I Was Mistaken as a Monstrous Genius Actor - C.217: Momentum (4)

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Director Ahn Ga-bok’s tone was calm, but the eyes of the ‘Leech’ key staff widened in shock.

“Are, are you considering Kang Woojin ssi as a judge??”

All the staff visibly stirred. They looked at each other and stared at Director Ahn Ga-bok, who was sitting at the head of the U-shaped desk.

“Kang Woojin ssi as a judge?”

“Sim Han-ho sunbae would be fine, but Woojin ssi might be a bit…”

“Are you serious, Director~nim?”

“It’s already quite groundbreaking that Woojin ssi is the main lead in ‘Leech’, but, no, I know Kang Woojin ssi’s acting is phenomenal. but to have him participate in the audition judging is a bit of a stretch.”

Most were either puzzled and bewildered. Well, their reactions were understandable. Kang Woojin had turned the domestic entertainment industry upside down in an extraordinary manner, yet his career was only in its first year. It was outrageous to involve Woojin in the actor auditions for ‘Leech’.

On the other hand, Director Ahn Ga-bok, arms crossed, only wore a wrinkled smile.

“Is it that strange?”

At the director’s question, the key staff blinked their eyes, and the response came from the film company CEO sitting next to him.

“It’s not that it’s strange, but the meaning could change. It’s not just an auditions about extras or small roles, but a casting audition for main and supporting roles, isn’t it?”

“I know.”

“The actors participating are not rookies. Most are top-tier or veterans of A-grade and above. For those actors to be judged by Kang Woojin ssi…”

“So you mean there wouldn’t be much uproar if it were an actor like Sim Han-ho? The participating actors would accept it too. After all, he’s a highly recognized actor.”

“That’s what I think.”

“That makes sense. A judge needs to have an acknowledged authority. But that’s when we talk about major cases. Setting that aside, what are my standards for a judge in my ‘Leech’?”

“That, that is…”

“I see the film’s coherence and the synergy with the two confirmed actors as important. So is there a problem if Woojin-gun sits as a judge? After all, he was cast as the lead earlier than Actor Sim Han-ho, wasn’t he?”

“……”

The film company CEO shut his mouth. The key staff did the same. Still, more than half had faces that found it hard to understand. Director Ahn Ga-bok, scratching his short white hair, let out a veteran’s deep sigh.

“Sigh- I guess I was the only one risking my neck. You all still can’t shed your superficiality. You all saw that I went all the way to Da Nang in Vietnam just to cast Woojin-gun. Why do you think I did that?”

“That…”

“It’s about basics, basics. I wanted to show the industry, or rather, you all, the mindset, by shedding the name value that clings to me and the solidified perspectives. How else do you survive in this constantly changing market? For the 100th time, the 100th. If we don’t forcefully break stereotypes, the same old films will be made, won’t they?”

A heavy silence enveloped everyone. Regardless, Director Ahn Ga-bok spoke again.

“Who doesn’t know those brilliant top actors have a wealth of experience? But why do you think I’m even holding auditions? It’s not because I doubt their acting skills. It’s because for this ‘Leech’, their desperate, do-or-die commitment is needed.”

“……”

In short, he was talking about the mindset of the participating actors.

“I’ve already lit the fuse in their hearts. But it’s burning fast. I’m talking about the shooting schedule that’s several times tighter than usual and we’re soon about to start it. So we need to be quicker than that. If no one is willing to put their life on the line, they can’t properly commit. Where’s the time to care if someone acts arrogant or their mental state wavers in the meantime?”

Amidst the silence of the key staff, the film company CEO bowed his head slightly.

“I’m sorry, Director~nim. I was short-sighted.”

“You, me, everyone, we’ve been too short-sighted to even have time to correct ourselves. Honestly, I see an actor who can throw away their pride without hesitation as a hundred times better than one who’s just a bit better at acting. It has to be an actor who will desperately hang on.”

