Disney has found their Mulan in Chinese actress Liu Yifei

After a yearlong worldwide search, Disney has found their Mulan in Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, for the live-action adaptation directed by Niki Caro.

After visiting five continents and auditioning over 1,000 actresses for the role, which required the ability to speak English and known basic martial arts, Disney has chosen Liu. Liu is fluent in English, having lived in the United States for part of her childhood and acted in several English-speaking-dominated films like 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom and 2014’s Outcast. Just recently, Liu starred opposite Emile Hirsch in the romantic period piece directed by Bille August, The Chinese Widow.Chinese fans have been rooting for the young actress, even creating videos showing her capability in English, horse riding, and martial arts – all the necessities to portray Hua Mulan, a brave woman who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in fifth-century China.Liu is considered one of China’s most popular actresses. Known in China as “Fairy Sister” for her innocent looks and image, Liu broke out in the industry after starring in several TV dramas as a teenager, while still enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy. Her film credits include 2012’s The Assassins, Ip Man 3, and fantasy drama Once Upon a Time. She is set to star in next year’s Inversion, alongside Samuel L. Jackson. Liu is also a known pop singer in China, having released two pop albums in 2006, which would be great if Caro decides to add the songs to the film. Liu also currently serves as brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier, and Pantene.

The 1998 animated version, which starred the voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, and B.D. Wong, earned $304.3 million worldwide and was critically acclaimed. The live-action Mulan, directed by Niki Caro and produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner, is set to be released sometime in 2019.

Source: THR

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Laura Sirikul
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