༺ Bad Acting ༻
Yoomyeong had a habit.
— Oppa, why are you looking at that page of the script? There’s no dialogue for Bohyung there.
— Ah… I was just looking. Haha…
Whenever he got a part in a school play during his past life, his lines were just a few sentences, and the sparsely highlighted script looked desolate against its stark whiteness. So, he always chose an additional role.
— To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Sometimes, this role was the main character with famous lines,
— I fan myself to save on expenses.
Or a character with a brief but unique appearance in the play.
Thus, in 1,321 works, Yoomyeong played 1,321 roles and imagined another 1,321 roles he didn’t play.
These myriad of roles supported the variations in Shin Yoomyeong’s performances.
Unable to break this habit, he pondered how he would have played the role of ‘Tak Gyu-min’ in this script as well.
Tak Gyu-min, the second male lead in ‘Showbiz Studies’.
Yoomyeong’s impression of him was a soft-hearted person, unsuited for celebrity life.
— Gyu-min sighs faintly after seeing his fans crowd around, then smiles brightly.
— Gyu-min smiles tenderly when he sees Hana always running around.
Unlike Kwon Do-jun, whose innate talent and passion for acting overshadowed his difficult personality, or Kim Hana, who entered the industry out of sheer willpower and resilience, or Ryu Jun-kyung, who reveled in the attention, Tak Gyu-min was different.
He entered the entertainment world because of his pretty face and difficult family circumstances. Despite being overwhelmed by his popularity and self-conscious about his limited talent, he still struggled to fulfill his role.
As a ‘professional entertainer’, he wore a bright smile as a way to justify the money he earned.
Thus, he became the ‘ordinary man’ who sincerely listened to the ‘ordinary girl’ whenever she stumbled or struggled.
Tak Gyu-min was indeed a charming character.
A normal man under the guise of a glamorous celebrity—it was a gap that could earn the viewers’ empathy and love if portrayed well.
Lee Kyu-seong was cast as Tak Gyu-min. It was a good casting in terms of the celebrity guise.
However, his inability to show the simple, ordinary man underneath meant that his character faded into just another second male lead role.
‘If it were me…’
The key was to sprinkle Tak Gyu-min’s personal vulnerability into his portrayal of ‘Munshin Wolgong’ in the drama.
Yoomyeong closed off his senses to the outside world for a moment, immersing himself in the inner world of Tak Gyu-min.
Baek Seunghyo was a bit nervous.
Today’s scene was not easy.
The characters ‘Eunseong’ played by Kwon Do-jun and ‘Wolgong’ by Tak Gyu-min were in a sharp conflict.
In this scene, Kwon Do-jun’s performance had to overpower Tak Gyu-min’s.
‘Lee Kyu-seong. He’s always slightly irritating me, and now this…’
Although he was always smiling, Baek Seunghyo was aware of Lee Kyu-seong’s twisted feelings. He had not paid much attention though, as he considered him an uninteresting actor.
But a strike, especially in this scene where Do-jun’s performance had to shine?
‘And the stand-in…’
Baek Seunghyo looked at Shin Yoomyeong, who was on standby.
He was more concerning than Lee Kyu-seong.
Though only Seunghyo would be captured on screen, he wondered how Yoomyeong would play Tak Gyu-min.
Would his ‘Wolgong’ simply yield to his ‘Eunseong’?
“We’ll take a full take without cutting to capture the emotions. After that, we’ll focus on close-ups of Baek Seunghyo.”
Eunseong and Wolgong were two characters in the drama-within-a-drama <Rivalry of Fate>.
<Rivalry of Fate> was a historical drama set in fictional history, portraying the covert strife between Eunseong, a martial lord known as a powerful warrior, and Wolgong, the era’s greatest scholar.
Today’s scene involved a tense standoff between them over whether to fight the invading country or seek mediation, but it was meant to end with Do-jun overpowering Gyu-min.
The setting was a grand court, with ministers lined up in formation.
A child actor in a small royal robe sat on the throne. On the left was Yoomyeong in a draped robe, and on the right was Baek Seunghyo.
