Early the next morning, Ji Li received good news from the crew of Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth.
The national ratings of the drama finale successfully broke through 5%. This was not only the highest rated champion for costume dramas within the past five years, but they might’ve also locked their place as the highest rating champion for the year in advance.
Last night’s peak was the scene of ‘Xie Yan’s death.’
It wasn’t known how many tears the audience cried online, and the hot search topics related to the scene rose again and again. It hadn’t dropped off in the hot search rankings even now.
Ji Li was the actor of Xie Yan, so his online discussion was soaring.
According to the official data, Ji Li’s Xie Yan was mentioned more than a million times in WeChat and the Moments last night!
In addition to young audiences, middle-aged groups in their 40s and 50s accounted for more than half of the data.
He didn’t just win the love of young audience members. He also won the love of many ‘mothers and fathers’ and his popularity with passersby soared.
Weng Meini played the role of the empress dowager in the drama, and even she couldn’t help posting a teasing message.
“This young man, Ji Li, acted too well. The love that I originally gained from the palace fighting drama was taken away overnight by Xie Yan. Even my four year old baby said that Mommy was too bad.”
Many netizens were too deeply involved in the drama. They felt sorry for Xie Yan, and ran to Weng Meini’s Weibo to scold the ‘empress dowager.’
Weng Meini had a big heart and never took the audience’s negative emotions toward her character to heart. She generously followed Ji Li.
Ji Li received a timely reminder from Baozi and immediately replied to her. “Thank you, Sister Weng. I hope we have the opportunity to cooperate again in the future.”
Ji Li’s fans arrived as soon as he replied and asked their good baby to post on Weibo.
After repeated calls, Ji Li finally posted on Weibo.
It was no longer the short text of the past. It was a long paragraph of text that poured out his feelings.
“Yan’er, I have accompanied you through this short and bitter life and I know the love and hate in your heart better than anyone. If you did something wrong or went the wrong way, you deserve to be punished. I know you won’t run away.”
“The world is very big. I hope that in your next life, you will be born in an ordinary family with a father who loves his wife and son, a mother who is as gentle as water, brothers who support each other, and someone who loves you and regards you as their life.”
“Someone told me: Ji Li, it is time for you to come out of the act.”
“So I’ll only accompany you here.”
The picture attached was a very cute stick figure. Xie Yan was wearing a veiled hat that had been lifted and held a small fan in his hand to desperately fan the wind.
-Ji Li, thank you for bringing us Xie Yan whom we dare to love and hate. You are great!
-This book fan saw the paragraph and directly burst into tears. Ji Li, thank you for your interpretation of Yan’er. I wish you the best acting career in the future!
-I entered the pit due to Xie Yan and went to watch Song Zhao. Ji Li, I’m looking forward to more roles from you in the future!
The hot comments at the top were occupied by touching and sincere remarks while the style of the later comments was very cute.
-Thank you for your hard work, Brother. This hand-drawn small person is so cute!
-Is the small version drawn by a fan for Brother Ji Li? The little beggar Zhao’er has fainted in the toilet after crying.
Ji Li saw the words ‘little beggar Zhao’er’ and immediately searched for another version of a small person picture from his phone. “I drew it myself and there is also one for Zhao’er [Picture].”
The small version of Zhao’er was still wearing the tattered beggar costume and held a grapefruit in his hand. He looked pitiful and cute.
Ji Li’s reply immediately aroused a scream of maternal love from fans.
-Why is Ji Li so cute? He has to explain for Zhao’er, hahahaha. He has to be impartial to his characters!
-My heart trembles when I think of him holding his phone to explain!
-The point is that these two cute characters were drawn by Ji Li himself! It is too good! Raise your hand and declare that you want one for every character in the future!
-Ahhhh our baby is so versatile. How can there be such a perfect boy?!
-Our brother is all powerful! Is there something he can’t do? No!
Ji Li looked at the exaggerated praise of the fans and put down his phone with a smile.
He only knew how to draw simple stick figures. The small versions of the characters were done by him when he was bored, but he was now being praised to the sky by the fans who had a filter over them.
Fortunately, it was in the comments section of his Weibo, or it would be a joke if it was seen by passersby.
He was just thinking this when Baozi ran into the lounge. “Brother Ji, the preparation of the set is almost ready. The scene manager told me that you can go over and walk through the scene.”
“Okay.” Ji Li put down the script in his hand.
The inner pages of the script were marked by him and showed how hard he had been working this month.
Today was his first scene as ‘Chen Xi’ and also his first confrontation with the male protagonist Ji Yunqi.
In order to save the crew time and to avoid going back and forth, the police academy scenes of the two good protagonists would be completed intensively within a week. Then the subsequent scenes would be moved to the border town for live filming.
The first filming location was arranged at the combat training hall of the police academy.
Qin Yue was sitting in front of the monitor and noticed as soon as Ji Li entered through the door. “Come here quickly.”
“Brother Yue, Director Yao, Teacher Fang.” Ji Li approached and greeted them one by one.
The old partners Yao Chuan and Fang Zhixing always entered and exited together.
The former was the director and had to be at the scene of filming. Fang Zhixing was the screenwriter and would personally monitor the filming of the actors.
