Chapter 1541: Dear Showbiz, I trust you’ve been well?
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
On this night.
At Zhang Ye’s house.
The main door of the villa was open. Zhang Ye was busy washing vegetables and cooking the dishes in the open kitchen all by himself. It was going to be the first meeting for the main cast of the drama In the Name of the People. Zhang Ye had chosen not to hold the gathering at a restaurant this time. Instead, he held it at his house because it meant a lot to him.
The door was being knocked on.
Ning Lan was the first to arrive. “Zhang’er, may I come in?”
Zhang Ye said, holding a kitchen knife in his hands, “Come in, the door’s open.”
Ning Lan looked around. “Where’s Minister Wu?”
Zhang Ye said, “Oh, her? She’s working overtime today.”
Ning Lan broke into a smile. She didn’t even change out of her shoes and stepped in with her high heels still on. “You could have said so earlier. I wouldn’t have knocked otherwise.”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Big Sis, can’t you be a little more courteous?”
Ning Lan chuckled and said, “What’s the need to be polite with you?”
Zhang Ye ordered her, “By the way, help me take care of my daughter. She’s upstairs.”
Soon after, Ning Lan went upstairs to bring Sisi down.
From outside, Yao Jiancai entered the villa. “Yo, kid, you’re personally whipping up the courses?”
Zhang Ye grinned. “But of course. I gotta show you guys what I’m capable of, after all.”
Yao Jiancai asked, “Is your wife around?”
“No, she’s working overtime today,” Zhang Ye replied.
Yao Jiancai also came in casually and started rummaging through the cabinets for tea leaves without any courtesy. “Where’s the Da Hong Pao? Hurry up and hand them over!”
Sisi, who had just been brought downstairs, asked, “Daddy, who are they?”
Zhang Ye patted his daughter on her head. “They’re your uncles and aunties. Have you greeted them yet?”
Sisi shook her head as she became rather shy.
Yao Jiancai got rather excited. “This is your daughter? Do you know me, little girl?”
Sisi tugged at her father’s shirt. “Daddy, can you play with me?”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Daddy is preparing some good food. Go find Auntie Ning and play with her.”
Ning Lan clapped her hands and said, “Come here, Sisi, Auntie will play with you. Let your daddy cook dinner for us.”
Outside the doorway, Zhang Xia also slowly walked in. “Is everyone busy with something? Hur hur.”
Yao Jiancai greeted Zhang Xia.
Ning Lan smiled and said, “Grandma Zhang, this kid even managed to convince you to make a return?”
Zhang Xia smiled back. “Yes, I couldn’t refuse him at all.” Then she asked Zhang Ye, “Is your wife around?”
Before Zhang Ye could answer her.
Jiang Hanwei had also arrived.
The moment Jiang Hanwei came into the house, he said, “Minister Wu isn’t at home?”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes. “She’s not around. She’s working overtime today and probably won’t be back before 9 PM. Hai, but this is really interesting. Why are all of you asking whether my wife is around or not the moment you step in?”
Ning Lan laughed and said, “Your wife is now an important minister at the Central Publicity Department. If she were around, do you think we would dare to speak so casually? We’d have to behave ourselves.”
Zhang Ye said, “Don’t worry about her. She is her, and I am me.”
Dong Shanshan arrived shortly after as well. “Zhang’er, is your wife—”
Before she could finish asking, Zhang Ye was already answering, “My wife is not around. Make yourself at home.”
All of the guests arrived.
Sun Qishuo: a big name in the theater scene.
Shu Han: a former A-lister.
Jiang Bin: a veteran actor who had debuted 30 years ago.
Over a dozen people had gathered here, but none of them needed any introduction to one another. Everyone knew each other, although some were more familiar with others, while some were just acquaintances.
Half an hour later.
The dishes were served and the drinks were waiting.
Zhang Ye said confidently, “Come, have a taste of my cooking!”
