Si Lu was at a loss.
Fang Zhao was able to guide Zaro, and as a member of the consultant team, he would surely be even more familiar with the Yanzhou chapter and would understand the roles better. Perhaps Fang Zhao's understanding was much deeper than other actors, but he would be willing to listen to reasonable remarks.
Si Lu had a habit. Whenever he was distressed, he liked to go to a gym and hit the weights.
There was an exercise level in every building in the housing area, but there were many people there. Apart from this, there was also a health center that Si Lu loved to visit.
There was actually another place specifically for the leads and important supporting roles of each film unit. The conditions there were even better and there was more personal space. The only problem was that Si Lu could not get in as he wasn't qualified enough.
Although the cast and crew were on vacation today, there were still many people in the health center. Some people would visit the gourmet food city to relieve some stress, whereas others would visit the health center to relieve all their pent-up stress and frustrations after a season of filming.
Si Lu was also a frequent visitor here. When he entered, he saw familiar faces from each continent's film unit.
He did not greet anyone, and nobody bothered him. Although everyone was training their bodies, they all had their own train of thoughts. Greeting others could be considered disturbing them, so here, nobody would hastily talk to another unless they were friends.
It hadn't been like this at the start, but as season after season went by, this strange atmosphere had arisen.
Sometimes, when one was being polite, from another's point of view, it was like one was asking about their entire family.
Therefore, when one entered the health center and saw a senior from the showbiz circles, not greeting the other party wasn't considered a form of disrespect.
As Si Lu was training, he considered whether he should go seek out Fang Zhao.
At this moment, Fang Zhao had just entered the health center after running around the gourmet food city. Although he had just ran, he wasn't sweating—there was only some sand and dirt on his body.
As Fang Zhao had an important role in the cast, he had the privilege of using the special gym. However, he had loaned his right to another actor in the same company. That actor needed some physical training and a quiet environment. The other exercise areas had too many people, and the special gym for leads and important supporting roles was a little better.
Fang Zhao did not have many requirements for such things, so he had temporarily loaned his access card to that other actor.
The people at this health center frequently saw Fang Zhao. Knowing that he had lent his access card to others, they were quite envious of that other actor. If they could, they would naturally use a quieter and more personal environment for their own training. It was just too bad that there were too many actors and resources were limited. They could only blame themselves for not being capable enough to snag a lead role.
Si Lu also saw Fang Zhao, and he paused his training. He was hesitating on whether to go over, but before he decided, Fang Zhao had entered another training room.
Fang Zhao had entered a room with lots of sandbags. There were a few actors training there already. There were more people using sandbags here. Fang Zhao walked over to the side with suspended sandbags. This was the area with the largest ones.
The people here were already used to this sight. There were also people who had once tried to punch these sandbags and injured their fists. Therefore, those suspended sandbags were basically only used by Fang Zhao. Even when there were many people in the health center, this area would still be empty.
When actors from every continent came here to train and observed Fang Zhao's fighting prowess, they came to this conclusion: he can fight!
He could hit such a large and hard sandbag. If this wasn't considered being able to fight well, then what was?
As some people watched Fang Zhao start to hit the sandbags once more, a few of them started to discuss in muted voices. "Look, Fang Zhao is hitting that sandbag again. That sandbag is really pitiful; it gets beaten up every few days."
"You are mistaken. That isn't the previous sandbag. The health center has changed to a new one again. I heard that the previous one was beaten till it broke... No, I think the sandbag is changed after every session."
"Do you want to go and practice with Fang Zhao? The people from our continent do not have much interaction with Fang Zhao. Why don't you go and practice with Fang Zhao first?"
The person who was asked looked at the new sandbag and then looked at Fang Zhao before vigorously shaking his head and replying, "No way! If he doesn't control his strength properly, what happens if I get crippled? My small frame won't be able to withstand a punch of his."