Occasionally, he might be inspired by the performance of the actors and write a scene on the spot, deleting, adding and changing scenes anytime and anywhere.
The drama Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth had achieved gratifying results and Yao Chuan and Fang Zhixing were naturally very happy. At this time, they directly laughed when they saw Ji Li, one of the ‘heroes’ of the ratings.
“Ji Li, you performed well in the last drama. You also have to perform well in this movie.” Yao Chuan patted the young man’s shoulder and encouraged him.
“Yes, Director Yao,” Ji Li answered with a smile.
A slight smile flashed in Qin Yue’s eyes. He could see that Ji Li was in good shape today.
He was completely unaffected by the finale of the drama last night and had completely escaped from the role of Xie Yan.
The group of people simply greeted each other.
Then Ji Yunqi walked in with great spirits while accompanied by his agent and assistant. “Director Yao, I’m here!”
Yesterday was the first day of filming and Ji Yunqi’s performance was unanimously approved by the crew. His current confidence had doubled and he planned to take today’s filming to a higher level.
Yao Chuan didn’t talk nonsense. He saw that the two leading actors had already arrived and directly called to the action director of the movie. “Old Zhang, take the two young people to warm up. Then smooth out the combat movements in the scene later so they don’t hurt themselves during filming.”
“Okay.” The action director brought Ji Yunqi and Ji Li to the side with one hand.
The plot of the scene to be filmed was actually simple.
Due to being promoted to the narcotics reserve team, the protagonist Song Rang was very confident in his abilities and even faintly had the brute force of a newborn calf not afraid of tigers.
During the combat fighting training class, the captain asked teams of two to compete and the winner would be rewarded with an outing.
Song Ran’s performance in the combat course was first in the school when he was at the police academy.
Therefore, he boldly and directly chose the assistant coach Chen Xi as his opponent. He even threatened to take the latter’s assistant position after winning the fight…
The ensuing competition was the first head-to-head confrontation between the two leading actors.
This scene was an important plot point for shaping the personalities of the two protagonists. Ji Yunqi and Ji Li must be equal to create the appropriate sense of tension and confrontation between the characters.
On the surface, the scene was simple and the simplicity lay in the development of the plot.
In terms of depth, the acting was difficult since it was hard to portray the hearts of the characters.
The fighting moves for the two people had already been learned and mastered by heart during the crew training some time ago. Now the director was just focused on warming them up and reminding them.
Everyone was soon ready.
Yao Chuan sat firmly in the director’s seat. He and Qin Yue looked at each other before he decisively shouted, “Action!”
There was the clear sound of the board hitting and the cameras started running.
The ‘group performers’ in the scene were all real students of the local police academy who were approved by Yuncheng’s government.
The moment the whistle blew in the play, these people stood in a row in the fastest and most standard posture.
“At ease, stand upright and look to the right.”
The clear commands were accompanied by neat and under movements. This was very impactful under the camera.
“Report your number!”
The loud and clear call rang out to the ceiling.
Ji Yunqi stood among these real police academy students. His aura strangely integrated with them, and not a single mistake could be found. It was as if he was really a well-trained member of the narcotics team.
In front of the monitor, Yao Chuan saw this scene and couldn’t help sighing. “This Ji Yunqi has some talent in acting.”
In just half a minute, he had completely entered the state of the character.
This type of expressive power was far beyond many old actors who had debuted for many years, let alone other newcomer actors. It could be called ‘born to do something.’
Qin Yue smiled and didn’t speak. His eyes were fixed on the iron door.
The iron door was pushed open from the outside. The sunlight outside the hall flowed through the crack of the door.
The light and mist dispersed and Chen Xi, played by Ji Li, finally came into view.
The young man’s body was upright and his smooth muscle lines were outlined by his tight black training clothes. His slender legs were wrapped under trousers.
The camera moved slowly and froze on a close-up of his face.
Chen Xi’s eyes were pale and cold. There was no superfluous emotion in his upright expression.
In order to shape the character’s image, Ji Li had deliberately asked the makeup artist to add a ‘small scar’ to his left brow bone after discussing it with the crew.
It was this subtle trace that destroyed the original symmetrical beauty of his facial features, but it added a unique fortitude. His aura pierced directly at the camera, making it impossible to look away.
“I watched the drama last night and still thought he was Xie Yan. Now at this moment, I am full of thoughts that he is Chen Xi.” Fang Zhixing lowered his voice and sighed emotionally.
They were obviously both roles played by the same person, but the gap between the two was huge. This type of careful shaping by Ji Li made people have to pay attention to him and they couldn’t dislike him.
Qin Yue heard this and his eyes silently flashed with agreement.
The camera moved with Ji Li’s footsteps.
Chen Xi walked quickly to the captain’s side. His pale, glass-like eyes quietly swept over the newly recruited police officers and his expression didn’t fluctuate at all.
At the same time, Song Ran played by Ji Yunqi was also quietly looking at this assistant teacher. He saw the latter’s identity police badge and his eyes flickered slightly.
It turned out that this was the lone mute that everyone mentioned?
TL: Advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.