Disney has finally cast 30-year-old Chinese Actress Liu Yifei (30) aka Crystal Liu as Mulan for its 2019 live-action feature film. After almost a year-long tedious search across continents and more than 1,000 audition later, the 1998 Disney remake finally is moving forward with lead role finally cast.
The casting of the half Asian actor Liu was welcomed on Twitter, with tweets expressing relief as the studio didn’t choose to whitewash the movie. Hollywood has gathered negative press in the past and present for whitewashing and stereotyping minority groups, this move also helps the Disney to tap into significant Asian movie market which has eluded big Hollywood studios so far. With Chinese box office expected to become the largest in the world by 2020, the studio is embracing the power of Chinese cinema.
Chinese actress Liu Yifei cast as Mulan, source: Asian Junkie
The 1998 remake sees Liu as the lead character “Mulan” which was earlier voiced by Ming Na, the plot of the movie is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The movie is expected to be released in 2019 with Niki Caro at the helm. Disney is expected to make more casting announcements in the upcoming days.
Although Liu being anonymous in the west, she is a big movie star in the east with a major fan following and even becoming the brand ambassador for fashion brand Dior. Her superstar image and fan following are even higher than Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson because of her controversy-free image and Disney princessesque background.
Liu has a posh-art background, from grandfather Chen Jifei ranked 368 out of 400 on the Forbes 400 Richest Chinese list with an estimated net worth of $62 million, father served as a Chinese diplomat in France as well as French language professor and her mother was a professional dancer and stage performer.
Although being of Chinese descent, Liu is a confluence of eastern and western culture, having spent her formative middle school years in New York City and graduating from prestigious Beijing Film Academy in 2006.
Chinese actress, model, and singer is well known in the Chinese entertainment industry for her sweet and delicate image has 53 million followers on Chinese social media Weibo. With such fan following endorsements from major international brands such as Dior skincare prestige, Tissot, Garnier, and Pantene have followed suit to elevate her status as a style icon.
Liu’s filmography includes international films, her first role in Hollywood production came alongside Jackie Chan in 2008’s “The Forbidden Palace,” starred in 2014 film Outcast alongside Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen. She was even nominated for Best Actress at the Montreal World Film Festival for her role in 2016’s Chinese-French movie “Night Peacock” directed by Chinese-French director Dai Sijie.