyi felt that it was absurd and unbelievable. He could understand, but deep down he felt that this approach was not straightforward enough.
However, he didn't blame himself for it. Yuan Ye was not one of the "few people" who tried to control everything and didn't need to force himself to make compromises. The other reason was that he couldn't bring himself to speak up. It was difficult to talk to Yuan Ye directly, and he didn't want to reveal the thoughts and actions behind the scenes in the industry.
He was part of the industry too, and when Yuan Ye resisted and doubted these things, Fang Shaoyi couldn't just remove himself from the situation.
Yuan Ye understood, so he spoke earnestly, "I know, I understand. I don't think much about it. I know everyone has their own difficulties, you don't have to say it."
Fang Shaoyi held a cup in his hand and spun it gently on the palm of his other hand. Yuan Ye's eyes were clear, a rare sight in the eyes of a thirty-something adult, very insightful. Fang Shaoyi said, "I'll try not to make you feel conflicted."
He hadn't fully recovered from jet lag, his complexion still not back to normal. In this state, he said such words, and Yuan Ye felt like his heart had been pierced. Yuan Ye quickly shook his head, "No, there's really no need. I've been with you for a while now, I can handle my own emotions."
It started as a casual chat, discussing the unspoken barriers of the outside world and sharing their inner thoughts. Both were sincere and honest, two hearts coming closer together.
Then, after taking a sip of tea, Fang Shaoyi slowly said, "I've been considering it since last year. I may take on fewer acting jobs and invest more in my personal life...I'm not young anymore, I should take a break."
This statement caused a big reaction from Yuan Ye, who was sitting with one leg crossed on the bed. He even stood up and stared at Fang Shaoyi, saying, "...Don't joke around."
"I'm not joking," Fang Shaoyi smiled. "I've been acting for twenty years, it's been a long time. Life can't always be about doing the same thing, right?"
Yuan Ye furrowed his brow and shook his head, "It's impossible, don't say anymore."
Fang Shaoyi placed his cup aside and reached out his hand to Yuan Ye. Yuan Ye's lips moved slightly as he walked over and lightly touched his hand, then said, "I'm going to smoke."
Yuan Ye knew Fang Shaoyi too well, he never said anything lightly.
Because of Fang Shaoyi's words, the atmosphere between the two suddenly became different. Ji Xiaotao was sensitive enough to feel that something was up with the two, but it probably wasn't a big deal. After all, they were always like this, always spicing things up.
After Director Xin arrived in Paris, Fang Shaoyi and the team headed with them to Cannes. Being there was different from being here, the atmosphere was not as relaxed. It was tense from morning till night, as this was a social scene where people from the film industry all over the world gathered.
Many artists who did not have invites also came shamelessly. It was a grand event, and not just about the fame and glory of the red carpet. The value beyond that was difficult to estimate for many people here.
Although Yuan Ye came with them to the event, he didn't actually go to the venue. The atmosphere there was suffocating for him. Some of Yuan Ye's literary friends were also there, some came on their own initiative, while others were brought along by the director to make up the numbers.
While the stars were shining brightly, Yuan Ye and his friends found a place to eat and drink. One of them was watching the live stream online, with the image constantly refreshing. Yuan Ye pointed at him and said, "What a waste of time. Why don't you go to the venue and watch it live?"
"Would being there be more exciting than here?" the person chuckled. "Who cares about the live stream? I'm reading the insincere compliments from netizens."
"Why do you care what people say," Yuan Ye couldn't understand him. "People can say whatever they want."
Yuan Ye didn't care for the commotion and had no interest in watching. After a while, the person across from him pushed their phone over and gave him a look, signaling him to take a look. "Here, it's your family member, your Brother Yi."
Yuan Ye chuckled and didn't push the phone back. He grabbed it and swiped through the screen. Fang Shaoyi was dressed in a suit and had one hand in his pocket while chatting with Director Wei Hua. He was smiling softly with his head lowered.
The photos weren't taken up close, but from a distance. Fang Shaoyi's demeanor was impeccable, and he was handsome both in terms of his physique and face. Netizens said that his smile was like that of a textbook male god, and they were singing his praises.
But after all, he had divorced with Yuan Ye before, and he also kept it from the audience while appearing on variety shows. Later, he even had scandals, which greatly affected the audience's evaluation of him.
In the past, Fang Shaoyi had no zero negative reviews, but in recent years, he relied on his strength to speak and kept a low profile without causing any trouble. His popularity with the audience was quite good. Last year's scandal caused many people to mock him as a hypocrite and question his character in the comments.
There was nothing he could do about it. He did indeed get divorced, appear on variety shows, and had scandals. If it were in the past, Yuan Ye might have found these things very glaring and couldn't bear to hear others talk about Fang Shaoyi. But now, he had become more open-minded and didn't care as much.
He pushed his phone back and smiled, saying, "Not all netizens' comments are insincere compliments. I think their praise is quite good."
