Everyone’s attention was immediately drawn to the shouting.
Jiang Se was taking deep breaths and brushing off the droplets of water sliding down her face when the man who had pulled her to shore said, “Pretty girl, they’re calling you.”
“Huh” Jiang Se looked up blankly at the man, unsure what he meant, but she was immediately distracted by something in the distance.
“Yes, I meant you.
Come here,” a man with a megaphone waved at her, trying to get her attention.
Jiang Se was drenched from head to toe, and because of the huge budget given to the production crew, the costumes were of fairly good quality, albeit unwashed.
Because of this, she had to wring each item of clothing twice because it was not only wet but also very heavy.
The clothes stuck closely to her body, and when she walked, water sloshed out of her shoes, leaving wet footprints.
The script supervisor was still looking her way expectantly, and a person nearby enviously gave her a light push, saying, “He’s calling you; hurry up! Maybe Director Zhang has taken a liking to you.”
“Oh,” Jiang Se muttered and promptly trotted over.
As she drew nearer, the script supervisor gave her a critical look from top to bottom.
Despite not looking her best—especially given the ill-fitting costume and after falling into the river—her natural beauty could not be concealed.
The makeup applied had been designed to make her look down and out, but her face only exuded a youthful and lovely charm when you looked closely.
The script supervisor’s eyes widened in surprise, and the impatient look on his face swiftly disappeared.
He gave her an approving nod and said, “Follow me.”
The two then started walking back towards the camera crew and staff.
The script supervisor cast a sideways glance at her before saying, “The Director has called for you, and this is a rare opportunity.
If you want to do well, then just do as he says, no questions asked.”
Jiang Se could hear the implication behind his words; Director Zhang had specifically called for her.
The sun was blazingly hot, and Zhang JingAn and company sat under multiple umbrellas, cooling themselves under the shade.
Jiang Se sensed several eyes focusing on her as she drew closer, and she vaguely registered Liu Ye turning his head in her general direction out of the corner of her eyes.
He sat up on his seat, pulled his sunglasses partway down his face, and looked her up and down.
“Director Zhang, I’ve brought her here.”
Director Zhang was sitting behind a camera, lightly fanning his face, and he tilted his head to the side and looked at her.
Zhang JingAn, according to Lu BaoBao, was a well-known movie director on an international scale, but based on how ordinary he actually appeared, you would never know it.
Director Zhang appeared to be in his mid-forties.
His hair was parted to the side, and he was sporting an unremarkable deep blue short-sleeved shirt.
His eyes did not look sharp or heavy; however, he exuded a different kind of aura.
Right at this moment, Jiang Se was facing two important figures in the entertainment industry.
If she were still the real seventeen-year-old Jiang Se, she might have felt overwhelmed, flattered, and nervous—thankfully, she was not.
Jiang Se stood perfectly straight.
Her demeanor was cool, and her eyes were calm—not what you would expect a teenager to look like.
By the young girl’s poise, Zhang JingAn was somewhat taken aback.
Water was still dripping down her face and body, making her look unkempt in her wet clothes, and the makeup on her face had been partially washed off, but none of this could hide her attractiveness.
She was standing in front of a crowd, her embarrassing appearance in contrast to theirs, but she neither looked uneasy nor awkward.
It was clear from her posture and the expression on her face that she had a solid upbringing.
Although a person’s outward appearance and mettle can be taught and learned, their bearing and grace must be developed from an early age and, more importantly, from good mentors.
Such a young girl could only be raised by families that value education and good etiquette—families with extraordinary backgrounds.
Earlier in the take, when the camera briefly swept past her, Jiang Se’s figure caught Zhang JingAn’s attention.
He had seen her poise and lithe form for only a second, but he did not expect her to look even more captivating in person.
Zhang JingAn turned to look at the movie king and asked with a smile, “What do you think, Liu Ye” pointing at Jiang Se.
“Director Zhang really does have an eye for talent,” Liu Ye replied, nodding his head in agreement and slanting his mouth upward in a knowing smile.
Even though he has seen plenty of beautiful women in the entertainment industry, Jiang Se’s good looks still gave Liu Ye pause.
Jiang Se’s beauty did not look made-up nor did she look like she had undergone the knife.
There was a sense of harmony to her facial features, as if they were carefully carved and then naturally put together.
Her youthfulness also added an indescribable brilliance that no amount of makeup could match.
Since he entered the circle, Liu Ye has been surrounded by gorgeous women, even famous ones like Lu Bing Bing and other well-known hua dan 1, but meeting someone like Jiang Se was uncommon; she gave him the feeling of having just taken a satisfying bite of ice cream on a hot summer’s day—simply refreshing.
