Chapter 1540: A group of old friends take on the industry again! (Second half)
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
At Zhang Xia’s house.
Zhang Ye came over uninvited.
Grandma Zhang Xia said in surprise, “Little Zhang?”
“Grandma Zhang, I’m here to visit you.” Zhang Ye put some fruit down. “How has your health been?”
Zhang Xia was very happy. “I’m doing well, I’m doing well.”
Zhang Xia’s daughter said from her side, “Teacher Zhang, my mom has been talking about you almost every day for the past few years. When she learned that you were back, she was so happy.”
Zhang Ye said, “What about me have you been talking about?”
Her daughter smiled and said, “She would be commenting whenever she watches TV, saying how the artists these days have no entertainer’s ethics and how they’re all only out to earn money. She says that they all should really learn more from your generation of artists about what social responsibility is and what serving the people is about.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “They should not learn from me. I ended up in jail when I served the people.”
Zhang Xia said, “Stay for dinner.”
Zhang Ye rubbed his belly. “Alright, I’m feeling hungry too. I didn’t eat anything when I was at Sister Ning’s place earlier.”
Zhang Xia smiled. “You went to look for Little Ning?”
Zhang Ye said, “Yeah, I met Sister Ning’s husband too. He’s not bad.”
Zhang Xia nodded and said, “Her husband is a pretty good man. I met him once too, when they got married.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Yes, he’s pretty good. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have managed to convince Sister Ning to return.”
Zhang Xia was taken aback. “Get her to return?”
Zhang Ye said, “I took a TV drama project recently, so I’ve been busy recruiting cast members for it. I’ll also be acting in it and be directing it as well. But as you should know, I only know so many people. They’re all our old friends, so I’ll definitely need to get everyone’s support. This will be my first TV series since I debuted, and also the first project I’ll be working on since my return to the entertainment industry. As such, I’ll definitely have to do it well. Grandma Zhang, you’ll have to give me your support too.”
Zhang Xia smiled and said, “What do you need me to do?”
Zhang Ye said, “The theme song, sing it for me.”
Zhang Xia looked at him. “There are so many popular singers. Why would you get an old singer like me who’s washed up instead of them? Who would still want to listen to me sing these days?”
Zhang Ye smiled. “I do. I really like listening to you sing.”
Zhang Xia laughed for a long time. “Alright, alright, I’ll sing one for your sake.”
Her daughter said, “Mom, aren’t you no longer accepting any more work?”
Zhang Xia grinned. “That depends on whose work it is.”
Her daughter giggled. “So you’ve also become picky about your work?”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Grandma Zhang is just picky about the people.”
At Dong Shanshan’s Studio.
It was a busy in here.
When Zhang Ye pushed open the door and entered, everyone froze and stared at him.
Zhang Ye smiled. “Is Shanshan around?”
The next moment, Dong Shanshan appeared in his sights. When she saw Zhang Ye, Dong Shanshan smiled. She suddenly raised her hands and opened her arms with a smile.
Zhang Ye also opened his arms.
They looked at each other.
And then hugged.
Dong Shanshan asked, “You’re back?”
Zhang Ye replied, “I’m back.”
“How does prison fare taste?”
“It’s great. I’ve even put on weight.”
“You finally remembered your old classmate?”
“I just accepted a TV drama, so I’ve been busy writing the script for the past few days.”
“You need my help?”
“Play a role for me.”
“When does filming start?”
“In a few days’ time. I heard that you’ve become quite popular these days and even turned to the performing arts? Do you have free time?”
“Yes, I’ve been quite free recently.”
“How’s Yingyi, Old Wang, and the others doing?”
“We’ve all been waiting for you to come back to throw a party.”
“Alright, let’s set a day sometime to have our class reunion.”
When Zhang Ye left, Dong Shanshan’s agent came over to her not knowing whether to laugh or cry. “Shanshan, you’ve got quite a few events lined up next month. Why did you—”
Dong Shanshan smiled happily and said, “Reschedule all of those events for later.”
The agent did not say any more. She knew well the friendship between Dong Shanshan and Zhang Ye. In the recent two years, Dong Shanshan had not taken host positions for any variety show. She had already left Beijing Television for some time. But each year the new season of King of Masked Singers came around and at every grand finals of I Am a Singer, Beijing Television would always check in first with Dong Shanshan. As long as Dong Shanshan agreed, the host role would go to her. No one else in the entertainment circle could fight her for this.
Quite a few hosts were very jealous of her.
Quite a few industry insiders could not understand it.
The staff of Dong Shanshan’s Studio did not used to understand either and were very puzzled. Later, someone from Beijing Television told them that it was because Zhang Ye had authorized quite a few of his shows to their station without requesting any compensation. The only condition he had for it was that as long as Dong Shanshan did not refuse, she would be the only choice of host for these shows. At that moment, the staff of Dong Shanshan’s Studio finally understood.
How strong was their friendship?
One wouldn’t have many such friends in their lifetime!
It had turned dark.
At an old, two-story villa.
A woman looked warily at Zhang Ye, who was standing at the door. “What are you doing here?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “I’m looking for Old Jiang.”
The woman said with a dark expression, “He’s not around!”
At this moment, Jiang Hanwei’s voice came from inside the house. “Let him in.”
Only then did Old Jiang’s wife unwillingly stand aside to let Zhang Ye into the house.
Jiang Hanwei looked at him. “Take a seat. How did you find out where I lived?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “This bro has been in the circle for so many years. How hard would it be for me to find someone? Aren’t you belittling me?”