As soon as he spoke, everyone laughed and said he had no shame. Yuan Ye shrugged and took a sip of his drink.
Fang Shaoyi was born to be this kind of person. He always shone brightly and could still be cheerful in this kind of environment. Director Wei was one of the top directors in the country, and his reputation was solid. Fang Shaoyi had worked with him many times, and some people said that Fang Shaoyi was Director Wei's chosen actor. This was not untrue, as he often had a role in Director Wei's movies.
His moon hung high in the sky, calm and steady.
Fang Shaoyi said he wanted to take a break. He had been acting for twenty years, it was long enough.
Thinking of this, Yuan Ye's fingers involuntarily twitched. He picked up his glass and took another sip, frowning lightly.
That was absolutely impossible. It couldn't happen.
In everyone's life, there are important guides, whether it be a mentor or a wise elder. For Fang Shaoyi, Wei Hua was definitely one of his most important guides. At the age of sixteen, Fang Shaoyi's first role was in a film directed by Wei Hua. The two hundred takes of smiling in that film elevated Fang Shaoyi's career from the very beginning, allowing him to start off on a higher level than others.
While he had natural talent and charisma, Wei Hua's polishing and guidance were also crucial. In subsequent films, Wei Hua continued to work with him, from his teenage years to the present day. Whenever Wei Hua wanted to make a film and there was a suitable role, he always thought of Fang Shaoyi first.
In this circle, people are indifferent and emotionally detached, but there are still pure emotions, mutual respect, selfless teaching and support. The starting point may be a love for movies, for the sake of movies without any other impurities, or it may simply be pure appreciation. This is human nature, and if one were to put it another way, it is also kindness.
"Are you feeling okay? Can you handle it?" Wei Hua asked Fang Shaoyi.
Fang Shaoyi was much taller, so he lowered his head and said, "I'm fine. I came a few days early."
"I see your complexion isn't too bad," Wei Hua spoke to Fang Shaoyi with a sense of closeness between an elder and a younger person. They hadn't seen each other in almost a year, but it didn't feel awkward. "Let's catch up at my place later."
"Sure," said Fang Shaoyi, "I'll come over to your place for dinner when I'm back, I'm craving for Shi-laoshi's pancakes."
Director Wei laughed, "Alright, I'll have her make some for you."
Before wrapping his latest film, Fang Shaoyi had already received a new script from Director Wei. It was an artistic film, still in its early stages, but with Director Wei's signature style and intense emotions. Fang Shaoyi was eager to be a part of it.
Director Wei said, "Your role is crucial, so I need you to hold it properly. I haven't found the actress yet, but it's likely going to be a newcomer. You'll have to help me bring her up."
Fang Shaoyi remained silent, looking at Director Wei. After a moment of contemplation, he asked, "Leader, do you have any backup options?"
Director Wei glanced at him and said without hesitation, "No, the script is based on you."
Fang Shaoyi remained silent, so Director Wei asked him, "What's wrong? Can't adjust your schedule? Where are you in terms of availability? Let me hear."
Fang Shaoyi couldn't lie and simply said, "No, it's not about my schedule. I just want to take some time to sort myself out, take a break, and reflect."
"You don't need to reflect," Wei Hua waved his hand and said, "I've been keeping an eye on you and you haven't disappointed me. I've seen 'Wind Wanderer', it's good."
The conversation had reached its limit and it wasn't appropriate to continue. Fang Shaoyi closed his mouth, lowered his head, and chuckled softly, saying, "You've been watching me all this time, the pressure is too much for me."
Wei Hua looked closely at him. His deep eyes always seemed to be able to see through everything. Director Wei said to him at the time, "Film is art, and that's what you do. When you enter this industry, you must be prepared to die in this industry. Film is not a profession. If you say it exists, it exists. If you say it doesn't, it doesn't. It is both a tangible object and a fanciful concept. All the ups and downs of life are thought up, and thoughts are put together to make a film. As long as you still have thoughts, you cannot retreat."
Fang Shaoyi didn't interrupt, so Director Wei continued, "There is no way out for people in the film industry. Look at me, I'm sixty years old, and I'm still going strong."
This wasn't a conversation that could go on for a long time, so Fang Shaoyi didn't delve further. He nodded and said, "Okay, leader."
Ji Xiaotao ran a long way and finally arrived at Fang Shaoyi's location. He first greeted Director Wei with a nod and a smile, "Hello, Director!"
As they were familiar with each other, Director Wei also smiled kindly at him. Ji Xiaotao whispered to Fang Shaoyi, "Boss, you can't keep chatting with Director Wei here! Director Xin's crew is waiting for you. He asked me to bring you over, which crew are you from!"
Fang Shaoyi nodded and replied, "I got it."
After Ji Xiaotao finished speaking, he glanced at Director Wei and whispered, "Even your own actors are unhappy with you for not being able to find you. What are you two chatting about here?"
Wei Hua waved his hand and smiled, "Okay, I got it, I got it."