Liu Yifei to star in Disney’s Mulan

The actress will be the first Chinese celebrity to star in a mainstream Hollywood movie

Liu Yifei

Disney announced yesterday that Chinese actress Liu Yifei will be playing the lead character in its live-adaption of one the classic Chinese tale, Mulan.

Yifei, who will be the first Chinese celebrity to star in a mainstream Hollywood movie, was said to have been casted after a year-long search worldwide, beating nearly 1,000 hopefuls for the role.

She had fulfilled all of the criteria required by Disney for the role which included – being an English-speaking Asian individual with martial arts background and with considerable star quality. It was reported that the team of casting directors had even travelled across five continents simply to find the suitable person for the demanding role.

Reactions to Yifei’s casting have been mostly positive on social media, with many being happy that an Asian individual was finally chosen (as Disney had been criticised for casting Caucasian actors for Asian roles in the past) and commented that her looks and build were similar to the fictional character.

The 30-year-old actress first made her Hollywood breakthrough in 2008, starring in The Forbidden Kingdom alongside well-known actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

Mulan is set for a release in 2019 and will be the first Hollywood movie that has a Chinese storyline which focuses on a female protagonist. 

Photo: PBE Media

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