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A Thousand Faces Chapter 57

Updated: Mar 11

For three weeks, the entertainment industry was turned upside down. It's a period that will be talked about for decades to come. 


Step by step. 


This is 'Fantasia,' the largest film production company in the country. 


Junwoo was coming across the sparkling corridor from afar. 


Wherever he walked, the path opened up. The employees hunched their bodies, yet their eyes were fixed on Junwoo. No matter how many times they saw him, he never felt familiar or approachable. 


A transcendent being revealed to the world. Right now, phenomena as if the whole nation was enchanted were happening in South Korea. And the same was true for Jeon Gwang-in, the head and director overseeing this place. 


"This time… what do you think? I've changed the terms quite a bit." 




Jeon Gwang-in rapidly moved his eyes. 


This marked the sixth time. The hours dedicated to this were considerable, devoted to the exchange and review of the contract with the young man. 


"It's the first time I've laid out so much. You're aware, aren't you? There's no agency in Korea that rivals this one in scale. Spare yourself the effort of looking elsewhere..."  


Jeon Gwang-in rambled on, eager to curry favor, words tumbling out without much thought. 


Meanwhile, Junwoo's attention was unwaveringly fixed on the contract. Today, like every other day, he remained consistent, his demeanor unchanging. Not a single word that strayed from the matters of work or the contract passed his lips. 




Jeon Gwang-in's words naturally stopped. The more he looked, the less he could adapt. How could a seventeen-year-old radiate such energy? 


At that moment, Junwoo, examining the terms, narrowed his eyes at a certain point. 


Jeon Gwang-in's mouth was parched. 


'Is it going to be rejected again?' 


The words, gestures, and expressions of this boy, younger than him by thirty years, completely dominated the atmosphere here. He still couldn't believe he was in this situation. 


But he knew it was not the time to test patience or uphold pride. Other production company representatives who were anxious and had come directly to the first floor lobby were already waiting for this meeting to end. 


Underneath the table, legs trembled for a solid twenty minutes, a silent testament to the apprehension about inadvertently ruffling Junwoo's feathers. 


After a thorough review, Junwoo finally lifted his gaze. 


In less than a month, a few episodes had aired, each unleashing its own whirlwind. The period was brief, yet it bore witness to relentless transformations. 


A shift occurred as Junwoo's stage and skills were revealed to the world. 


The whole country was abuzz just with the name Han Junwoo. 


Articles erupted one after another, with hundreds of comments. 


Junwoo had brought a bigger impact than expected. 


Groups eyeing star quality and hot topics flocked, and the public's reaction was explosive. 


The first hit was, of course, the moment Junwoo's stage was revealed in Episode 2. 


Acting clips of participants are uploaded separately on a created site. Among them, the video with Junwoo's name soared in views. 


Then, during the 4th round of the main competition, a video shot with NK actors was released. 


Initially, there was a flood of criticism towards the program. 


The sentiment that manipulation should be done in moderation started a boom. 


A short one-act play completed in just two days. A single released video attracted national attention. 


Even people who had no interest in the show or Junwoo knew of the video's existence. Illegal download counts surpassed thousands. 


The biggest beneficiaries were the NK rookie actors, including Shin Dami. 


Having been disheartened and practicing after being eliminated, they became famous overnight, overwhelmed with casting offers. It was a more valuable result for them than winning. 


On the contrary, the production team was on alert. They expected some impact, but not to this extent. 


The program was momentarily illuminated by Junwoo, but as interest concentrated on Junwoo and his videos, the program's presence dwindled. 


At some point, even the headlines of articles dropped keywords like 'ActorKingdom' or 'participant,' leaving only the name Han Junwoo. 


There couldn't be a bigger problem. The production team had to devise a strategy. 


All of Junwoo's activities had to be seen within this broadcast as a participant. 


Otherwise, it was meaningless. 


So they stayed up all night, reviewing all the footage they had shelved. 


The only thing they could do was to ride this wave of popularity and reveal everything Junwoo had done under the name of 'ActorKingdom.' 


The impromptu acting during the preliminary screening, the scripts he wrote and revised, the making videos of directing the rookie actors, and so on. 


As all of these were revealed to the world, calls flooded in from various production companies, distribution companies, and investment firms. 


People were curious about Junwoo. Calls for appearances on various variety shows, radio programs, and talk shows poured in. 


However, none of them managed to secure him. 


Instead, other participants gradually started appearing on radio and talk shows. 


Wearing their participant numbers, they repeatedly acted out scenes unrelated to the performances that had made headlines. 


Still, the person everyone was looking for remained elusive. 


Amid the swirling changes, Junwoo, the center of the topic, remained unshaken. 


As if everything up to now was just a prelude to the next step. 


Junwoo's mind was already elsewhere. 


It was when Yoo Sang-jun had just entered the office. 


"So, have you found out what he's been up to?" 


"Yes. I have a rough idea after following him for a few days." 


Park Jun-gil spun his chair and glanced at Yoo Sang-jun's appearance. 