However, having good looks does not always equal good acting skills.
What the entertainment industry does not lack are good-looking people—in fact, here, they were a dime a dozen.
If one wants to do well in this circle, then it takes more than an attractive face; you have to have talent as well as opportunity.
So, after being momentarily startled by Jiang Se’s appearance, Liu Ye quickly regained his composure.
Director Zhang’s interest did not wane as fast, and he turned to the script supervisor and asked, “Who found her”
“It should have been Lin Fan2 who found her,” the script supervisor replied in a low voice.
“Director Zhang really has a good eye! We’ve already filmed for several hours, and we’ve never noticed such a promising seedling,” the unit director said, pouring on the compliments as he silently took note of this girl.
“You only needed one take, and you immediately spotted her right away!”
Zhang JingAn shook his head in prevarication, “It’s not yet clear if she’s actually a promising seedling or not; we’ll have to wait and see.”
Liu Ye, beside him, then sat up and stared attentively at Jiang Se and said, “I just remembered, Director Zhang.
That scene in Da Qing Village, didn’t we need a pretty female actress”
Hearing Liu Ye’s words, Zhang JingAn’s brows furrowed in thought.
The film crew, on the other hand, showed varying looks of astonishment.
It was immediately apparent to everyone present that the movie king had some intentions of recommending this rookie.
Several people instantly narrowed their gazes on Jiang Se, and a subtle change took place in their eyes as they looked at this young girl.
What luck! They all thought.
Getting a personal recommendation from someone like Liu Ye was tantamount to making it big in one step, because it was very likely that Zhang JingAn would not rebuff it.
Jiang Se was non-committal.
She was not familiar with the words ‘Da Qing Village,” nor had she heard anything about the scene to be filmed there.
However, everyone else in the production crew knew.
The role did not have much of an appearance, nor did it have many lines, but it was not like her current group scene, where she was just one of the background people.
More importantly, Zhang JingAn has been directing for many, many years, and although he did not have many films under his belt, each one was at the very least renowned at the international level.
If a rookie like Jiang Se could acquire even a very minor named role in his movie, then her entry into the industry is already considered very high, and her future prospects would be bright.
Liu Ye did not think there was anything wrong with his suggestion.
Zhang JingAn might be a famous director, but his proposal did not overstep any bounds.
Liu Ye was quite sure Director Zhang would agree.
Alas, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Zhang JingAn frowned for a good while before muttering, “We’ll see.”
He did not refuse, but he also did not agree.
Liu Ye raised an eyebrow and put on his sunglasses again.
He leaned back in his chair and smiled nonchalantly, as if it were not a big deal to be rebuffed.
“As you please.”
“Jiang Hua Corporation wants to invest an additional 100 million yuan.”
This kind of information apparently was no longer a secret, at least when Jiang Se heard this, the surrounding people did not look the least bit surprised.
Zhang JingAn gestured at Jiang Se as he spoke to the script supervisor, “Get her to wardrobe.”
Liu Ye silently watched Jiang Se’s retreating back for a second before turning to speak with Zhang JingAn, “Looks like Jiang Hua Corporation has some expectations for ‘Operation Rescue.’”
There were obviously some underlying implications to his words, but only a few people knew why.
Meters away, Jiang Se heard the words ‘Jiang Hua Corporation’ and was stunned for a moment.
She then faintly heard Director Zhang continue, “You’ve heard of Zhong Nan Industries, right”
This time, she came to a stop in her tracks.
Her back turned taut, and her shoulders were tense.
“Zhong Nan Industries The Feng Family The one in Hong Kong” Liu Ye pondered.
“Yes, that one,” Zhang JingAn replied.
Footnotes花旦 hua dan – Traditionally, it is the role of the young, vivacious female in Chinese Opera.
However in modern film and television industry it has been coined to refer to actresses who are good at playing young girls.
In the 2000s, a newspaper company had published a commentary on four actresses Zhao Wei, Zhang ZiYi, Zhou Xun, and Xu JingLei and dubbed them as Four Little Flowers 四小花旦.
The term gained widespread fame as these four were the most bankable young actresses of that time.
Since then hua dan has become a title/moniker for young actresses that have considerable influence on the public, as well as the performance strengths and quality of their works.
see: https://inf.news/en/entertainment/2116fa451173d6e646eefda898eb5838.html It is Zhang Fan 張帆 in the original novel but I changed it so it’s easier to distinguish from Director Zhang-