I Only Play Villains - Chapter 8
Jeong Seo-hoon signed an appearance contract.
His appearance fee was 900,000 won per episode.
As he looked at the amount, Song Jeong-woo said with a slightly guilty expression as if making excuses.
“This is the amount for a rookie actor. They usually get 500,000 to 700,000. If they’re a top-tier rookie, they can even get over 1 million. 900,000 is definitely not a small amount. I’ve also put in some effort.”
“However, I won’t be filming for more than one episode. Will I be receiving payment for other episodes as well?”
“It’s because you will continue to appear in flashbacks and such in the future. You are not a minor character but a proper supporting one.”
The total appearance fee was 10,800,000 won.
The filming period for Jeong Seo-hoon was estimated to be as short as two days, and at most, within a week.
“It’s not bad to work for a week and earn 10,800,000 won.”
“And if there are reruns and third broadcasts, you’ll receive an additional 20% and 12% respectively. It’ll sum up nicely when you accumulate multiple works, and if it gets exported overseas, it’ll become a steady source of income.”
The actors preparation work was almost finished.
As soon as everything was ready, they will start the script reading and go straight into shooting.
“You still don’t have an agency, right? Seriously, get your act together. It’s hard to believe you don’t have one.”
Song Jeong-woo laughed as if finding it absurd and said again.
“If this drama does well, Seo-hoon, your acting career will take off. Private Lee Jin-wook’s role is quite impressive, isn’t it? Maybe next time, you can easily earn 500,000 won per episode. It could be even more.”
“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to appear in the next one. To be honest, I’m quite nervous because it’s my first time..”
“No need to worry. Just do what you did during the camera test, and it will be fine. By the way, you mentioned before that you served in the military, right?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Then, you don’t have any other work now?”
“No, I am preparing to go back to college.”
“College? So, you’re a university student. What’s your major?”
“I’m majoring in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.”
“Oh, an Engineering student. That’s unexpected. Somehow, when I saw you during the test, I thought you were in the acting department. You said you haven’t acted before, but it was just my gut feeling.”
“Our college doesn’t have an acting department. I heard they’re planning to establish one soon.”
At that moment, Writer Kim Sang-hee, appeared with a thick script.
Although her complexion was pale and her hair was messy, her eyes were as lively as ever.
“PD Song, here’s the new script.”
“What? Did you revise the script?”
“Yes. Please take a look. I wrote a new summary, so it will be easier to understand if we read it together. Seo-hoon, you too.”
Looking closely, Kim Sang-hee brought two copies of the new script.
Song Jeong-woo accepted it, feeling uneasy.
“We’ve already finished setting up everything. Won’t it get messed up if we change the script again? You didn’t change much, did you?”
“I didn’t change less.”
“Oh, no. She did it again.”
Song Jeong-woo unfolded the script while seated.
His expression, which was casually reading through the script, suddenly hardened, and his pupils trembled slightly.
After reading through the script up until the second episode, Song Jeong-woo raised his head.
“Are we keeping Private Lee Jin-wook?”
“That’s right. We have to save him. Why introduce such a good character and then discard him after just one episode?”
“No, doesn’t he commit suicide after revealing the unjust treatment to his defense lawyer, causing him to look into the case further?”
“It doesn’t mean that he has to die just to give a wake-up call to that lazy lawyer. So, you’re not in favor of saving him?”
“No. I think it’s better if Lee Jin-wook survives and continues his activities as long as it doesn’t change the flow much.”
“What about you, Seo-hoon?”
Kim Sang-hee looked at him with excited eyes and asked.
The star drama writer in her late thirties had eyes that reflected expectations rather than malice.
“Does this mean the filming schedule will be extended?”
“No, it means the actor’s role will be increased. Why is your reaction so indifferent? You know, other actors do whatever they can just to get one more line.”
“Well, I can understand. Initially, I too had no interest in the entertainment industry. They called me a bookworm, a complete nerd.”
“Writer Kim as a bookworm? Wow, that’s totally different from the image I had.”
There weren’t many noticeable changes in the first episode.
However, the ending was completely different.
Originally, the news of Private Lee Jin-wook’s suicide came as a complete shock for the Lawyer Go Jae-man, and the episode ended.
In the revised version, Private Lee Jin-wook left a message hinting at suicide to Lawyer Ga Jae-man, hid his tracks, and the first episode ended with Lawyer
Go urgently looking for him.
“Private Lee Jin-wook was actually a murderer.”
“… … …”
“… … …”
“Oh, what’s wrong with that expression?”
Song Jeong-woo looked somewhat uneasy and cautiously asked.
“Isn’t this going a bit too far? Writer Kim, did you get inspired by our Seo-hoon’s acting? It seems like you’ve deconstructed even the basics. But, you know what? The building’s framework has already been completed. It can’t be hastily changed now. That’s shoddy construction. No, is it illegal construction?”
Kim Sang-hee sighed deeply and spoke while stretching her hands.
“It’s not a design change. I just revived the original plan.”
“Yes. It is not an entirely new script; in fact, this is the original. I just polished it up a little, and this content will be revealed in episodes 4 or 5. I just wrote it in advance.”
