Chapter 609 Day of the Premiere!
On the day of the premiere of Grandmasters.
Morning, around 9 AM in Beijing.
Hall 1 of Xianglong UME International Cineplex.
Backstage, a staff member was helping Zhang Ye put on makeup, while most of the other actors had already done their own makeup at home or at their companies to prepare for the red carpet walk. The scale of the premiere was clearly going to be quite large but as Zhang Ye did not have a management team or agency, and certainly no makeup team, he had to get the makeup artist from the film crew help him after he arrived. He was holding his cell phone in his right hand and talking to someone as his makeup was being done.
"Brother, we have arrived!" his third sister said.
Zhang Ye said, "Then come in. It's going to start soon."
His second sister snatched over the cell phone from her and said, "They are not letting us in because we don't have any tickets."
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "OK, I got it. How many of you are there?"
His second sister replied, "There's five of us. Me, Big Sis, Mengmeng, and two of her classmates. Brother, come out quickly to receive us, hurry up! I can't wait to see the celebrities!"
"I'm still having my makeup done now and can't go out yet. Wait a little while, I'll get someone to bring you in." After hanging up, Zhang Ye made a call. "Hello, Little Wang, it's Zhang Ye. I have some relatives coming for the premiere and they are at the entrance now. Can you help bring them in for me?"
Little Wang immediately said, "No problem, no problem!"
Zhang Ye said, "They're five young girls so it should be easy to spot them."
"Don't worry, Teacher Zhang, leave it to me," Little Wang answered promptly.
"Thank you and sorry for the trouble, Little Wang," Zhang Ye said.
For these kinds of movie premieres, most people couldn't get ahold of the tickets even if they were willing to spend money to buy them. They would still need to call in favors to purchase the tickets as they were so highly sought after. However, as one of the main cast members of Grandmasters, it was not a problem for Zhang Ye to bring some family members to attend as long as it wasn't too many people. They did not need any tickets either. And, at most, if there were no seats to accommodate them, they could just bring in some extra chairs, so it was not a big deal at all. His three sisters were crazy about chasing idols and liked to attend such activities as well. Since yesterday, they had been pestering Zhang Ye to let them come to the movie premiere. Since it was his sisters' request and not difficult to agree to, Zhang Ye naturally would not refuse them.
At the venue of the movie premiere.
The reporters were all in position.
The audience was also fully present. The venue was packed.
Little Wang, who was part of the organizing team, brought Zhang Ye's sisters in from the side entrance and led them directly to the seats in the 4th row, close to the front. Although the area was slightly to the right, the location was still quite good as they could see the stage in front of them quite well.
The eldest sister, Cao Dan said, "Thank you, Brother Wang."
Little Wang smiled and said, "You're welcome. Have a seat. Come and look for me if you need anything." With that, he went to busy himself with his work.
Cao Mengmeng's classmate, Little Qian exclaimed, "Wow, we even get to sit so close to the front?"
Cao Mengmeng's other classmate, Little Wen said, "Mengmeng, your brother is so marvelous! This is the first time that I'm attending a movie premiere. This feels so awesome! I'm so excited!"
Cao Mengmeng chuckled and said, "Of course, who do you think my brother is?"
His second sister was also said very excitedly, "It's starting, it's starting!"
The movie premiere began.
One by one, the actors walked down the red carpet and came into the venue. First was Zhang Yuanqi, followed by Dalong and Tian Xuetao. Finally Zhang Ye also strolled in casually. This was his first time walking the red carpet and it actually felt quite good. As he slowly walked up to the stage, he waved to the left and smiled to the right at the audience.
Applause was coming from every direction.
Especially from his three sisters who were clapping their hardest until their hands nearly turned a dark shade of red!
"You are so handsome!"
On seeing so many celebrities and even the Heavenly Queen herself walking past them, Cao Mengmeng's two classmates blushed, feeling as though they were in a dream. They were furiously clapping away too!
The last person to appear was Wang Chengpeng, and as the movie's director, he received the loudest applause from the audience. As he went up on stage, he took the microphone and made an opening speech. "Thank you everyone. Thank you to our friends from the media, our dear audience and friends for attending the opening premiere of Grandmasters. After ten months of production, with an investment of..."
The proceedings of the movie premiere went on step by step.
The opening address, the actors' speeches, a media interview, an audience lucky draw, and so on.
When it came to the media interview, Zhang Yuanqi, being a Heavenly Queen, managed it with ease. She had already been through such situations dozens of times, if not at least close to a hundred times. Dalong did not like to speak much to the media as that had always been his character. He quickly ended his interview with just a few words. When Tian Xuetao and the second female lead went up on stage for their part, they looked visibly nervous. Somewhere in the middle of the questioning, Tian Xuetao said something wrong but quickly reacted and changed his answer and managed to get through the interview. The second female lead nearly fell down when her high heels gave way as she staggered some distance away, scaring many of the audience as they were worried that she would fall off the stage.
The reporters kept focusing their cameras onto them, looking for flaws or mistakes. That was what they wished to see, since if everyone were flawless and behaved perfectly like Zhang Yuanqi, would there would even be any news at all?
Tian Xuetao and the second female lead might be considered quite popular and have acted for quite a number of years already. However, since acting and life were different things, even if they did not get nervous while filming the movie, it wouldn't mean that they would not get nervous when faced with so many people from the media and audience. Moreover, as it was such a big occasion and a big production that they were taking part in for the first time, coupled with their young ages, you could say that their experience in handling this interview segment was definitely incomparable to a mature artist like Zhang Yuanqi's.
