The next day.
Ji Li’s endorsement advertisement was getting more clicks and popularity. His handsome Chinese face had garnered the attention of overseas audiences with his appearance being an absolute advantage.
There were also many people posting on the Internet that they hoped Ji Li would win Best Actor at this year’s Yana International Film Festival.
Kim Seungyu was disqualified from the shortlist of Best Actor, so another American actor replaced him.
Such a temporary promotion couldn’t change the final result, but it was already great news for this actor who benefited from another person’s mistake.
If you were talking about the popular candidates for Best Actor, the Internet was roughly divided into three camps.
The first camp consisted of those who firmly supported the American actor Paul Lawrence who had been shortlisted for the Yana International Film Festival three times and had won Best Actor at the Yana International Film Festival in the past. He was the absolute king.
The second camp consisted of the fans of ‘Long Island Iced Tea.’ In their opinion, Cameron’s movie was the biggest guarantee of victory. Adding the outstanding performance of Qin Yue and Ji Li who were both nominated, and naturally the possibility of winning was greatly improved.
The third camp supported the other actors.
Netizens speculated about the film festival, and its popularity remained high.
At 6 p.m. local time, under the anticipation of thousands of people, the award ceremony for the ‘acting awards’ finally began.
The camera focused on the actors nominated for various awards one by one. Once it was the turn of Ji Li and Qin Yue, the cheers at the venue reached the peak.
Many movie fans bought tickets and came to the on-site venue, screaming the names of Qin Yue and Ji Li.
Cameron, who was invited to sit in the guest seats, heard these shouts, touched his gray beard, and smiled. “I see. If you don’t win the trophy tonight, these fans will tear the organizing committee apart.”
“Director, which one of us do you think will win the award? “ Ji Li asked with a smile, not nervous at all.
For him, it was already an honor to arrive at the international film festival only three years after his debut.
It was best to win an award, but it didn’t matter if he didn’t get an award.
“Both of you are very good actors. I will be happy no matter who wins the award,” Cameron replied.
He glanced around and spoke confidently in a low voice, “It is a pity that the Yana Film Festival has never had double wins, or I would really want both of you to win.”
The first half of the movie revolved around the two of them, and their acting performances were complementary to each other.
The weight of the second half of the movie returned to the perspective of Lu Yao, played by Ji Li. Meanwhile, Qin Yue relied on the Easter egg in the last ten minutes to express Wen Qiong’s image after becoming terminally ill and presented his growing, hidden love in a very moving manner.
Cameron had such an idea, and the audience in the live broadcast also held hope.
“Oh my god! I’m so nervous!”
“I hope that the two of them can gain something and make up for our regrets in the movie!”
“Is it destined that only one person can win the award? Ahhhh I’m so conflicted! Qin’s performance was very good, while Ji’s acting skills were also touching!”
The Chinese Rose CP fans in the live broadcast room were extremely tormented. They hoped that Qin Yue or Ji Li would win the award, but they were afraid that one person would win the award and the other would return in disappointment.
With such anxious feelings, they waited for one award after another to pass. Finally, the main event was ushered in.
The award presenter appeared, and the nominated actors started to appear on the big screen one by one.
Once it showed ‘Nominated actor, Qin Yue in Long Island Iced Tea’, the corresponding clip immediately appeared on the screen.
It was when Wen Qiong, played by Qin Yue, was dying. He murmured the sentence, ‘Lu Yao, I have always loved you.’
In just five seconds, the fans at the scene were instantly drawn into the plot of the movie. The smile on their faces froze, and they started to show distressed expressions.
Immediately afterward, a new image appeared on the screen. ‘Nominated actor, Ji Li in Long Island Iced Tea’.
Lu Yao stood in front of a huge painting, and his expression changed from joy to despair to grief. The successive infectious power of his emotions made the fans at the scene completely red-eyed.
‘Long Island Iced Tea’ was so lethal that even after three months passed, they could still remember the tearful ending.
Long Island Iced Tea.
These words popped up along with the picture, making fans feel more hope. One of the Chinese Rose couple must win the award!
Once the six finalists were announced, the award presenter opened the envelope containing the final result.
He raised an eyebrow slightly and read out loud, “The 71st Yana International Film Festival, the winner of Best Actor is—”
At this moment, the always calm Ji Li inexplicably trembled. His hand hiding under the table subconsciously grabbed Qin Yue’s hand.