They embodied the scholars and the warriors respectively.
“Here we go – 3,2,1 action!”
“Your Majesty, please order a deployment to the border with Sumyeong Kingdom. The longer we delay, the greater the danger to our innocent people. I, Eunsong, will personally lead the fight and elevate our nation’s dignity!”
Eunseong’s roaring voice shook the air of the court. The director gripped the script tightly, impressed by Baek Seunghyo’s excellent condition.
“Your Majesty. Our country is barely recovering from the aftermath of the war with Geoncheok Kingdom that ended in June. Our beautiful territory, with harvest just around the corner, will be stained with blood again. Now is not the time to play war games, Your Majesty. I beseech your wise judgment.”
The child actor sitting on the throne blinked in surprise.
Baek Seunghyo, startled, quickly composed himself and continued his lines.
“Sumyeong Kingdom has always been like this, pretending to be a brotherly nation while stabbing us in the back at our most vulnerable point. How dare you suggest making peace with such treacherous people, Wolgong? Moreover, the region they’ve invaded this time is rich in mines. Do you really not understand what they will demand as the price for peace?”
Eunseong wasn’t looking at the throne but was rather glaring intensely at his rival across the grand court, Wolgong.
In response, Wolgong spoke.
“Our people will go to war on flimsy ships and fall easily to the sword, and the border trade that is slowly revitalizing will cease for at least a year. Repeated tribulations will bring bark to their tables instead of rice, and young children will cry for their parents. I am no less angry at Sumyeong Kingdom than anyone else, but there is a right time for war.”
“So what do you propose, Wolgong?!”
“I suggest sending an envoy to the Empire to negotiate peace! I will go as the envoy and persuade the empire to agree to the most favorable terms for a truce.”
“Have you lost your mind? The empire’s tributes already overburden the people!”
“Isn’t a bent back better than death?”
“Cut—! Eunseong and Wolgong need to be more evenly matched… Wolgong, please put in more effort.”
“…I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll do it again.”
The criticism didn’t come from the director of <Showbiz Studies> but from the director of <Rivalry of Fate>.
When Yoomyeong returned from ‘Wolgong’ to ‘Tak Gyu-min’, Baek Seunghyo felt a chill as he realized something.
‘I was wondering why he was portraying Wolgong like that…’
Wolgong was a wise man with exceptional reasoning even in dire moments, someone who stepped back to see the bigger picture.
In Baek Seunghyo’s view, Eunseong should be like a threatening tiger, while Wolgong was a cold but sharp snake.
He thought that Yoomyeong initially seemed to misunderstand the character, being just a stand-in. However, it was more than that.
From the beginning, Yoomyeong exaggerated his voice and threw his whole body into his lines. The problem lay in the tone of his voice, which was too weak to be threatening.
Similar to how a child’s loud crying during a tantrum was noisy but not intimidating, it was a high-pitched voice that lacked firmness.
Baek Seunghyo wondered about the source of Yoomyeong’s delicate portrayal. Then, he realized that the same gentleness was evident in Yoomyeong’s voice when he returned to the role of Tak Gyu-min.
It was a soft, tame tone.
‘That’s right, I’ve been used to Lee Kyu-seong’s Tak Gyu-min now. But when I first saw the script, Gyu-min felt like this. Does that mean he puts such depth in his interpretation even when he’s just in a temporary stand-in role…?’
“Good. Keep that feeling. Let’s start with Do-jun’s first close-up shot. Yoomyeong, please respond with the opposite lines.”
It wasn’t just bad acting, but the portrayal of a person doing their best yet still feeling inadequate.
Recognizing Yoomyeong’s intent, PD Bang Hak gave a satisfied gesture, and the shooting proceeded smoothly.
And writer Yook Mi-young, who had just arrived at the set, was observing everything.
“Oh, Writer Yook, you’re here? Come this way.”
After filming Tak Gyu-min’s scenes, Writer Yook greeted PD Bang during a brief break, and he led her to a quieter spot for a sensitive conversation.