They got off the stage and returned to their seats in the front row.
Tian Xuetao was slightly embarrassed and said, "Ai, I was too nervous."
Zhang Yuanqi comforted him like an older sister would and said, "It's not a problem. I was also nervous just now when I spoke." She turned her head to look at the second female lead and asked, "Juan'er, is your ankle alright?"
The second female lead said, "It's fine, Sister Zhang. I got the wrong size shoes. They're too big."
Upon hearing that, Zhang Yuanqi said, "Hur hur, my shoes are coincidentally a little too small for me. They're size 36. Come, try wearing mine."
"How can I do that? No, no, no." The second female lead felt overwhelmed by the attention from the Heavenly Queen.
"I do not have athlete's foot, so you can wear them without worries." Saying so, Zhang Yuanqi had already took off her shoes graciously.
When the second female lead saw that, she could only exchange the shoes with her. Feeling very touched, she said, "Thank you, Sister Zhang."
This scene was captured by some of the reporters who were beside them, but no one was particularly surprised. In the entertainment circle, Zhang Yuanqi had always had good relationships and took especially good care of others. She never had any conflicts with people. Even when those celebrities with poor reputations met Zhang Yuanqi, they would still greet her politely. The reason for that was for all to see, as Sister Zhang always knew how to handle issues, conduct herself personably, and never put on airs.
However, when Zhang Ye saw that, he did not say anything at all. He knew exactly what kind of character Old Zhang had.
On the stage.
The host smiled and said, "Who's next?"
Wang Chengpeng looked to his left and called out, "Teacher Zhang, it's your turn."
"It's my turn already? Alright." Zhang Ye straightened his suit and walked up to the stage with a smile
The host handed the microphone to him.
Zhang Ye took it and said with a smile, "It's finally my turn, but before the questions start, let me first say a few words." Zhang Ye stopped a reporter who was just about to ask him something, "Actually there is a profound meaning behind Director Wang's arrangement for me to be the last one to come up on stage. Someone recently gave me a nickname, calling me the 'Speech Demon'. They say that there will be trouble the moment I hold a microphone..."
With that, the audience in the house burst out in laughter!
Wang Chengpeng laughed as he pointed to him.
The second female lead was also tickled.
Some time ago, the Peking University incident had caused an uproar and basically everyone knew of that incident. When they heard Zhang Ye self-ridiculing himself the moment he went on stage, everyone thought it was hilarious.
Zhang Ye continued on, "Actually, I do not have any confidence in myself. At this big event today, I had better not say anything wrong again, in case it brings trouble to Director Wang and the film producers. So then, for the questions that our reporters have for me, let's just make do with one question. One is enough. I'm afraid of getting in trouble if I say too much."
Everyone laughed again.
The female reporter stood up again and asked, "Alright then, Teacher Zhang, I will only ask one question. Earlier, my fellow reporters have already asked the questions about the movie and its production, so let me ask a private question instead. The character that you portray in the movie is an antagonist who leads a solitary life. What I would like to ask is, are you also like that? Do you have a girlfriend yet? Can you share with us your love life? I believe there are many people who are very concerned about this question. That is all I would like to ask."
With that, she sat back down.
The audience applauded and whistled enthusiastically, waiting for Zhang Ye to talk about his love life.
Everyone was always interested to know about celebrity gossip and scandals. But unfortunately, those were also what the celebrities were most unwilling to discuss, because it was not easy to answer, and sometimes, there was no way to answer it either. Admitting or denying also did not help, so that was why a question like that at this moment would test the professionalism of a celebrity.
Tian Xuetao looked up to the stage.
The second female lead and the rest of the actors were also waiting to see what Zhang Ye would say.
Zhang Ye smiled and looked at that female reporter before answering, "How is that one question? Your sentence consisted of three questions, and they're even such blunt questions. Do you have a grudge against me?"
The female reporter smiled and waved her hands.
Zhang Ye said, "Actually my love life is a history of blood and tears!"
Everyone's interest perked. What do you mean by a history of blood and tears? Hurry up and tell us!
Zhang Ye followed up immediately by explaining further, "I've bled! I've cried! And I've been through shit1!"
When they heard that, the audience and reporters nearly vomited a mouthful of blood. Pfft! There were blood, tears...and even shit? Just how dirty was your love life!
Wang Chengpeng was also spoiled by the humor!
The second female lead even covered her mouth and laughed away heartily!
Zhang Ye stood on the stage and chewed the fat with everyone for some time. Everything he said was getting funnier and funnier and everyone was enjoying listening to him. However if anyone were to think about it, Zhang Ye had actually not said anything related to his love life at all.
After Zhang Ye got off from the stage and returned to his seat.
Dalong glanced at him.
Tian Xuetao also looked over to Zhang Ye.
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Compared to Tian Xuetao's and the second female lead's nervous and mistake-ridden interviews, Zhang Ye's handling of the question was impeccable and of a totally different standard to them. There were no signs of nervousness, and instead, even teased the reporter and himself with ease. Every one of his words carried a little joke in it as he raised the entire atmosphere of the movie premiere. What was most critical was that he did not even answer the sensitive question and skipped over it skillfully.
This clearly showed the difference between a host and an actor. While an actor's primary job was acting, Zhang Ye was a versatile host who had skills to handle situations both inside and outside of acting!
1. The words history and shit are both pronounced as shǐ