His lover’s comfort and the sound of the award winner rang out at the same time.
“Don’t be afraid.”
“Ji Li for Long Island Iced Tea, congratulations!”
In an instant, the audience burst out clapping. The domestic and foreign fans who were watching the live broadcast simultaneously filled the screen with screams of joy.
“Ahhhhhh Ji Li!”
“I’m going to cry! Ji Li is so good!”
“From the first time Ji Li played Xie Yan, I entered into the pit. I watched him encounter storms again and again and saw him get better and better! I’m so proud!’
“See! This is the Chinese actor I like! He is the youngest Best Actor ever in the history of the Yana Film Festival!”
The moment this comment appeared, netizens suddenly reacted.
Ji Li was the youngest Yana Best Actor winner ever! He was also Chinese!
The cheering discussions didn’t stop, and the award presentation on the stage continued.
Ji Li was reminded to come on stage by Qin Yue and Cameron. He looked at the award venue with a sense of unreality like waking up from a dream.
“Ji, why don’t you say a few words?” The award presenter signaled.
Ji Li approached the microphone, took a deep breath, and said with a smile, “Thank you, everyone. I want to start with some conventional but heartfelt words first.”
“I want to thank Director Cameron and the entire crew for giving me the opportunity to meet Lu Yao. During the three months of filming, it was their dedication behind the scenes that allowed me to fully enter Lu Yao’s world.”
“Secondly, thank you to my company and management team…”
Baozi stood in a corner of the backstage area. He heard Ji Li’s thanks, took off his glasses, and burst into tears. “Sister Yu! Brother Ji is amazing!”
Yu Fuya saw him crying in a loud voice and retorted with red eyes, “What are you crying about? He’s always been great!”
No one knew Ji Li’s hard work over the past three years better than them. Outsiders only saw his increasingly successful path, but few people knew what he was doing behind the scenes.
From a stand-in to a villain, how many places had he injured his body over three months of filming?
From the third male lead to the anti-drugs campaign, from a small supporting role to a male lead movie… how many times had he encountered the violence of public opinion?
Every time, it looked like an easy reversal and slap in the face, but the malice and abuse before that was all borne by Ji Li alone.
In the entertainment industry, how many stars were defeated by such malice? However, Ji Li never cried, made trouble, or complained. He never brought any anxiety to his team behind the scenes.
How could it be easy to be a star? How hard was it to be a good actor? But Ji Li was worthy of this profession and this trophy!
On the stage, Ji Li paused for a moment before speaking in Chinese.
“Thank you to the fans who are supporting me in China. Thank you for being willing to support me and protect me without hesitation in every public opinion crisis.”
It was said that good fans and good idols could empathize. Many Ji fans in part of the screen were already in tears.
Ji Li, it is us who want to thank you!
Thank you for your willingness to work hard and make progress. This allowed us, the Chinese entertainment industry, and the world to see you more brightly.
Ji Li completely calmed his mind down. It was only then that his eyes accurately fell on the guest seats below the stage. “…I would also like to thank one person.”
The on-site director obviously understood and immediately switched the camera on the big screen.
Qin Yue sat quietly under the stage, smiling and applauding. His face didn’t have any traces of disappointment, and his deep eyes were full of pride and pleasure.
At this moment, he was staring at the person on stage.
Qin Yue wanted the world to witness how dazzling his treasure was.
Ji Li met his gaze and the one thousand words in his heart turned into a few simple words. “Without your Wen Qiong, there wouldn’t be my Lu Yao.”
“It was you who accompanied me in the act and took me out of the act. It was you and I who won the trophy. It belongs to us. It isn’t mine alone.”
Ji Li didn’t mention Qin Yue’s name the whole time, but every word he said under everyone’s eyes was directed towards him.
The movie fans and online netizens were very touched. Many of them directly cried and collapsed in tears.
“Wu wu wu, I’m crying again. Brother Yue and Ji Li are really good!”
“My god, I beg you to make it public! If the environment of China can’t accept same-sex love, then you can go overseas to shine! I am willing to accept and bless you!”
“I felt a bit regretful because Brother Yue didn’t win the award, but now I am suddenly resurrected full of blood.”
“Chinese Rose must be good! I really like you! It doesn’t matter whether your relationship is what the outside world speculates or not. I hope you will always support each other!”
“Qin, this is your award!”