"He can fight so well, why is he an actor? He can go over to the Muzhou arena and be a boxer. One can earn more than an actor over there."
Someone else interrupted them. "Just a gentle reminder, Fang Zhao's actual profession is composer. He held his first career concert just last year. He graduated from Qi'an Academy of Music, which is a top-tier school in Yanzhou for the arts."
The other two silently pondered for some time before replying, "Then the question is, why does he want to be an actor? Is competiting with us for our livelihood very fun?"
Fang Zhao did not know that he was being discussed. It was not that he could not hear, but whenever he came, he would not put in extra effort to take note of what other people were talking about. Otherwise, if he really wanted to, he could hear them even over the muffled sounds of all the sandbags being hit.
Since joining the cast of "Founding Era," other actors had also suffered from negative emotions. Although Fang Zhao himself was more clear headed, he wasn't entirely unaffected. He would also recall stuff that had happened before, and he wasn't completely at peace.
Actually, Fang Zhao wished that he could shoot to let off steam, but there were no shooting ranges that fit his requirement here. Eighty percent of the guns provided by the production team weren't real. Props were made in the image of guns from the Period of Destruction, and not many bullets were manufactured, as the production team was taking safety into account.
Therefore, Fang Zhao would punch some sandbags every few days. The largest sandbag here was actually set up according to a special request from Fang Zhao. He could hit it without any problems, but if other people tried, they would hurt their fists.
Fang Zhao also paid for the cost of replacing damaged sandbags out of his own pocket. He would not let the production team pay for them.
After his session, when Fang Zhao came out, someone called his name.
Si Lu had finally set his resolve and had kept watch over the door. When he saw Fang Zhao, he got a little excited and his voice was a little loud.
Others present there simultaneously turned to look over.
Aware that he had caused a disturbance, Si Lu made an apologetic gesture toward his surroundings. Then he took a deep breath, walked in front of Fang Zhao, and opened his mouth. There were many people around, including a number of familiar faces from Yanzhou.
He was embarrassed. Originally, he had thought quite a bit about what to say, but the word that came out of his mouth was "Train?"
Everyone else: "..." A real warrior!
Especially those that had come out behind Fang Zhao, when they heard what Si Lu had said, they flashed him a thumbs up. His courage was commendable, but he wasn't being sensible. The large damaged sandbag that was hanging inside resembled a dead body.
Even people who did not know the fate of the large sandbag had heard of Fang Zhao's capability. In the four successive seasons of filming, Fang Zhao was the only one that had not used a body double! Even the fight choreographer and people invited from military districts had said that if Fang Zhao was in the military, he would not be much different from special forces or elite troops.
Training with Fang Zhao? Was he not thinking things through? Was he under too much pressure?
Si Lu came to his senses after speaking and wanted to give himself a slap. Why did I say such a thing! I'm asking to be brutalized! Surely I have been under too much pressure; thus my brain isn't working too well.
Si Lu was regretting and praying that Fang Zhao rejected him. Following that, he heard Fang Zhao reply, "Sure. Where shall we go?" Fang Zhao pointed to a site not too far away. Normally, when actors wanted to practice and coordinate for their roles, they would head over there.
Fang Zhao had just seen the people inside come out and it was empty now.
Si Lu clenched his jaw and said, "All right."
Half an hour later, Fang Zhao and Si Lu came out one after the other.
Fang Zhao grabbed his coat and bag and returned to his living quarters. There didn't seem to be anything different about him.
As for Si Lu, he appeared dejected. He grimaced whenever he moved his arm. Clearly, he was in pain.
An actor came over to ask him, "Were you beaten up?"
Si Lu shook his head. "No."
The others did not believe him, but they did not probe further and instead said, "You weren't hit in the face, nor did you receive serious wounds, so it's all fine as long as it doesn't affect filming."