It means wanting a person who possesses the pure desire of an actor, regardless of their market value or image.

“In short, we don’t need an actor who would balk at the mere presence of Woojin-gun in the judge’s seat.”

Woojin’s akin to a sieve. If they start off with pride or engage in meaningless competition over their resumes, sooner or later an accident will occur on set. Director Ahn Ga-bok, who is already on his 100th film, has seen such situations too many times.

It’s not difficult to manage, but even that time is precious.

At least, that’s what Director Ahn Ga-bok thought.

“Moreover, I didn’t say I would make Woojin-gun a judge. Of course, if he doesn’t want to, I wouldn’t even consider it. But thankfully, if he agrees to do it.”

Director Ahn Ga-bok recited to everyone.

“Even if he just sits there without saying a word, his aura will be enough.”

Meanwhile, in Cheongdam-dong.

Late morning. In front of a very large hotel, there was a red carpet laid out, surrounded by dozens of reporters. At the end of the carpet, there was also a photo zone with luxury brand logos.

A famous luxury brand party was currently taking place at this hotel. It was an event that usually took place every new year.

-Pa-ba-ba-ba-ba!

Celebrities and influencers, bombarded by camera flashes, attended in significant numbers. Those who arrived walked slowly down the red carpet and posed in the photo zone, and after some time, they underwent brief interviews by the dozens of reporters.

“Jinju-ssi!! Your outfit today is quite bold!!”

“Is that so??”

There were many guards and party staff members scattered around due to the chaos. Still, fortunately, the interviews with each celebrity or influencer were not too lengthy.

At that moment.

“Kang Woojin is here!”

“Woojin-ssi!!”

Reporters stationed at the end of the group energetically called out to the actor who had just arrived. Dressed in a luxury suit, with his hair neatly slicked back, Kang Woojin was making his entrance. He was attending because this luxury brand had sponsored a tuxedo for Woojin at the end of the year.

His arrival accelerated the sound of the camera shutters several fold.

“Woojin-ssi!! Please look this way!!”

Unlike the excited reporters, Kang Woojin maintained a poker face.

“……”

He slowly walked toward the photo zone. Kang Woojin then briefly raised his hand to the dozens of reporters from the logo-covered photo zone. There were no particular comments. However, internally, Woojin was slightly suffering.

‘Ah- shit, the flashes are killing my eyes.’

After a brief and intense photo time, a barrage of questions from the reporters followed.

“Soon, you’ll be departing to Japan; how do you feel!!”

Then, amidst the dozens of reporters, a few began to murmur, and a reporter wearing a hat in the middle suddenly blurted out an unexpected question.

“Are you still in touch with Miley Cara??!!”

“Are you close with Cara?? Personally too??”

While maintaining his indifferent demeanor, Kang Woojin inwardly tilted his head in confusion.

‘What? Why suddenly bring up Miley Cara?’

Unaware of his thoughts, the reporters gradually increased the frequency of their questions about Cara.

“Was it planned for Miley Cara to mention Woojin-ssi on the ‘Jamie Show’??!”

“Woojin-ssi, you were briefly mentioned on the ‘Jamie Show’! Have you seen it???”

“How do you feel about Cara calling you an alien!!”

“Could you comment on how some foreign media have covering you!!!”

It was known in Korea that Cara’s episode on the ‘Jamie Show’ had been aired.

Afterward.

On the internet, many articles about the American talk show ‘Jamie Show’ appeared because global superstar Miley Cara had mentioned Kang Woojin.

『[Issue Pick] Miley Cara mentions ‘Kang Woojin’ on ‘Jamie Show’, how close are they?』

『Miley Cara on the popular American talk show ‘Jamie Show’ says ‘Kang Woojin is an alien’』

『Global superstar ‘Miley Cara’, after appearing only on ‘Kang Woojin’s Alter Ego’ channel, praises Kang Woojin on an American talk show!』

Several foreign media outlets had already published this news, and an edited version of the ‘Jamie Show’ featuring Kang Woojin was being uploaded on Youtube.

