As a big IP and big production drama, Nine Princes didn’t just select the leading actors carefully. They also invited skilled veterans to act as the important supporting roles. For example, the seniors who played the emperor and empress dowager were over 50 years old and their accumulated experience over the years was incomparable.
Cheng Xia was the youngest actor in Nine Princes and he had the lowest qualifications in the circle. Even if he was backed by the Tianxuan Group, he was modest and polite in the crew. He was never late, never acted arrogantly, and worked hard. He always recited the script carefully. Several old seniors liked him very much and would patiently guide Cheng Xia when he encountered acting problems.
Playing this psychologically distorted prince made Cheng Xia addicted to acting. After acting for a period of time, his ability to control his micro-expressions had obviously risen a step. His eyes ranged from poor and helpless to gloomy and then to fierce and resolute. Sometimes he didn’t even need to change his makeup and clothes. He just needed to use his eyes to show the twisted heart of the youngest prince.
Director Lin couldn’t help sighing. “I heard Director Zhu say that Cheng Xia is the most talented newcomer he has ever met. I didn’t believe it but after this, I really believe it! Cheng Xia is really quick to learn things. For many complex scenes, I just need to show him how to act and he can apply what he learned. His understanding of the role is really rare.”
Some stupid actors needed the director to teach them one by one, action by action. For a spiritual actor like Cheng Xia, the director just needed to tell him how to act and he would do it himself. It was a really pleasant cooperation.
Pei Shaoze listened to Director Lin’s praise and was very pleased. “I also want to thank Director Lin for your care. Cheng Xia’s acting of the youngest prince has significantly improved from before, especially the expression in his eyes.”
Director Lin smiled. “You’re welcome. President Pei, Cheng Xia is born to be an actor!”
Director Lin was right. In the original novel, Cheng Xia won an international prize. However, this time he was protected by Pei Shaoze and didn’t suffer so many devastating twists and turns. His star journey was much smoother and he became famous several years earlier than the original novel.
Many actors who became famous when they were young would be too arrogant or made a scandal on their own. They weren’t as good as those who were well-prepared. However, Pei Shaoze believed that Cheng Xia wasn’t the type of newcomer who would be a flash in the pan and then go downhill in the future. He would lead Cheng Xia steadily and every step would be solid.
Nine Princes officially finished filming in August and Pei Shaoze contacted the post-editing studio in advance to determine the style of the drama. This time, he decided to use a slightly gray filter to make the picture more advanced, textured, and unique.
If a costume drama was too colorful then it would appear too much. The grayish hue combined with the intense palace intrigue plot would make the impression of the entire drama instantly upgrade to a higher level. The changing color palette was of a high-definition standard that could be screenshotted at any time.
The music of the costume drama was also an important finishing point. It was necessary to tailor the ancient sound as well as the theme song and interlude music.
Pei Shaoze had invested in several successful costume dramas in reality that had familiar opening and closing songs. Tianxuan Records had been established so he went to Chen Yijun at the new company for help. Chen Yijun had strong connections in the music circle and knew many powerful music producers who personally created the theme song for Nine Princes.
Famous singers were invited to sing at the beginning and ending of the drama. A good drama must be accompanied by good songs. Once the drama was broadcasted, the theme song would rise to the top of the music charts and attract the attention of netizens who liked to listen to music.
As for the two interludes, he would let the actors sing them. One song that was sweet and warm was given to the actor of the main character, the third prince, and his lover to sing. The other was sad and it would be sung by Cheng Xia and Chen Yijun.
Cheng Xia went to the recording studio to record a song for the first time and he was a bit nervous. Chen Yijun patted him on the shoulder with a smile. “Don’t worry, the key of this song isn’t high. Your voice is very good. Just let go and sing!”
Under the encouragement of the goddess, Cheng Xia recorded the song carefully. Chen Yijun took the demo to post-production. Then she sent the song to Cheng Xia and suggested very excitedly, [Do you have any interest in developing in the music world? Your voice is really nice to listen to. CNTV’s Idol Singer is holding a national talent show this year. If you’re interested, you can come to participate. I’ll be your mentor!]
Cheng Xia refused in a flattered manner. [No, I’m really not good at singing. I’d rather focus on acting!]
Chen Yijun sent a row of regretful expressions. [You really won’t consider it?]
