In a separate lounge, Zhou Qingming was having his headgear removed by a makeup artist.
“It has been hard on you. Go out first. I want to rest alone.” Zhou Qingming rubbed his swollen temples, exhausted.
A big scene filled with emotional venting was very painful.
The makeup artist was driven away by him and his assistant Xiao Zhang came in with a pile of food. “Brother Ming, you should eat before resting.”
Zhou Qingming sat back down on the sofa and heard the noise coming from outside. “Why is the crew so busy today?”
“Ji Li asked someone to book a dining car for the crew. He is particularly good at buying people’s heart and making trouble.” The assistant’s tone wasn’t good. “I don’t know where he got such good luck. He was actually able to invite Sister Yu out of the mountain to be his agent.”
The assistant put out the dishes one by one and said bitterly, “I hope it isn’t another brother and sister love. In any case, I don’t think he has to worry about his future resources.”
Zhou Qingming tapped Xiao Zhang with the end of his chopsticks and warned in a disapproving manner, “Don’t talk nonsense. Ji Li used his own skill to hire Sister Yu.”
“What can he do as a newcomer? How can he be better than Brother Ming when it comes to acting?” Xiao Zhang spoke in an unconvinced manner. “Brother, I’m worried about you.”
“It isn’t easy to get a leading role and it is a big production crew…” Xiao Zhang glanced out the window. “As a result, the popularity of his villain is more popular than your leading role.”
Zhou Qingming might be young but it had been nearly eight years since he made his debut.
Over the years, his resources had been very harsh. He often played as supporting roles in various major productions or at best, the second male lead.
He was called a ‘strength faction’ youth but his popularity and exposure still weren’t enough to make him qualified.
It wasn’t until last year when he terminated his contract with his original company and signed a contract with Mengguo Studio that his resources got better. Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth was his first drama as a male lead.
Zhou Qingming’s own acting skills were above the passing line. He was just waiting for heat from the drama to absorb a wave of popularity.
As a result, Ji Li was in the limelight due to the ‘change of actor’ storm.
“I think both Director Yao Chuan and Teacher Fang really like Ji Li. I’ve heard them talk about Ji Li’s acting several times,” Xiao Zhang added.
Zhou Qingming paused imperceptibly while eating.
Yes, Ji Li had just made his debut but his excellent acting skills put Zhou Qingming under pressure.
Zhou Qingming once confidently believed that his acting skills were definitely one of the best of his age in the circle. Yet during this time, Ji Li broke his original cognition.
It was only a matter of time before the youth’s future achievements exceeded his.
Zhou Qingming opened his mouth without changing his expression. “What’s your hurry for me? It is a matter of fate whether people are popular or not. Haven’t we reached here after all these years?”
“Brother! You can’t be so Buddhist! You have to fight for many things on your own!” Xiao Zhang retorted. “The crew will officially announce it tomorrow morning! Why don’t you let the studio arrange a hot search for you?”
“Sister Shi Meng has spent money to stay on the hot search all year round but she refuses to give a few spots to the artists under her.”
The Shi Meng mentioned by Xiao Zhang was the most ‘black and red’ topic queen in today’s entertainment circle.
In her early years, she signed with Chaoying Culture. Later, she set up the Mengguo Studio on her own. In the past three years, she started to attract and sign a number of artists, including a lot of handsome men and beautiful women.
However, the company’s topic resources were mostly biased toward Shi Meng herself. It wasn’t easy for artists to have money to buy a hot search unless they relied on the natural actions of fans.
Zhou Qingming put the chopsticks on the topic and spoke in a slightly heavy tone, “How dare you say this behind the boss’ back. If you do this again, don’t stay with me. I don’t want to get into trouble.”
“Don’t be angry, Brother Ming. I know that I’m wrong.” Xiao Zhang immediately controlled himself. He silently handed Zhou Qingming a cup of water. “…I’m just angry. You have such good personality and strength. You have to be angry if you want to be popular in the future.”
