Liu Yifei, the star of Disney’s live-action Mulan, didn’t have problems blending in with her male co-stars. She revealed that they treated her like “one of the guys” just like in the movies.
The 33-year-old actress has soft and feminine features that made looking like a man a challenge. However, she didn’t have this problem on the set of Mulan.
Speaking with AsiaOne, Yifei said that she fits so well with the cast of mostly guys.
“One day, we were working and we were all dressed in costume and an actor patted my shoulder, and asked me a question,” the actress relayed. “But when I turned around, he realized it was me and not the guy he wanted to address. He was so surprised and apologetic,” Yifei said. “So, when you’re surrounded by men, you feel like they’re your buddies. They don’t treat me like a girl. I’m just one of the guys to them.”
Chosen among 1,000 actresses
Yifei competed with more than 1,000 actresses for the part of Mulan. Disney made sure to cast a Chinese actress following a public petition not to whitewash the live-action adaptation, as signed by over 100,000 fans.
Disney also ensured that the production had an all-Asian cast despite picking New Zealander Niki Caro as the director. Donnie Yen, Gong Li and Jet Li are just some of the big names in the movie. Yifei said that she admires these three Asian superstars and feels quite lucky to get the opportunity to work with them.
The actress also understands the high expectations of the Asian audience since Mulan is based on a well-known story from China. Yifei, however, said that she respects the opinion of the fans and critics.
Much-awaited release, bolder adaptation
The Mulan live-action adaptation is an eagerly awaited release following months of delay due to the coronavirus lockdown. The movie was originally set to hit theaters in March, but every theater across the world shut down due to the virus threat.
The film will finally debut on the screen in North America via the streaming platform Disney+ on Sept. 4. But Mulan will also be out in theaters in Singapore, Malaysia, and some other Asian markets on the same day.
According to CNN, Disney’s push to charge $30 for the premium access on the streaming platform is like an experiment in the new normal. However, subscribers of Disney+ may be able to watch the film for free after three months.
Reviews of the film are, so far, a mixed bag with many commending the production for its cinematography. Mulan, however, is not like the animated version as it’s stripped off the music and “feels bolder” than Disney’s other live-action adaptations.
Image used courtesy of Walt Disney/YouTube