Just as everyone was full of emotion, the award presenter suddenly walked to Ji Li’s side and interrupted with a smile.
“Ji, don’t you think it is strange? I haven’t given you the trophy yet.”
Everyone heard this and woke up in unison from their moved emotions.
Yes! What about the trophy?
How could there be no trophy at the awards ceremony?
Ji Li was also stunned.
Just now, the award presenter had asked him to speak and he immediately opened his mouth, forgetting for a moment that there was such a thing as a trophy.
Ji Li covered his forehead in embarrassment. He might have been the first actor in history to give an acceptance speech empty-handed.
However, this type of behavior achieved a different type of cuteness in everyone’s eyes.
The award presenter moved the microphone and waved the card in his hand again. “I’m sorry, it isn’t Ji’s fault.”
“It was everyone’s enthusiasm that interrupted my award speech. In fact, this award has only been presented halfway through.
The award presenter cleared his throat and spoke again in a serious manner.
“Please let us congratulate the two leading actors of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’! Qin, Ji is right. The trophy belongs to the two of you!”
“For the 71st Yana International Film Festival, the winners of Best Actor are Ji Li and Qin Yue!”
The scene was silent for three seconds. Then a burst of cheers emerged. The disappointed Yue fans suddenly sat up in place, and a new round of madness appeared in the online live broadcast.
As the director, Cameron clenched his fists hard and pulled Qin Yue into a hug.
The birth of the double Best Actors victory was unexpected yet reasonable.
Since the male and female protagonists of an excellent movie could win Best Actor and Best Actress respectively, why couldn’t the two male leads win the honor together?
As the highest grossing literary movie, ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ brought the most real touch of cinema to the audience, and this was inseparable from the sincere interpretation of the two leading actors.
It was just like Ji Li said in his speech. There would be no Lu Yao without Wen Qiong!
Qin Yue recovered from his initial surprise and stepped onto the stage. Ji Li saw his lover’s back and couldn’t help smiling.
Qin Yue was the one with the most award-winning experience. He calmly thanked a group of people before finally adding a resolute sentence.
“Ji Li and I can stand here due to ‘Long Island Iced Tea.’ I hope that one day, we can stand on this stage again with excellent works belonging to China. Thank you.”
The audience clapped in a thunderous manner.
The Chinese audience watching the live broadcast were deeply moved when they heard these words.
China’s movie and television industry was improving, and they would definitely return on such a day!
The staff member finally sent out the two trophies. The award presenter knew the routine very well and simply removed the burden of formally presenting the awards in order for the actors to leave the stage early. “Why don’t the two of you present the awards to each other?”
The audience was delighted when faced with this proposal.
Qin Yue and Ji Li looked at each other and simply fulfilled everyone’s wishes. They gave each other the heavy Best Actor trophy.
“Ji, Qin! I announce that you two are married!”
Some audience members at the scene couldn’t contain their excitement. There was a loud shout that caused the people present to burst out laughing.
Fans of Ji Li and Qin Yue had calmed down.
This was a highlight moment for their two masters. It didn’t matter whether their relationship was as the outside world guessed or not, but they wouldn’t make trouble here. They would shake hands and make peace.
Amidst the cheering of the audience, Qin Yue hid all his affection in his hug to Ji Li. He stuck to Ji Li’s ear and whispered as always.
It was ephemeral and secretive.
It was still a whisper that belonged to each other.
A gleam of water flashed in Ji Li’s eyes, and there was a faint smile on his face.
At the awards ceremony of the China Television Awards, Qin Yue had said to him, “Congratulations, my Yan’er.”
At the awards ceremony of the One Hundred Images Awards, Qin Yue had said to him, “Congratulations, my Zhao’er.”
At this moment, at the award ceremony of the Yana Film Festival, Qin Yue said to him:
“Congratulations, my treasure.”
The drama was like life, life was like a drama.
They acted out the characters in the drama, healed the audience outside the drama, told the story in the script, and fell in love with each other outside the script.
—End of Main Text—
TL: Thank you to everyone for following up to this point! One of my favorite parts about this novel was all the detailed plots the author came up with for the dramas and movies. While Long Island Iced Tea touched me as a reader of the novel, as a movie watcher, the one I would probably like watching the most is Reverse Hunting. Which one was your favorite?
In addition, there are still a few extras left so be sure to keep reading!