“Shin Yoomyeong gets more impressive the more I see him,” she said.
“Ah, you noticed? Despite his youth, he has a remarkable sense for acting.”
“He’s the kind of actor… who makes you think about the next scene.”
Yook Mi-young, feeling restless, flexed her fingers.
“Director, maybe it’s my rebellious nature, but I keep wondering if we really must hold back when we have alternatives. Do you feel the same?”
“…Honestly, I do.”
Yook Mi-young had been wanting to add more lines for Bohyung after watching episodes 1 to 5.
However, considering Lee Kyu-seong’s position and the relationship between TW Entertainment and the broadcasting station, she had been forcibly increasing the second male lead’s role.
But with the current situation… it was becoming harder to hold back.
“Should we just replace the second male lead?”
Director Bang wasn’t someone who took things lightly.
Despite his friendly demeanor and skill in managing relationships, he had the guts to stick to his decisions, proven by enduring a year-long director’s strike.
“I’m a freelancer, so it doesn’t really bother me… but are you okay with it, PD? TW’s pressure won’t be easy to handle.”
“…If this project becomes a mega-hit, what can they do? It’s not like we don’t have anything to say.”
“Lee Kyu-seong did give us a pretext.”
Their eyes shone like mischievous kids plotting a prank.
After finishing as Kyu-seong’s stand-in, Yoomyeong quickly shed the soul of the weak man and returned to his role as Bohyung.
Today’s scene for Bohyung involved a conversation with his manager, revealing his inner thoughts.
“Ready—3, 2, 1, action!”
“Manager, what about the matter we discussed?”
“I’ve arranged it. Her profile is now on the audition list for Ti-eum Film Productions.”
“Thank you for your efforts.”
“May… I ask you a presumptuous question?”
“That’s unlike you, Manager… What is it?”
The man addressed as Manager, a solid middle-aged man, hesitated before continuing.
“If you want to push someone, we can make them a star. If you’re worried about it being too sudden, then we can do it naturally. You know it’s easier to promote someone than setting up ‘coincidental opportunities’ like this… Why go through all the trouble?”
Bohyung smiled quietly.
“Doing that would deny all of Hana’s efforts until now.”
“Do you know why I ran away?”
“Because I could clearly see people’s greed, selfish motives, and flattering smiles. All their intentions are so obvious that I’m sick of it.”
The Manager didn’t respond.
He knew that his young master from the Hyukseong Group was exceptionally wise from a young age.
Bohyung was able to read people’s intentions like a ghost, manipulating them to his liking. Thus, the manager had resolved never to lie in front of him, admiring his genius insight.
Sometimes Bohyung would sigh and say, ‘I see things too easily, even those things I wish I didn’t know.’
“Hana is ambitious, but her desires are pure. She has many dreams but never forgets what she must protect. She faces challenges honestly and falls, but gets up again and runs breathlessly… It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone who doesn’t forget to care for others even while they’re struggling.”
“It might seem like I’m helping Hana, but in reality, it’s me who’s being healed. Being around Hana and her grandmother seems to revive my weary heart.”
Bohyung playfully tapped his arm and smiled mischievously.
“Don’t make that face, Manager… or should I say, Uncle? You’re also one of the people who’s healing my heart. Anyway, I want to respect Hana’s ambition. Those who haven’t had much don’t easily get opportunities, but someone who has lived like Hana deserves a chance. I believe she’ll seize it well if she gets the opportunity.”
It wasn’t the cute butler or the arrogant chaebol heir but the human Yoon Bohyung, revealing his true self.
His sincerity touched the hearts of those watching.
“Cut—OK! Great work today, Yoomyeong.”
“Thank you, Director.”
And Yook Mi-young, who had been watching from a chair, approached.
“It was great to see you on TV, but it’s even better to see you on set. Thank you for your hard work.”
“Thank you, Writer Yook.”
“Yoomyeong, do you have another schedule after this?”
“Then, can we talk for a bit?”
After moving to a quiet spot, Yook Mi-young broached the subject.
“Do you think you can handle it if Bohyung’s role increases significantly?”
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