『[Star Talk] Looking at Kang Woojin’s appearance on ‘The Jamie Show’… and his journey this year to win 8 awards』

From the outset, when Miley Cara visited Korea, the issue arose because she only appeared on the ‘Kang Woojin’s Alter Ego’ Youtube channel, leading to a lot of gossip and rumours. For a Korean actor who hasn’t yet entered Hollywood to be introduced on the ‘Jamie Show’ was no small feat. Miley Cara even went so far as to explain about Woojin as if they were close.

Even though the actual broadcast wasn’t very long, the domestic media reacted intensely.

『Is Hollywood top actress ‘Miley Cara’ sending a signal? Rumors of Kang Woojin’s Hollywood debut circulating』

There’s no rumor like this rumor.

In the meantime, Kang Woojin’s company, bw Entertainment, was promoting something other than the Miley Cara story.

If it could be considered good news.

『[Is ‘Kang Woojin’ and ‘Hong Hye-yeon’’s agency bw Entertainment making a lot of money? The company is moving to a bigger place]』

At the same time, they carried out a move that had been planned for a while. In fact, preparations had been made gradually over the past few days, so it wasn’t a lengthy process. The new bw Entertainment was still located in Samseong-dong, but it was several times larger. It used two floors and was much more spacious than before. The staff had doubled, and new teams had been formed.

Naturally, backed by a Japanese conglomerate.

The investment by Hideki Yoshimura, Chairman of the Kashiwa Group, had made this possible. The investment deal itself was confidential, and it was originally the personal influence of Chairman Hideki that wasn’t made public. However, it was a confirmed fact that Chairman Hideki was backing bw Entertainment.

Shall we say they’re in the same boat?

Anyway, bw Entertainment openly moved along with the expansion of the company. The container had grown, but so had the contents that needed to be filled. The most urgent task was to increase artists other than Kang Woojin and Hong Hye-yeon.

The first actor bw Entertainment brought in was one of the top actresses, Lee Han-na. (Previously, I translated ‘Han-na’ as ‘Hannah’ because only her last name was used, but now that her full name is out, I have changed it to Lee Han-na from here on.)

『[Exclusive] ‘Lee Han-na’, who was previously with GGO Entertainment, confirms transfer to bw Entertainment!』

Her move to bw Entertainment had been planned while she was still with GGO Entertainment. There had been a promise between Choi Sung-gun and Lee Han-na when Seo Gu-seob was ousted. In this way, bw Entertainment aggressively embarked on gathering actors, and perhaps due to the influence of Kang Woojin and Hong Hye-yeon, many domestic actors were stirred.

『[Entertainment+] After Kang Woojin, can bw Entertainment discover an ultra-class rookie? Acceleration of business plans confirmed』

Along with Kang Woojin, bw Entertainment was also growing.

A few days later, on the 17th. Gimpo Airport.

Morning, near the entrance to the airport, a large crowd was gathered. They were dressed in various clothes: long padding, short padding, or thick jackets. While the airport was always a busy place, the crowd gathered now clearly seemed to have come for some event-like reason.

What was unusual was that all the people in the crowd had cameras like cannons in their hands.

The reason was simple.

They were all reporters. Well, it wasn’t such an unusual sight. It was quite common to see reporters flock to the airport. Whenever celebrities or idols appeared, reporters would converge.

Additionally, male and female onlookers surrounded the reporters.

“Wow- this is my first time seeing him in person.”

“He’s really handsome, super handsome.”

“Kyah!! Oppa!! I’m from ‘Kang’s Heart’!!”

However, today the reporters were particularly excited.

The person surrounded by these reporters was none other than Kang Woojin. Unlike the gathered reporters and onlookers, he wore a calm expression on his face, dressed in a black duffle coat, and behind Woojin, there were dozens of bw Entertainment employees, including the Choi Sung-gun who was recently expanding the business.

