Ji Li was a bit surprised. “Acting in Teacher Shen’s new script?”
He didn’t expect that before they could mention their willingness to participate in the drama, Shen Yanda would speak up first.
“Otherwise, I came all the way just to drink a cup of coffee from your Boss Tao?” Shen Yanda pushed up his glasses and looked at Tao Mingyang again.
Tao Mingyang paused slightly before smiling and signaling for Shen Yanda to re-take his seat, ridiculing him. “Don’t worry, we have enough coffee here.”
“You still have such a poor mouth.” Shen Yanda sat down with a smile.
He took a stack of bound documents from his bag and placed it on the desk.
Shen Yanda crossed his legs and looked as calm and leisurely as a boss. “This is the biography of the characters of the new drama, ‘The Long Song of the Southern Dynasty’. Can you take a look?”
Yu Fuya took two steps forward and took the initiative to take this character biography for Ji Li. “Brother Da, why did you think of our family’s Ji Li?”
She was really curious. The script written by Shen Yanda had always been favored by female stars, but the male characters were also sought after by many people.
In addition, it was the first male lead.
There were rumors in the industry that the script hadn’t been started, yet this good thing suddenly fell on Ji Li’s head?
“You might not know that the new script doesn’t have the main plotline of a traditional palace fight. This time, the main plotline involves the strategy of the imperial court, and the palace fight exists as just a side plotline.”
“I need a male lead who not only conforms to the age of the character but also has good enough acting skills. It is easy to rely on my script to become popular, but the audience aren’t fools…”
Shen Yanda was very confident in his script and gave a low laugh.
“If you want to strike iron, you need to be strong yourself? Say, do you think this is the truth?”
Ji Li met his eyes and there was subtle resistance in his heart. He didn’t say anything and just nodded silently.
Shen Yanda saw his reaction and smiled with satisfaction.
Before coming, he and the production team had scouted many young male actors. Either the appearance didn’t match the needs of the character or their acting skills were too young and they couldn’t afford to be the male protagonist.
After the finale of Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth, the most popular character was Xie Yan.
The fans’ feelings piled up and almost turned into resentment. There was even a spontaneous hot search topic of #What would happen if Xie Yan was reborn?#
A netizen specially published a 30,000 word story on this topic. It was a Xie Yan rebirth article where he returned to his childhood and changed his fate step by step, plotting to seize power.
This article received nearly a million likes.
It was this opportunity that made Shen Yanda’s team notice Ji Li.
Shen Yanda personally watched the clips of Ji Li’s drama performance and thought that Ji Li’s appearance and acting skills were good. He took advantage of his free time to come and find this person.
“How about you go back and take a look first? If you are interested in my script, we can discuss it in detail in two days.”
A deep meaning flashed in Shen Yanda’s eyes and he issued an ‘eviction order’. “I still have some things to talk about with Mingyang alone.”
Yu Fuya could judge the situation. She cast a vague look toward Tao Mingyang before smiling again. “Of course. Then Ji Li and I won’t bother you.”
“Goodbye, Teacher Shen.” Ji Li got up, said goodbye, and followed Yu Fuya out of the room.
The two of them returned to the lounge.
Ji Li looked at the thick character biography in his hand and was a bit confused. “Sister Yu, do you think Teacher Shen designated me to star in this, or is it just a face-saving scene?”
He was such a powerful screenwriter in the industry and had a new work written after five years. The male lead hadn’t been decided, but as a result, this character biography suddenly fell on him?
“Don’t guess the psychology of a bigshot.” Yu Fuya shrugged and sat down opposite him. “In any case, we have the character biography in hand, so look at it first.”
After all, no matter how good the script was, it should be a choice that both parties were willing to make.
“If you really like it, the company will help you reconfirm and fight for the opportunity to act.” Yu Fuya had her own considerations.
She selfishly wanted the young man to rest for a month or two, but if Shen Yanda brought a good script and a good opportunity, then it couldn’t be missed by an actor like Ji Li who was on the rise.
Ji Li had the same thought in his heart and nodded. “Yes, I’ll take a look first.”
Shen Yanda was worthy of being a big screenwriter. The character biography was very complete and covered all the important characters that would appear in the script.
Due to work, Ji Li had read hundreds of scripts and could glimpse the ones with exciting content from the biographies of the characters. The Long Song of the Southern Dynasty in his hand was one of them.
Ji Li sketched out the plot automatically while reading the character biography and gradually started to enjoy it.
The drama ‘The Long Song of the Southern Dynasty’ was indeed not following the pure palace fighting theme that Shen Yanda used to write in the past. It told the life experience of He Linzhao, the prince of a subjugated kingdom.
After the fall of the Southern Dynasty, the sixth son of the former emperor escaped death by faking his death. He used the help of the imperial physician of the Southern Dynasty to change his appearance and lay dormant for eight years.
It wasn’t until the end of the eight year war that the name of the kingdom was changed to the Hui Dynasty and the new emperor ascended to the throne.
This was where the story started.
He Linzhao came down from the mountains and gained fame. He entered the imperial court with a brand new identity. He assassinated enemies step by step and gathered his confidants. Finally, he overthrew the Hui Dynasty and re-established the epic legend of the Southern Dynasty.
From the perspective of the character biography, this drama would be a well-deserved male lead drama.
However, the other branch plotline of the harem battle was also particularly exciting.