Si Lu could not be bothered to explain further when he saw the looks of pity he was getting from the others. Now he was feeling vexed. He had said to train, but actually, Fang Zhao had given it to him. To make a similar analogy, it was like a master sparring with some young disciples. Clearly he was older than Fang Zhao by a few decades!
Si Lu did not spend much longer in the health center, soon taking his things and returning to his quarters as well.
Sitting down, Si Lu felt rather relaxed despite his body being physically exhausted. A fight was indeed the best way to vent.
His room wasn't like the single room that Fang Zhao had—it was a double room. However, his actor roommate had already received a bento box at the end of season four, and if he wished to stay on, he would have to arrange for other accommodations at his own expense, and the conditions would not be as good.
Now only Si Lu was left here, and it was a peaceful environment to ponder in.
Si Lu once again checked the message his manager had sent him when he'd last had internet access. Besides inquiring about his filming situation and physical condition, Si Lu's manager had also exhorted what should be done and how to handle different matters as well as to guard against people from Silver Wing.
Si Lu wasn't a person with a very high IQ. He had gotten where he was today partly because of his own qualifications and partly because he had an extremely capable manager. Although he would be getting his bento box in the upcoming season five, the role he played had some distinguishing features. When the time came for him to receive his bento box, his popularity would be there. Nowadays, his popularity in Yanzhou was also much higher than before.
He actually wasn't a person that hesitated a lot. He had gotten to these heights today and achieved so much because he relied on advice and plans from his company, his manager, and the teams behind him. His family members also told him to listen to these teams' arrangements and not to act by himself in case he was deceived and lost all the things he had worked so hard to achieve.
But now he had run into some difficulty.
He would be receiving his bento box in the fifth season, and it was the most crucial time for this role of his, yet he couldn't find his form now and wasn't able to produce a satisfactory result. If this went on, when it came to the filming, he might not be able to succeed even after many takes.
Si Lu held a prop knife in his hands. This was the knife the character he played in the series used. He had applied for permission to bring it back so that he could gain some inspiration, but now it was as if his mind was enveloped in a thick fog. He just wasn't able to do anything.
After pondering for quite some time in his room, Si Lu decided that he would still seek out Fang Zhao. From what had happened today, Fang Zhao actually wasn't as scary as Si Lu's agent had said he was. Fang Zhao had practiced with him and had not even made any attacks. The reason his fists were hurting was because Fang Zhao's bones and muscles were too hard!
On the other hand, after Fang Zhao returned to his room, he had a routine meal to replenish the energy used up that day.
When he remembered the encounter with an actor named Si Lu today, Fang Zhao made a mental note.
When some people acted, the personality they exuded would inundate the role they played in the series, but there were also some whose personalities would get overshadowed by the roles they played, and it would impact them throughout their lives.
It would be fine if it was some sunny series, but "Founding Era" was just like the psychologists had said: a dark and gloomy forest. It was too dangerous for just anybody to step in. If a person was not careful, he would be engulfed whole. The more important the part, the longer one touched upon the role, the longer he would be immersed in it.
It was fine if it were just a two- or three-hour movie or a series with something like 10 episodes, but "Founding Era" was too long. Every chapter was forecasted to have 10 seasons, and each season had 30 episodes. The actors spent too much time immersed in their roles.
Today, when Fang Zhao had seen the aura that Si Lu was exuding, it had been clear that Si Lu had been deeply influenced by his role, but it couldn't be considered too serious.
Of course, Fang Zhao had been able to see that the other party had had other stuff he wanted to say, but Si Lu had not voiced it.
After Fang Zhao finished his meal, the doorbell rang.
When he opened the door, Si Lu stood outside with an apologetic look on his face. "Sorry for disturbing you. I have encountered some difficulty. Is it convenient for you to have a listen and give me some suggestions? Zaro said that if we in the Yanzhou film unit have any questions, you are the best person to seek."
After all, Si Lu did not wish to seek out Zaro again. When Zaro talked, he pissed people off too easily. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far