Zhou Qingming took the cup of water and shook his head helplessly. “It is too early to say this now. Let’s wait until the drama is finished. You have seen what happened to He Ling. Use this previous lesson and don’t make small moves toward Ji Li behind my back.”
Xiao Zhang nodded. “I know. Brother, don’t worry. I am just complaining casually. I’m not that capable.”
Zhou Qingming thought about it and changed his words, “I’ll let the agent communicate with the company and crew later about a hot search tomorrow morning. Don’t mention other things.”
In another lounge, Ji Li was enjoying his meal with fried chicken and Coke.
Yu Fuya stared at the oil on the corner of his mouth and took an incredulous breath. “…You should eat less!”
Other entertainers didn’t touch these high calories while Ji Li ate happily every meal. In addition, he always had a cup of milk tea a day.
“Sister Yu, you don’t understand. Modern young people are like this today.” Baozi also ate happily, his cheeks bulging. “Brother Ji’s physique means it isn’t easy for him to get fat. Don’t worry. If he really becomes fat in the future then I’ll stare at him for you.”
He had just finished speaking when Yu Fuya flicked his forehead. “What do you mean by I don’t understand? Am I that old? Stare at him so he doesn’t become fat? I think you should mind your own business first.”
Baozi grunted with pain. “…Sister Yu, I can’t become fat when eating either.”
Ji Li laughed and stuffed the last piece of meat into his mouth.
He was originally prone to gaining weight so he was constantly watched by his manager and assistants not to touch high-calorie foods in order to stay in good shape. Sometimes he had an itchy heart and could only eat them sneakily.
Now the original owner of the body didn’t only look good but he also didn’t gain weight no matter how much he ate.
It could only be said that God was particularly indulgent with good-looking people. It allowed Ji Li to take advantage of it for nothing.
“By the way, I have business to discuss with you.” Yu Fuya sat down beside them.
Ji Li heard it and handed the remaining half of the fried chicken on the table to Baozi. “Sister Yu, you say it.”
“Tomorrow, the crew will release the fixed makeup photos and dynamic materials of the characters. I’ll ask the company to buy you and your character a hot search for warm-up. Then later, they will announce that you joined Chaoying Culture?”
“A hot search?” Ji Li’s eyes slightly froze.
Yu Fuya nodded and spoke bluntly. “The entertainment industry in recent years is different from before. I checked with the production’s publicity team before I came here. The crew will mainly be promoting Xu Miaomiao and Zhou Qingming tomorrow. There will be no share for you.”
The crew couldn’t be blamed.
The news about Ji Li playing Xie Yan had overheated some time ago. It was just an official announcement of the role. There was no need to spend extra money on publicity.
“Did the company agree to pay for the hot search?” Ji Li asked.
“Not yet but I can get their consent.” Yu Fuya spoke with great confidence.
Ji Li thought about it for a moment before shaking his head. “Sister Yu, why don’t we let it go? No matter how good the marketing, it is just a sham. I don’t want to do too much.”
Yu Fuya didn’t expect the other person to refuse so simply and was taken aback. “You really don’t want to?”
“Yes, I don’t want it.”
“Brother Ji’s fan base isn’t stable. It is hard for the fans he drew with his face last time to have real feelings in such a short period of time. If the hot search is a bit too high, the clear-eyed people will realize what happened and it might damage his external position. Meanwhile, buying a low position will have no effect.”
Baozi analyzed it accurately. He was an expert in this area of entertainment marketing.
Ji Li looked at Baozi and smiled. “Yes, I think so too. Wen Yu is the first supporting male lead and he didn’t even arrange a hot search. I don’t need it.”
Yu Fuya remained silent and didn’t open her mouth to refute it.
In fact, she didn’t like today’s public opinion market. Most of the marketing data of celebrities was false.
Ji Li took a sip of his Coke and spoke calmly, “Sister Yu, let’s take a look later. Small popularity relies on praise while big popularity looks at fate. Metaphysics isn’t something that can be decided with one or two hot search marketings.”
