Get To Know Liu Yifei, The Actress Officially Tapped As Mulan In Disney's Live Action Remake
She's Mulan, and it's final; the real-life woman playing the heroine of one of China's most revered folktales in a much-awaited Disney feature has been named, and she's none other than Liu Yifei!
Production has begun on Disney’s live-action “Mulan”! . . The film will open in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020. Liu Yifei was cast as Hua Mulan following a year-long global casting search. . . Joining her in the film are: Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, Chum Ehelepola, with Gong Li, and Jet Li. #Mulan
The 30-year-old actress was chosen to play the coveted role after a months-long search that saw movie execs going through at least a thousand auditions in five contents in search of the perfect talent. The Chinese-American porcelain beauty, who first captivated international audiences with her work in 2008's The Forbidden Kingdom, is officially breathing new life into the character that won fans over in Disney's 1998 animated classic, Mulan.
Riding on the successes of its streak of live action remakes, Disney made the news official when they Tweeted the announcement earlier this week.
Fans of the movie have expressed their approval of the production house's choice of actress, given the anxiety over the possibility of whitewashing—the film industry's practice of casting Caucasian actors to play traditionally non-white roles—prevalent in many of Hollywood's biggest hits. Fortunately for Liu Yifei, she's going to be embarking on this life-changing journey alongside Asia's biggest stars who bagged the film's main roles.
Specifically, Liu Yifei is going to be with Donnie Yen as Commander Tung a.k.a. Mulan's mentor, Gong Li as the evil witch, Jet Li as the Emperor of China, Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang, and Jason Scott Lee as Bori Khan. If some of the characters sound unfamiliar to even the biggest fans of the 90s cartoon hit, that was done on purpose; this live action remake, although sticking to the main plot featured in the original Disney feature, is set to shake things up a little with the introduction of new allies and baddies alike.
Filming began last Monday with the film's director, Niki Caro, giving us a first gilmpse of the film on her Instagram.
With excitement for the flim's release mounting (it's set to hit theaters in November 2020), everyone is clamoring to get to know this new leading lady better. Liu Yifei's career that's been defined by Chinese blockbusters is about to get a Hollywood makeover, and we can't wait until she hits the big screen as girl power icon Mulan! In the meantime, we're sharing everything we know about her with you, to satisfy your curiosity.
She's not an acting newbie.
In fact, she's spent most of her life honing her craft and went to school to perfect it. Aside from being heavily trained in singing, dancing, and piano in her youth, she attended the Performance Institute of Beijing Film Academy and graduated in 2006. To date, her filmography consists of 26 credits that outline the films and TV shows she's been a part of.
She goes to and from China for projects.
As mentioned, Liu Yifei is a famous face who's already carved a name for herself in her home country of China. However, she did spend some time in the United States as a little girl, and is a US citizen. When she's abroad, Liu Yifei keeps herself busy with modeling gigs alongside acting projects. Her American exposure was also what prompted her to coin a stage name; Liu Yifei is a name she gave herself, and her birth name is actually An Feng.
Her parents were into creative pursuits, too.
Liu Yifei's dad was a French professor, while her mother was a stage performer and dancer. She's an only child who mostly grew up with her mom when her parents went their separate ways, and was greatly influenced by her mom's own interests.
She's been given a cute industry nickname.
It's "Fairy Sister," and it's because Liu Yifei often exudes an aura of cuteness and femininity when off-duty. However, we're sure that it won't quite apply when she's in character as Mulan, a certified tough-skinned warrior that even men deeply admired.
She's been in a relationship with Korean heartthrob Song Seung-heon since 2015. The handsome pair met on set when they starred alongside each other in The Third Way of Love, and have been head over heels for each other ever since.
Photo from @mulan