Jiang Hanwei asked, “What do you want to drink?”
“Anything’s fine.” Zhang Ye was not picky.
Jiang Hanwei said to his wife, “Pour him a cup of water.”
Zhang Ye said, “Thank you, Sister-in-law.”
His wife still did not show him a welcoming attitude.
Everyone in the entertainment circle knew about the old feud between Zhang Ye and Jiang Hanwei. It would be ridiculous if his wife did not also know about it.
Jiang Hanwei said, “Why are you looking for me?”
Zhang Ye said, “I heard that you haven’t been doing too well in the industry these past few years.”
Jiang Hanwei sneered. “I’m still better off than you.”
Zhang Ye chuckled. “Is that so?”
Jiang Hanwei lamented, “We’re both has-been celebrities, so let’s not laugh at one another.”
Zhang Ye said, “I heard from someone that you got into a fight with a young gun? And even sent that guy into the hospital? Which nearly caused you to get blacklisted?”
Jiang Hanwei threw his hands up and got angry the moment he was reminded of it. “That brat was riding on his popularity and getting all touchy with my goddaughter, so of course I had to beat him up!”
His goddaughter’s relationship with Zhang Ye was very good. After all, she was a former member of Spring Garden, Xiaodong.
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “That’s a good punishment. Even if you had not beaten him up, I would have done so myself.”
Jiang Hanwei curled his lips. “You’ve gotten into all that trouble and were even sent to jail. As if you could beat him up.”
Zhang Ye grinned and said, “So how? You’ve witnessed the might of the male idols’ fans, right?”
Jiang Hanwei rolled his eyes and did not pay attention to him.
Zhang Ye said, “I heard that he has so many fans that they can each spit on you once and drown you. The media also scolded you terribly in a one-sided affair. Hur hur, you understand it now, right? That when it comes to fighting, you aren’t a match for me? This bro was involved in so many fights back then and even scolded so many popular artists, yet there was nothing they could do about me. I still carried on living my life as normal.”
Jiang Hanwei said with contempt, “That’s true, who can compare with you in that aspect? I’m a professional actor, but you’re a professional fighter.”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “It’s been so long, yet you still haven’t forgotten about our feud? I don’t even bear a grudge anymore.”
Jiang Hanwei nearly blew his top. “At Xiaodong’s birthday banquet, bastard, it was you who sent me flying with my car into the ditch. Why would you bear any grudge!”
Zhang Ye laughed loudly at that.
When Jiang Hanwei saw his reaction, he also couldn’t hold back his laughter.
About their feud years ago, who could really say who was to blame?
It was all water under the bridge. Now that they were talking about it again, there wasn’t a hint of hatred. The only thing left was a sense of nostalgia.
Zhang Ye brought out the script at this moment. “Let’s get down to business then. I’ve taken a TV drama project recently, and there’s a role that reminded me of you. Take the role.”
Old Jiang’s wife was bringing the water over when she heard that. She was dumbfounded. “You’re looking for our Old Jiang to act in a show?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Yes, Sister-in-law.”
Jiang Hanwei also did not expect this. “My reputation is quite bad now.”
Zhang Ye said, “It’s fine, it’s an antagonist role anyway.”
Jiang Hanwei got extremely curious. “Why did you think of approaching me?”
Zhang Ye spread his hands. “In the entertainment circle, how many can still act well? The shows these days are all reliant on the male idols and their looks. Acting skills have become a secondary consideration for a role, right? But that won’t work for my show. This role has a very specific requirement and needs to be played in the way that I want. I’ve seen your acting before. They’re almost always fighting roles, so I think it’s time that you change your formula. This role of mine could very well be your breakthrough role. For such a good job, I only ever considered you for it. It can’t be given to just anyone. What’s more, I think that you can definitely act well and bring the character to life. After all, you’ve won the best actor award before.”
He looked through the script.
Jiang Hanwei read through every single word in it.
Finally, he said to Zhang Ye, “You even dare take a drama like this?”
Zhang Ye smiled and asked, “Of course I dare. But the question is, do you dare act in it?”
His wife said, “Old Jiang—”
Jiang Hanwei waved her off. “Which other actors are there?”
Zhang Ye explained, “Me, Yao Jiancai, Ning Lan, Dong Shanshan, and a few other veteran actors. They’re basically the same group of people that you knew.”
Jiang Hanwei broke into a smile. “Other than Dong Shanshan, the people you approached are either retired or washed up?”
Zhang Ye shrugged and said with a laugh, “I can’t afford to hire any of the male idols, after all.”
Jiang Hanwei pondered it. “I’ll accept the role.”
Zhang Ye said, “Aren’t you going to ask about the pay?”
Jiang Hanwei sneered. “Yours is a political drama. What pay can there be? It’s already good if you don’t ask me to dip into my own pockets.”
His wife said in a speechless manner, “Then why did you accept it?”
Yeah, why did I accept it?
Jiang Hanwei didn’t know how to answer either.
Perhaps he wanted to make use of this opportunity to find out if he was really old.
Perhaps he wanted to see if the industry still needed veterans like them who used to call the shots.
Some of them had retired.
Some of them were old.
Some of them were no longer popular.
They were disheartened by the state of the industry.
On this day, on Zhang Ye’s return, he had gathered many of his old friends and foes together. It wasn’t for the money, and it wasn’t for the profit. All of it was to remind the industry of their names!
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