Dong Shanshan smiled and took a bite of the food. “It’s pretty alright.”
Ning Lan smacked her lips. “It’s edible.”
Only Shu Han was patronizing. After all, she wasn’t all that close to Zhang Ye in the past. “It’s quite delicious. I really couldn’t have expected Director Zhang to be so good at cooking.”
Zhang Ye said, “When my wife broke her leg years ago, I had the opportunity to learn and practice.”
Ning Lan raised her glass. “May I suggest that we have a toast first? It’s not easy for the group of us to gather here today. Especially for Old Jiang. I really couldn’t have expected that you managed to convince him to join.”
Jiang Bin wondered, “Yeah, didn’t you two have some disagreements back then?”
Jiang Hanwei said indifferently, “Work is work, and private matters remain private.”
Ning Lan asked, “Why has Shanshan come as well? You aren’t lacking opportunities, right?”
Dong Shanshan said with a smile, “He came to my studio, crying and begging me to join the cast. My heart softened at the sight, so I said yes to him.”
Zhang Ye was floored. “Did I?”
With the first toast, it got lively on the dinner table.
Zhang Ye stood up and said, “Allow me to say a few words. I gathered everyone here today for the first meeting, but it’s actually just a party for old friends. All of us here should know each other, right? Some of us have deeper friendship with others, while some of us might even have a grudge against someone. But with that toast earlier, and with this dinner party, let’s all agree to turn over a new leaf. Let’s gather all of our strength and focus it onto the project and act well for the drama. It’s time that us old-timers produce some results for the world to see, so don’t screw it up.”
Yao Jiancai said, “I’m just afraid that you’ll be the one screwing up.”
Ning Lan agreed, “Yeah, all of us here should be best actors and best actresses, right?”
Zhang Ye blinked. “Is that so?”
Shu Han smiled. “Of course. I don’t think there’s a need to mention more about Old Ning’s achievements. The number of best actress awards that she’s won are uncountable, and I myself have gotten it twice before.”
Jiang Hanwei said stiffly, “I’ve won it four times.”
Yao Jiancai laughed and said, “I’ve gotten it once, and another four for best supporting actor.”
Jiang Bin smiled. “I’ve not counted it before, but I’ve probably won two or three domestic awards too?”
Sun Qishuo said, “Do theater awards count? If it does, then I’ve won eight or nine awards.”
Dong Shanshan looked at Zhang Ye. “I’ve won it once as well.”
Zhang Ye said in surprise, “You have one too?”
Dong Shanshan smiled and said, “I got it last year, but it was just a best actress award for a short film.”
Ning Lan said in amusement, “The best actress for a short film is a best actress award nonetheless.”
Zhang Ye wiped away his sweat. “So I’m the only one who isn’t a former winner?”
Dong Shanshan said, “It’s not only that. You haven’t even acted in any dramas before.”
Zhang Xia was also laughing from all of this. She said with a sigh, “For someone who hasn’t even acted in a TV drama before, he actually dares to gather everyone to act in a drama? Zhang’er, just how bold do you have to be to do something like that? In the entire entertainment industry, when it comes to courage, I really can’t think of anyone else who is braver than you.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Then why did all of you dare to take part?”
Shu Han laughed. “That’s because we all know how capable you are.”
Ning Lan smirked. “Yeah. Other people might’ve forgotten about how capable you are, but how could we? This time, it’s only you who can manage to convince us veterans to come out of retirement to join you.”
Zhang Ye cupped his fists and said, “Thank you for your love, everyone. Now then, all this talk is putting so much stress on me. I’ll do my utmost not to drag you best actors and best actresses down with me. Although I’m the director, I still hope that everyone will criticize and correct me freely if there are any problems that I cause during filming. I promise that I won’t get angry.”
Everyone rolled their eyes.
Are you just the director?
The project manager.
The executive director.
You have a part in all of those roles, so who would dare point out your mistakes like you asked!