Cheng Xia’s own voice condition wasn’t particularly excellent and his range wasn’t wide enough. He could sing two songs at KTV which wasn’t good enough in the music world. Cheng Xia had no confidence to develop in the singing world.
Pei Shaoze listened to it and suggested, “If you want to sing then you can sing a few theme songs in future dramas. Many actors do this. Your talent in singing isn’t so outstanding and it’s good to specialize in movies and television. There’s no need to do everything. What do you think?”
Cheng Xia naturally listened to Pei Shaoze. “Yes, I think so as well. I’m satisfied with playing every role well. Let’s forget about singing. I’m really not good enough compared to the great singers.”
In early October, Nine Princes was released. It was broadcasted on two TV stations and the entire Internet at the same time. All those who liked to watch TV dramas were aware of this ancient costume conspiracy drama. Many netizens watched it due to ‘Producer Pei Shaoze’ and fans of the original novel and the actors also followed it.
The moment the two episodes were broadcasted, the ratings were very high. The tone of this drama was so comfortable, the costumes of the actors were beautiful and the antique soundtrack was also good to listen to!
On the day of the broadcast, the title song, ending song, and episode songs all rushed to the top of the music platforms, attracting a large number of Internet users who liked listening to music to search for the drama curiously. As a result, they were fascinated by the tense and exciting plot and started to join the drama following army.
The drama would be broadcasted for a month, with two episodes a day and a rest day on Sunday.
It was 50 episodes long. If the plot was weak then it was easy for the audience to abandon it. However, under the supervision of Pei Shaoze, the entire plot was full of tension and excitement. There was the confrontation between the nine princes, the confrontation of various forces, and the constant reversals in the plot. There was also the important role of the youngest prince toward the end, attracting the attention of the audience.
The TV drama’s heavy tone, exquisite props, and set were so immersive that it felt like they were in ancient times. A conspiracy drama could actually be shot to this level. The netizens who loved this genre screamed with excitement and gave it five-star praise on all major platforms before it even finished broadcasting.
CNTV and SNTV’s ratings also reached a new high for the past few years. Many middle-aged and old people over 40 joined the drama following army. They had never read the original novel and didn’t like the online platforms and barrage. However, they watched the TV on time every day, looking forward to the ending of these princes.
The story changed sharply in the latter stages. Cheng Xia’s scenes were becoming more important. The humble youngest prince at the beginning actually became the biggest boss of the drama!
During the time when the struggle between the second prince and fourth prince was the fiercest, he used the power behind his concubine mother to assassinate the second prince quietly, planting the blame on the fourth prince and getting rid of two powerful enemies in one fell swoop.
He always looked thin, delicate, and pitiful. He occasionally coughed and sometimes coughed up blood. His face was always pale and sick. He looked like he could die at any time. Yet in the middle of the night, he dressed in black and sat in an empty palace, his cold gaze focused on the portraits of his royal brothers like he was looking at dead bodies.
The gloomy and scary atmosphere was increased by the special effects in post-production. Combined with the abnormal smile on Cheng Xia’s face…
The audience got goosebumps! The barrage filled the screen. [F*k, the youngest prince is abnormal but it feels good!]
[Is this Cheng Xia? This is our sunny and lovely Cheng Xia? I’m so scared that the hairs on my back rose!]
[Seeing Cheng Xia’s strange smile, I had a nightmare last night!]
[Supporting the youngest prince’s blackening, these brothers aren’t human!]
[Supporting the youngest prince’s blackening +1. Our youngest prince is the one who will ascend the throne!]
Cheng Xia’s acting of his blackening surprised the audience.
The uncles, aunts, and grandparents sitting in front of the TV couldn’t help sighing. “This child is really miserable.”
“It’s too pitiful. He was bullied from childhood. The second prince used him as a toy when he was a child while the fourth prince had him kneel down to wipe the dust off the fourth prince’s shoes…”
The bullied youngest prince blackened and later relied on his super high IQ to plan strategies and reap the benefits.
The struggle between the nine princes reached the ending stages and the forces behind the youngest prince became more powerful. Some people in the court saw his scheming and resourcefulness and started to approach him. Finally, the confrontation between the third prince and the youngest prince reached the hottest stage. The third prince failed to kill his father and usurp the throne at the best time while the youngest prince solved the old emperor and controlled the entire imperial palace guard.
