Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 70 (Part 1) – Serious People Are Also Very Precious

TL Note: “The Missing City” will be changed to “Maze City”. I will be going back to change the previous chapters for consistency. 

{Please read the original translations on SurrealSkyTranslations instead of supporting TL aggregator sites. Thanks!}

Black Clouds has just been released in less than a month, and the cumulative box office has been close to 10 billion. With this movie, Rong Xu was boosted in both popularity and status, reaching the peak since his debut.

Rong Xu was able to obtain a lead role in his first movie, and even receive such terrifying box office values and reputation. It could be said that Rong Xu is the most popular newcomer in recent years.

After Black Clouds, Luo Zhentao carefully selected four works for Rong Xu, each being commercial dramas with popular themes and excellent scripts. The themes included romantic comedies, large-production fantasy films, and road films[1] which was the recent popular movie trend. But in the end, Rong Xu read all the scripts and chose Maze City.

Maze City is a mystery detective film. Like many commercial criminal investigation films, this one had a dual male protagonist setting, filled with action and plot drama. As long as the script is qualified and the acting skills pass, the box office will not be low.

When Luo Zhentao learned that Rong Xu chose Maze City, he was quite surprised. “Xiao Xu, this movie has dual male leads. Didn’t you tell me before that you wanted to attempt a lead role and choose a commercial film to prove your appeal in the box office?”

 Hearing that, Rong Xu put down the script and asked with a small smile: “Brother Luo, since you know this is a dual male lead film, why do you show me the script?”

Luo Zhentao was struck dumb for a bit, and after a while, he shook his head and said: “It’s because it’s a good script……”


Yes, Maze City’s script was indeed quite good.

In the entertainment industry, there are two forms of cast selection processes for film and TV drama crews. The first is that there is no required audition for the actors. The director or investor would directly decide on the actor for the role. The second is via audition, where several actors with a suitable image are selected to participate in auditions at the same time, and afterwards, it is decided which actor will play the role in the film.

When the Maze City crew sent the script to Luo Zhentao, they straightforwardly gave Luo Zhentao a statement: “We are inviting Rong Xu to play the leading role of Xue Jiazhe.”

Not any other role, let alone a supporting character. Only Xue Jiazhe, it can only be Xue Jiazhe.

If Rong Xu is willing to take on the filming of Maze City, then he will directly act as Xue Jiazhe. If Rong Xu ends up unwilling to take on the filming of Maze City, or if he wants to play another role, the crew wouldn’t accept it and would directly go look for another actor. The spot that the crew of Maze City left for Rong Xu is only Xue Jiazhe. It was decided on by the director based upon Rong Xu’s image, and this time, he didn’t choose the wrong person.

When Rong Xu finished reading the script, he really only wanted to play Xue Jiazhe.

The entirety of Maze City revolves around a serial murder case. In the bustling and luxurious Hai Cheng[2], a perverted serial murderer suddenly appeared. This murderer’s killing method wasn’t original, but the corpses were handled very cleanly, and the victim’s right hand was chopped off every time.

The knife’s edge was deemed to be flat and smooth, and the cuts were even and polished, avoiding all the large bones of the human body, and slicing right in-between the joints.

The police had suppressed the case for a year because the murderer showed no regularity in their actions. He killed six people in a year. But, other than cutting off the right hand, the murder locations, times and methods were all different. Even the ages of the victims ranged from 23 to 64 years old, indifferent of gender.

Only after the seventh victim appeared was the police finally not able to suppress it any longer  because this victim had died in a public space. The body was hung in the center of the busiest square in Hai Cheng, and suddenly, the whole port city was boiling.

The protagonist, Tan Yangxuan, is an elite police officer and the team leader for this case. After the case was made known to everyone, Tan Yangxuan, who was under great pressure, went to find his university friend, Xue Jiazhe, a university psychology professor who will be played by Rong Xu.

Xue Jiazhe analyzed the suspect’s psychological processes and helped Tan Yangxuan finally catch the criminal.