After the establishment of the Hui Dynasty, the harem started to recruit eunuchs and palace maids in large numbers.
Yu Che was only 15 years old when she chose to use this opportunity to enter the palace. She started as a laundry palace maid at the bottom. Then within three months, she became the personal maid of the new emperor’s favorite concubine, Concubine Li.
Later, Yu Che entered the eyes of the new emperor during the lantern feast of the harem. She changed from a slave to a master and started the road of a counterattack.
There was no doubt that this was routine for a palace fighting drama.
The most ingenious thing about this character was that Yu Che never loved the new emperor from the beginning. Everything she did had a substantive purpose.
Yu Che was crazy and ambitious.
She wanted to become an empress or even an empress dowager, letting the Hui Dynasty change to her surname, He.
That’s right, Yu Che had another layer of identity. She was the 10th princess of the Southern Dynasty and He Linzhao’s sister.
The brother and sister thought they had no relatives still alive and carried the same hatred of having their kingdom destroyed. They tried to defeat the new dynasty with their own methods.
According to this formulation, the follow-up plot would have the brother and sister joining forces to control the imperial court and harem together.
There were counterattacks and face slaps that gave a sense of pleasure. There were also the intricate feelings of home and kingdom.
In terms of the current market, it definitely had the trend of becoming a popular drama as long as Shen Yanda didn’t make a big mistake with the content.
The sense of anticipation in Ji Li’s heart climbed. He spent more than half an hour reading the rest of the character settings.
It had to be said that the setting of the other supporting roles were also very comprehensive, and people couldn’t find fault at all.
Ji Li sighed with relief. He put down the character biography and was suddenly looking forward to the true face of this script.
Yu Fuya could see the answer from his expression and asked with a smile, “Are you interested?”
“Yes,” Ji Li answered sincerely.
Before the two of them could communicate further, Yu Fuya received a call from Tao Mingyang.
She quickly picked up. After a brief conversation, her eyes became serious.
Ji Li noticed the change in her expression and became silently concerned.
The short call finished. Yu Fuya met the young man’s inquiring gaze and got straight to the point.
“Once we left, the screenwriter Shen Yanda told Old Tao that if we are interested after looking at the character biography, we can skip the casting audition and we can directly sign the acting contract.”
“However, he has two demands.”
“The salary for the drama is very low. The salary that Mingyang just told me isn’t even comparable to ordinary artists who have just debuted.”
Yu Fuya frowned and stopped this topic without speaking nonsense.
“In addition, we can’t put forth any opinions about the script during the filming process.”
In other words, the plot must be filmed according to the original script.
Ji Li was silent for a few seconds. He didn’t resist the latter condition in his heart.
After all, many actors brought their own screenwriters into the game. One moment, they would add a scene here and the next moment, they would change another scene there. Finally, it would break away from the essence of the script.
Shen Yanda was a famous screenwriter with independent power. He didn’t want his script to be spoiled by actors who had too many things to worry about and ruin his signboard as a big screenwriter. It was understandable.
“It is just that this salary is really too low…” Yu Fuya was puzzled.
According to the current situation in industry, Shen Yanda’s script would not be lacking in investors, and there would even be large and high quality investments.
Chaoying’s asking price for Ji Li’s salary had always been at a normal market price level, and it was by no means a sky-high price. Why did Shen Yanda and the producer cut the salary of the male protagonist?
“Sister Yu, can you find a way to help me get the full script?” Ji Li asked.
He thought about the issue very clearly. “As long as the script’s logic is good, it doesn’t matter how much the salary is. After all, what we want is the popularity after it is aired.”
The drama just needed to be popular, and naturally the popularity of the actors involved wouldn’t be bad. At that time, Ji Li’s commercial value and movie and television value would rise.
Salary was very important for actors, but one couldn’t just focus on their immediate interests and forget long-term considerations.
Yu Fuya had been an agent for many years, and she naturally thought more thoroughly than Ji Li in these aspects.
She nodded and analyzed his question. “I’m afraid that the screenwriter and producer won’t easily hand over the complete script.”
After all, actors who hadn’t signed a formal contract rarely saw the full script.
There would be a serious commercial loss if the script was leaked before the filming started.
Ji Li thought about it before suggesting, “Sister Yu, consult the producer and let’s first draw up a preliminary contract for cooperation. In addition, sign a confidentiality agreement prohibiting the leakage of the script.”
Ji Li didn’t deny the excellence of the character biography, but the subtle intuition in his heart told him that he should be extra cautious about this script.
“The salary is a minor issue, and I can accept not changing the script. I just need to see the full script before I can officially sign the agreement.”
The young man’s words were firm and clearly well thought out.
Yu Fuya agreed. “Don’t worry, I’ll handle this matter personally. We are suffering losses in terms of the salary and script decisions. It is right to think carefully about the script.”
It was better to draw up a preliminary intention to cooperate first. If something happened, then they had a legitimate reason to retreat.
“Thank you, Sister Yu.”
“Why are you being polite with me?” Yu Fuya refused him before saying with concern, “If it wasn’t for the golden signboard of Screenwriter Shen Yanda, then I really would have wanted you to rest for two months.”
Ji Li smiled at her. “I am young and can bear it. My career is more important.”
Yu Fuya heard this and her previous worries immediately subsided.
She just said, how could Ji Li have feelings for Qin Yue?
This kid was clearly focused on his career!
TL: Advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.