The third prince lost but he didn’t agree with his brother’s practice of killing relatives in order to get the throne. He faked his death and left the capital, heading far away with his lover, not wanting to be stained with blood.
The youngest prince successfully gained the throne.
In the last episode, the third prince rode horses on the prairie with his lover with a bright smile. On the other hand, the new emperor wore a gorgeous dragon robe and walked through the empty palace.
The designers had spent a lot of effort to tailor this robe for Cheng Xia and it was extremely handsome. The pale and thin prince had long disappeared. Cheng Xia wore the dragon robe and appeared noble and majestic. His cold eyes swept over them and the ministers couldn’t help shivering. Everyone was afraid of him and respected him.
However, no one would ever love him.
Cheng Xia walked through the dark corridor of the palace. In a trance, he saw himself when he was young and when his mother was still alive. He was the youngest prince who could laugh and play happily with her in the back garden.
That was a long time ago.
Cheng Xia’s lips raised in a longing smile. Then the camera fixed on the seemingly endless corridor of the palace and the thin and lonely figure in the dragon robe.
The entire drama ended.
Many viewers following the drama were depressed and melancholy. On the Internet platforms, Cheng Xia’s fans burst into tears. [The youngest prince is too poor. I feel that even if he ascends the throne, he won’t be happy in his entire life.]
[He killed all those people but in fact, he also killed his pure and kind heart. The last smile was so heartbreaking. How cute was he as a child?]
Who was the winner and who was the loser?
The drama’s finale was a hot topic online, with many commentators writing long comments and arguments. The result of the debate was that the drama’s popularity rose sharply and it became the costume drama with the highest topic discussion, the highest online views, the highest TV ratings, and the highest star ratings in the past five years!
Cheng Xia’s Weibo fans doubled directly to 20 million.
Many people left messages saying, [The youngest prince is very abnormal but he is too distressing!]
[Cheng Xia is so powerful that he can play the villain brilliantly. I fell in love with the sickly youngest prince!]
[The third prince might be very handsome but I really like the youngest prince!]
There were also a large number of fans who flocked to Pei Shaoze’s Weibo. [What is President Pei’s next drama? Reveal it in advance?]
[I really hope there will be more producers like President Pei in the entertainment industry to produce more good dramas for the audience!]
[I saw that the producer was President Pei and clicked it. I wasn’t disappointed!]
[President Pei is always the guarantee of quality!]
There was an awards ceremony at the end of the year. At the Golden Deer Awards, the most prestigious and recognized award in the drama industry, Cheng Xia won the golden trophy for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the youngest prince!
Immediately after, the national drama festival, the Flying Star Awards was held in Xing City and Cheng Xia won the Best Supporting Actor again as the youngest prince! There were two trophies in hand and no one questioned Cheng Xia’s acting skills any longer.
The drama Nine Princes was a hit this year, winning Best Director, Best Screenwriter, Best Costume, Best Props, Best Editing, Best Music, and so on!
Director Lin got the award and openly thanked President Pei on stage. In the award speech, Cheng Xia seriously said, “I most want to thank President Pei.”
Pei Shaoze might not have gone on stage to receive the awards but his sense of existence was stronger than many stars. He once again became the ‘life winner of the year’. Investing in this drama not only increased the profits but also drove up the stock prices of the Tianxuan Group. Pei Shaoze was rated as the ‘best producer’ by netizens.
The two people’s careers were booming and their relationship was becoming more stable.
Pei Shaoze emptied a room at home and made a wall with a glass display cabinet. He raised Cheng Xia’s hand to the glass cabinet and said, “This cabinet will be dedicated to collecting your trophies and certificates.”
Cheng Xia looked at the entire wall of cabinets and couldn’t help saying, “This is too big. How many trophies can it contain?!”
Pei Shaoze gently watched Cheng Xia. “I believe you will slowly fill it up.”
Cheng Xia turned and hugged the alpha tightly, burying his face in Pei Shaoze’s chest. “Brother Pei, thank you.”
Pei Shaoze wondered, “Thank me for what?
Cheng Xia looked up and smiled brightly. “Thank you for understanding me, supporting me, and helping me realize the dream I’ve had since early childhood. You’re the best alpha in the world!”