As Kim Sang-hee handed over the script once again, Song Jeong-woo quickly accepted it.
“Is this also an original?”
“Yes. It’s the sleeping prince in my laptop. Seo-hoon, you should read it too.”
The completed script was not yet finished; it was a version with certain scene sequences that were chosen separately.
Jeong Seo-hoon and Song Jeong-woo quickly read the script.
Scene #???. (Lawyer Go recalls the testimony mentioned by Lee Jin-wook)
Senior 1: Jin-wook! You bastard! Just follow the orders!
Lee Jin-wook: I, I can’t! Killing civilians is a crime!
Senior 2: What? Do they look like civilians you? If you fail to distinguish rebels from civilians here, you’ll be the first one to die, you bastard!
Senior 3: Shoot quickly, you bastard! You’re not getting out of this place alive today!
Lee Jin-wook: Ahhh!
(The seniors forcefully dragged Lee Jin-wook, and made him shoot the blindfolded civilians, but Lee Jin-wook, in a fit, shot the seniors instead.
He finally ran out of bullets and stopped.
The surviving officer, bleeding from his leg, aimed at Lee Jin-wook.)
Officer: It’s over, Lee Jin-wook… Why didn’t you follow the orders, private?
Lee Jin-wook: Y-You deserve to die!
(The officer aimed at Lee Jin-wook and pulled the trigger. Lee Jin-wook jumped into the bushes and escaped.)
Title: “S#???. (Jin-wook’s true reminiscence)”
Scene: In front of the blindfolded POW(Prisoners of War) corpses, Korean soldiers laid dead, and only the Officer survived.
Standing calmly before him was Jin-wook.
Officer: Jin-wook… why… go this far?
Jin-wook: Massacring civilians is a war crime. So, isn’t it right for all of you to be killed? I am just abiding by my own principles.
Officer: If you continue like this, even your life…
Jin-wook: Who? Are you referring to those friends of yours whom you sent across the Yeoncheon River? Or are you referring to yourself? Or maybe it’s me?
(Jin-wook lowered his posture in front of the officer.)
Jin-wook: Ah, how much I wanted to kill you. Do you know how much I struggled and endured the urge to skin you alive every night?
Officer: You’re… insane…
Jin-wook: Do you know how much I secretly yearned to join you guys when you all relieved stress by killing the POWs? That’s why being ethically disciplined is troublesome. You can’t live as you wish.
Officer: Please spare me…
Jin-wook: Why are you begging for mercy now Why?!
(Gunshots were heard, and Jin-wook stood up, sensing a feeling of euphoria.)
Jin-wook: So, this is what it feels like… to kill.
After finishing the reading, Song Jeong-woo swallowed hard and looked at Kim Sang-hee.
“Was Jin-wook always a thrill-seeking killer?”
“Yes. I based him on the character Dexter from a TV series. He was fascinated by the idea of tormenting people on the brink of death, making them beg for mercy and scream in despair.”
“However, he absolutely didn’t want to end up dead or locked up in prison. That’s why he suppressed those desires, but when he saw his senior officers going around killing people to relieve stress, it drove him mad.”
“He managed to subdue his hunger, but they ended up having barbeque right in
front of him…”
“Originally, Jin-wook was an essential key in unfolding the plot. While the protagonist, Go Jae-man, awakened as a lawyer, Jin-wook served as both the catalyst for that transformation and the responsibility that Go Jae-man must resolve.”
“So, the murder cases that Go Jae-man encountered throughout the drama…”
“It was Jin-wook committing those crimes. But since Jin-wook was given a forced suicide, I scattered the responsibility among various culprits. It’s not necessary anymore.”
“Turned out he was the main villain. But why did you change the character during the planning meeting?”
“I didn’t change the character. I only changed the script.”
“That’s what I meant.”
“It’s different. The script only reveals what actions and dialogue the character has at that moment. It doesn’t capture the essence of the character’s entire life.”
Song Jeong-woo nodded vigorously as if understanding.
“I see now. It’s like there is a scenery outside the screen that we can’t see.”
“Originally, I had imagined Yoo Si-wook for that role.”
“Ah, Yoo Si-wook. Now that I think about it, the image fits perfectly. So, that’s why you added ‘wook’ at the end of his name.”
“But, when I saw Seo-hoon’s acting during the audition, I realized that Jin-wook was meant for him. Yoo Si-wook was thus discarded. It all worked out in the end.”
Kim Sang-hee smiled and looked at Jeong Seo-hoon, seeming to seek his approval.
It’s not easy for a prominent writer to be this gentle and accommodating in front of a rookie.
It meant that Jeong Seo-hoon had made a favorable impression.
“If I had written it with Yoo Si-wook in mind, then script revisions would’ve been inevitable. Other actors would not be able to meet my standards. You know how much I despise that sort of thing.”
“That’s true. If it wasn’t for Seo-hoon, Jin-wook would have been used just for the first episode and then discarded. It’s a relief.”
Jeong Seo-hoon looked puzzled, so Song Jeong-woo explained.
“Yoo Si-wook, that guy got caught for drunk and driving. He won’t be able to appear on the show for a while.”
“I told him countless times to either stop drinking or sell his car or cut off his own hands! Ugh! That Idiot!”