"...But why do you look like that?" 


His clothes were all stretched out, his hair was dishevelled, and he had dark circles under his eyes. 


It was an unusual sight for Yoo Sang-jun, who always maintained a neat appearance. 


It wasn't easy to escape from Junwoo's teenage fans camping outside the dorm, grabbing his clothes and dragging him down. 


Yoo Sang-jun closed his eyes tightly and continued. 


"...He's been visiting movie production companies." 


"Production companies? Not agencies or entertainment companies?" 


"Yes. It seems what he's been planning all this time might have been movie scripts…" 


"Ha, so that young kid is persuading those people all by himself?" 


Park Jun-gil burst into laughter at the unbelievable situation. 


"Are you overestimating Han Junwoo, making him seem more than he is?" 


Yoo Sang-jun narrowed his eyes and tilted his head. 


If what he saw was correct, it was the production companies that were doing the persuading. 


Unable to explain how that was possible, Yoo Sang-jun didn't go any further. 


"I don't know. What that kid is carrying and what he's doing on his own. I knew it was reckless, yet he's not one to act rashly or without forethought." 




"Isn't there a hot show these days?" 


This is the 7th-floor lobby of 'Fantasia.' 


Those who recently received a casual casting offer from Jeon Gwang-in were renowned actors, having appeared in numerous blockbusters. Curious after hearing about the project, the actors were considering the offer. 


"Ha, it seems these variety shows are getting more attention these days. As I get older, I find myself watching less TV." 


"It wouldn't be bad to watch it. Seeing all those aspiring actors might remind you of the old days... It's already been 26 years since I entered this industry." 


He finished his sentence with a faint smile, subtly gauging the reactions of the others. Jin Do-ryeon is a talented actress who won the grand prize at Baeksang last year. Starting as a child actress, she had the longest acting career among them. 


Moon Kangwoo, sitting beside her, chuckled subtly. 


He was also one of the celebrated actors in Korea, always accompanied by the phrase, 'Any line he delivers becomes a famous quote.' 


As Moon Kangwoo swiftly changed the topic, Jin Do-ryeon's expression hardened slightly. 


The same was true for the others. Actors whose names were known to anyone in South Korea. 


A subtle tension passed between them for a while. 


Though engaging in light conversation with smiling faces, they were sitting at a certain distance from each other. 


Each adopting defensive postures, like crossing arms or legs, they nonetheless kept the conversation flowing with a suitable tone. 


"But with no proper information about the project title or anything. It's unusual, but it did pique my interest." 


"Things are constantly being revised, so they said they'll inform us once it's finalized. That's today." 


The new script subtly revealed by Jeon Gwang-in. The content and roles were too enticing to ignore. 


Even just hearing about it felt like putting on perfectly fitting clothes. The character settings seemed to touch some aspects of each actor personally. 


Right now, everyone here was thinking the same thing. They had finally found the role they alone could embody. However, they didn't mention such things. 


At that moment, one of the actors pointed towards someone far away with a look of recognition. 


"Hm? Looks like it's Director Hong's work. Here he comes." 


But the expression of welcome quickly changed to one of confusion. 


Thud, thud, thud, thud. 


For reasons unknown, Hong Chang-soo was storming in with a flipped temper, making his way rapidly. 


And then, with a bang, as Hong Chang-soo flung the office door open, he shouted at Jeon Gwang-in. 


"Are you kidding me? Is this the person you are?! Who does this, snatching things away like this?" 


The heads of the actors turned in unison towards the commotion. 


The raised voices of the two were heard all the way to the lobby. 


"Snatching away? What kind of ruckus is this all of a sudden?" 


"I was there seven times. Each time, I personally went, setting aside other projects I was supposed to be involved in, staying up nights, putting so much effort into this!" 


"Goodness, this is unbelievable. In front of all these eyes, what is this…" 


Suddenly, he wondered what was going on 


The actors were intrigued. What masterpiece could warrant such a reaction? 


It was the first time they had seen Hong Chang-soo like this. 


Despite the severity of the situation, the actors felt a strange sense of anticipation rising. 


They were eager to review the proper script and start reading. 


But they didn't know what was in store for them once they were involved in the project. 




That's when the elevator opened. 


And soon, a boy with a familiar face walked down the corridor. 


On one side, Hong Chang-soo and Jeon Gwang-in were in a heated argument, spitting words at each other, and on the other, a collection of Korea's renowned actors gathered, a scene not commonly seen. 


Yet, the gaze of the boy crossing the corridor was fixed straight ahead. 


As if he was walking through his own house, so nonchalant. 


"Where have I seen him before?" 


Jin Do-ryeon narrowed her eyes and tilted her head. 


With Junwoo's name and photos constantly popping up whenever they opened the internet, it was impossible for them not to be aware of his existence. However, none of them could recall Junwoo's name. 


The aura surrounding Junwoo now was entirely different from what was portrayed on the broadcast. 


It was after a while that, Jeon Gwang-in and the actors entered the meeting room. 


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