“Don’t listen to his nonsense anymore. Let’s drink.”
“Right? When others criticized this fellow back then, he would hit back at them with a barrage of criticism. If he were someone who could accept criticism so easily, he wouldn’t have offended so many people years ago.”
“Haha, that’s right.”
“Do you guys still remember that one time? Zhang’er unexpectedly turned the police station upside down with those poems of his. They’re still inscribed in the walls there and have become an attraction of the police station.”
“I heard about this matter back then as well. But the details, I don’t really remember them. Little Dong, quickly tell us about it.”
“Haha, but everyone wants me to talk about it.”
“Alright then, I’ll spill some of your embarrassing secrets too if that’s the case.”
Speaking of the past.
Everyone drank heartily in happy moods.
Eventually, Zhang Ye suggested, “Come, let’s take a photo together.”
Ning Lan said, “Sure, this is a day worth remembering.”
Dong Shanshan asked, “Does this mean that the production crew is officially set up?”
Zhang Ye smiled. “Yes, it’s officially set up.”
Zhang Xia said, “Come, let’s take the picture.”
Shu Han said, “Grandma Zhang, you stand in the middle.”
Zhang Ye said, “Quick, I’m gonna take the picture.”
In this picture were all sorts of silly behavior.
Dong Shanshan made bunny ears over Zhang Ye’s head.
Zhang Ye mischievously pinched Yao Jiancai’s face.
Ning Lan pinched Shu Han’s chin.
Shu Han was laughing and tiptoeing to appear much taller than everyone else.
With the photo taken, everyone gathered around to look at it. Then all of them burst out laughing.
Even Jiang Hanwei couldn’t help but shake his head in amusement.
Dong Shanshan said, “Quick, put this up on Weibo.”
Zhang Ye didn’t want to. “But I look really ugly in this photo.”
Yao Jiancai said, “My face was already all distorted, yet I’m not grumbling about it being ugly!”
Ning Lan said, “This is a pretty good shot. Quickly post it!”
Zhang Xia said, “We shouldn’t just post the picture alone. We should write something to go along with it too.”
Shu Han said, “We could inform people that our production crew has been set up.”
“What should we write then?” Zhang Ye asked.
Shu Han smiled. “That’s your job.”
Yao Jiancai said, “Yeah, we’re not as talented as you when it comes to writing showy.”
Ning Lan looked at him. “You’ve been locked away for three years. Surely you didn’t become stupid during that time? You can still write, right?”
A bunch of washed up veterans were behaving mischievously like teenagers. Perhaps deep down in their hearts, none of them wished to admit that they were old.
That was the reason they came.
That was the reason they were making a return to the industry today.
Or maybe it was for that lost honor?
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Alright then.”
Uploading the picture, Zhang Ye closed his eyes and thought for a while. Then he opened his eyes and started typing on his phone with a smile. Very quickly, Zhang Ye’s first Weibo post since his return appeared and showed itself to the world.
The original Weibo post went:
“The torrents of the Yangtze wash away heroes of yore,
“Right and wrong, success and failure—all are no more.
“Green hills remain the same,
“Deep the setting sun spreads its flame!
“Fishermen with gray locks work on rivers and banks,
“The scenery and good times simply blanks.
“They lug jugs of spirits and drink at ease,
“Chatting about the past and smiling in the breeze.”
At the end were two simple lines.
“Dear Showbiz, I trust you’ve been well?
“—From Zhang Ye & the main cast of In the Name of the People.”
Yao Jiancai shouted, “Great!”
Ning Lan said excitedly, “Well written!”
Shu Han gave him the thumbs up.
What a good “torrent of the Yangtze”!
What a good “green hills remain the same”!
What a good “deep the setting sun spreads its flame”!
What a good “Dear Showbiz, I trust you’ve been well?”!
With just a few sentences, it left a soul-stirring impression!
- No categories