The whole of the plot is the chasing battle between the police and the murderer. With the arrest of the criminal and the sentencing of death penalty, everything was finally over.

Well, if that was the case, Rong Xu would definitely not be interested in this script nor take on this drama with dual male leads. It was all because, at the end of the movie, there is a huge plot twist.

Once the case was over, Tan Yangxuan went to find his friend for a chat and to celebrate. However, after Tan Yangxuan got drunk, he didn’t know…… that Xue Jiazhe dragged him into the bedroom to let him rest, but when Xue Jiazhe opened the closet to help his old classmate grab a change of clothes, in a deep corner of the closet, a glass bottle holding a human specimen was slightly exposed.

Inside the faint green formalin solution[3], a right hand was suspended in the center with a gem ring hung on its thumb.

It was the relic lost by the fifth victim.

The movie ended here, but this reversal immediately complicated Xue Jiazhe’s character.

A young and handsome university professor loved by all his students, elegant and gentle, and was even good friends with the senior police officers from the police station. But no one would have known what laid hidden behind the silver glasses and genteel smile. What kind of beast was hiding behind that costume.

Rong Xu has never played this kind of gentle villain before, which made him very interested and wanted to give it a try.

In his previous life, he played mostly protagonists. In this year’s movies and TV series, the protagonists generally had positive images. Coming across a villain protagonist was already a significantly difficult occurrence. It wasn’t that Rong Xu had never played a big villain in the past, but he had never played a role where he was a good guy on the surface, but a big villain in reality.

A villain with high IQ and also possessed good manners and sophistication. This was why Luo Zhentao handed over the script of Maze City to Rong Xu.

As for Rong Xu choosing Maze City, it was because he wanted to try and surpass himself and taste a different style of living[4].

In mid-May, Rong Xu arrived in Xiangshan Film and Television Town to meet with the entire crew. Other than him, the other male lead’s actor had also arrived, he was Huaxia’s named best film newcomer, Bo Xiwen.

The crew of Maze City rented out a modern filming zone in Xiangshan Film and Television City. The crew was super busy, and there were piles of unfinished props lying around everywhere. In three days’ time, the filming of the movie will start, and within these three days, Rong Xu, Bo Xiwen and the other actors will hold a script reading meeting, where everyone will come together to discuss the script in order to help the actors more deeply understand the plot and characters.

At first, there were still some barriers between everyone, and Bo Xiwen always kept a straight face, looking forever serious and solemn.

At the script reading meeting, Rong Xu sat beside Bo Xiwen. A staff member poured out glasses of water and handed them to everyone. Rong Xu helped Bo Xiwen receive his water, causing Bo Xiwen to be taken aback for a moment. After a while, he nodded stiffly and said: “Thank you.”

Seeing this, Rong Xu eyebrows quirked a bit, and the corners of his lips slightly curved up[5].

{Please read the original translations on SurrealSkyTranslations instead of supporting TL aggregator sites. Thanks!}


[1]Road films: main character embarks on a journey to self-discovery or adventure

[2] Hai Cheng: City of Hai, or “Ocean City”

[3]Formalin is a diluted solution of formaldehyde, usually yellow-green, and is used as a fixative for tissue studies. Preserves organic tissue samples for dissections, too. It stinks ;w;

[4]Different style of living: try something he’s never tried before

[5] RX finds Bo Xiwen’s temperament amusing.

TL Corner: Beginning of the new movie arc! It’s a detective mystery film, pretty intense. ^u^ YESSSSS! RX in an antagonist role. Just what I wanted ୧(๑• v •)૭

Also! The Translation Status Page is up. Updated weekly if anyone is curious about where I am on translating.

Thank You, IzoRen, for Beta edits!

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7 thoughts on “SA Chapter 70 (Part 1) – Serious People Are Also Very Precious”

  1. If this movie was made in reality i’d dig this. I’m really in love with the idea of villain protagonists. It’s not that there aren’t some but the ones we already have are really pretty sh#tty, ngl. Ahh, I can’t wait to uncover the plot of this new movie.[excited.jpg]

    Liked by 2 people

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