Yu Fuya also knew this truth and replied, “Okay. Apart from the hot search, tomorrow’s welcome announcement about you joining Chaoying Culture will be the same.”
Yu Fuya looked at Baozi still happily eating and slowly put on disposable gloves. “Is it really so delicious?”
Ji Li and Baozi looked at her and nodded in unison. “Yes!”
The next day at 9 o’clock in the morning.
The long-awaited roles for Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth were officially announced. In addition to the four main stars that had separate Weibo posts, the makeup photos of the other supporting actors were posted on the same Weibo post.
@Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth Official Weibo: Thousands of people in the world, we are waiting for you.
There were six major supporting characters and six exquisite character makeup photos.
Ji Li was a newcomer who didn’t have any released works and his position was nowhere near the other veteran actors in the drama. Out of all the supporting roles, his makeup photo was last.
“What? You are still the main villain. Isn’t this makeup photo position wrong?” Baozi was a bit depressed.
“The positions of all the teachers are ahead of me. It doesn’t matter if I take last place.” Ji Li opened his photo and stared at it carefully for a long time.
He made sure his appearance was okay before smiling with satisfaction. In any case, this was his first formal makeup look since entering the entertainment industry.
Baozi reminded him, “Brother Ji, remember to forward it with your Weibo.”
Ji Li responded lightly. His text as he forwarded it was even simpler: Xie Yan is here.
Baozi used a private account to give it a like. Then he saw that Xu Miaomiao and Zhou Qingming were both on the hot search.
The crew had bought them a mid-level hot search. Now it depended on their fans to determine if they could climb to the top.
However, the two of them were on the hot search and their data looked good. It was far ahead of the Weibo posts of the supporting actors.
Baozi saw this and was anxious in his heart.
In any case, he wanted Ji Li to attract more fans using his appearance. There was a saying that ‘it starts with beauty and stays loyal to talent.’
Baozi hurriedly logged onto his Weibo side account. “Brother Ji, I will give you a wave to drain some of the heat.”
Then he went to ‘officially’ repost the crew’s Weibo posts.
@Entertainment Circle: I saw the photos of the supporting roles of Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth and felt that they look good! There are many old veterans here. Ji Li in the sixth photo is also very eye-catching. How do you feel?
Ji Li glanced at it and laughed helplessly. “Thank you.”
“Brother Ji, why are you so polite to me? If it wasn’t for it being too obvious, I would’ve reposted your message directly.” After all, Baozi’s Entertainment Circle account had a ‘public’ attribute and fans paid attention to it.
People would feel extremely disgusted if he was too partial to Ji Li. This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
Ji Li and Baozi reposted one after another and this naturally drove the data under the original Weibo post.
-Ahhhh, the sixth picture is a handsome guy! Is there anyone who can tell me about him?
-It is Ji Li! He was on the hot search a short time ago. So handsome!
-This book fan is full of strong criticism. This super handsome Ji Li is the number one villain in the drama. Isn’t he worthy of the crew sending him a separate Weibo post? I almost missed it!
-F*k, Ji Li is too beautiful, too beautiful! It is poking straight to my heart!
-There are many familiar veterans and the little brother in the sixth photo is really handsome! I’m looking forward to his drama more and more. The crew should hurry up!
-This is a guide map to a treasure newcomer’s Weibo @Ji Li. Sisters, it’s not too late to grab a share!
In less than 10 minutes, the reposts and comments were in the thousands.
-Ahhhh, Baby, I’m coming!
-Thank you, thank you! Xie Yan really arrived!
-An original book fan who came quickly! I’m really looking forward to your Xie Yan! I hope my little brother doesn’t let us down!
-There is a flower at 12 o’clock. I’m ready! Let my husband’s beauty rush at me!
-Wait! Send a selfie! I want to see a handsome selfie! I advise you not to be ignorant or I will kneel down and beg you!
Ji Li was amused by the comments. The more he looked, the more excited he became.
Now he had returned to the entertainment circle and it was like a full-level player returning to the novice village. Everything around him was different from the past.