Today, Kang Woojin was departing for Japan for ‘The Eerie Sacrifice of a Stranger’.

Originally scheduled to leave on the 18th, the date was moved to the 17th due to various minor schedule redistributions. Thus, Kang Woojin was spending a brief time with the reporters. Whether in Korea or Japan, ‘The Eerie Sacrifice of a Stranger’ was a rather noisy topic.

Skipping the meeting with reporters entirely would not be good for his image.

Soon, after exchanging some words with Choi Sung-gun behind him, Kang Woojin.

-Swish.

Addressed the gathered reporters in a low voice.

“Thank you, I will take your questions now.”

At the same time, dozens of reporters raised their hands while pressing their camera shutters. Among them, Woojin pointed to one female reporter.

The female reporter immediately asked her prepared question.

“A few days ago, Miley Cara mentioned you on the ‘Jamie Show’, are you two personally close?”

“No, we are not close.”

“Foreign media have covered you; are you preparing anything for Hollywood?”

“As of now, there are no such plans.”

After giving brief answers, Woojin pointed to another reporter who had his hand raised. The male reporter, pushing up his glasses, shouted out.

“I saw that you have finished your shooting for ‘Island of the Missing’! When is the crank up for ‘Island of the Missing’?”

“I’m not sure about that. As far as I know, they are still actively shooting.”

Next question.

“You have been signed as a model for an advertisement by the Japanese conglomerate ‘Kashiwa Group’! When is the shooting scheduled?”

“I think it will be clear once we have a meeting.”

“After taking on the role of advertisement model, have you been contacted by any other Japanese companies?”

“Not yet.”

After a few more exchanges of questions, Choi Sung-gun checked the time and informed the reporters.

“I’m sorry, we have a flight to catch. We will take a few more questions and then wrap it up.”

The next question was related to ‘The Eerie Sacrifice of a Stranger’.

“You are the first Korean actor to star in a live-action adaptation of a work by Takikawa Akari. How do you feel?”

Feel? Honestly, it’s just another project. Woojin diplomatically moderated his response.

“There’s no part of it that’s particularly unsettling. It’s no different from any other work.”

“And, you are the only Korean actor in a project by a Japanese master director. Do you feel any pressure?”

“No, not really.”

Choi Sung-gun signaled that it was the last question. The chosen reporter, a woman wearing a hat, asked,

“At the Blue Dragon Film Awards, you declared, ‘This year it’s the New Actor award, but next year, I will have the Best Actor award in my hands’. With only Japanese actors in ‘The Eerie Sacrifice of a Stranger’, what mindset are you taking into the shooting?”

It seemed she was trying to connect it to the Blue Dragon Film Awards, but Woojin responded nonchalantly.

“My mindset is the same as it was at the Blue Dragon Film Awards. To me, it doesn’t matter who or where, it’s all the same.”

As soon as Kang Woojin finished his answer, Choi Sung-gun took action. He quickly led Woojin away from the spot. Following them were dozens of bw Entertainment staff members. At this point, entering the airport, Woojin was internally satisfied with his last answer.

‘Yeah, that was polite enough. Added just the right amount of toughness? Not bad.’

Among the reporters still taking photos of Woojin’s retreating figure, a few commented,

“Ah! Yes, write down exactly what Kang Woojin said at the end and send a text!”

They were already calling their desks.

“Write this down word-for-word, ‘My mindset is the same as it was at the Blue Dragon Film Awards. To me, it doesn’t matter who or where, it’s all the same.’”

The atmosphere quickly spread.

“What does that mean? It means he’s going to crush the Japanese actors in the filming of ‘The Eerie Sacrifice of a Stranger’!”

“A declaration like the Blue Dragon! No! It’s a declaration of war! He’s saying he’ll dominate the Japanese actors with his acting!”

A bit of exaggeration in the transmission was inevitable.

*****

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