Hollywood has long been accused of “whitewashing” its cast members, relying heavily on white actors while casting for its movies. Disney’s selection of Liu Yifei as the lead of Mulan movie has turned out to be a glorious exception. Now, everyone wants to know who this Chinese actor is.
When Scarlett Johansson was selected to play lead of Ghost in the Shell, the remake of a Japanese anime, there was a huge controversy. Liu Yifei’s selection comes after there was an online campaign with a demand to choose an Asian actor to play the lead of Mulan. The movie is actually the adaptation of a 1998 animated movie about Hua Mulan, a legendary Chinese warrior from the fifth century, who dressed up like a man to lead her father’s army.
Who Is Liu Yifei?
Liu Yifei, aka Crystal Liu, is no stranger to period dramas. The actor has been nicknamed as “Fairy Sister” because of her looks in various Chinese dramas set in ancient times. Liu played the lead in many Chinese period shows like The Return of the Condor Heroes and Chinese Paladin. She played an ethereal character even in her last released movie, Once Upon A Time.
However, this is not the first time the 30-year-old actor will be working in a Hollywood movie. Her Hollywood debut was in The Forbidden Kingdom. She acted with Jet Li and Jacky Chan in the 2008 movie. She also acted in the 2014 movie Outcast.
Liu Yifei met K-drama star Song Seung-heon while working for The Third Way of Love. The romantic comedy helped the two come together and start dating each other. The couple’s love story is so popular among fans that Liu Yifei has more than 53 million followers on Weibo, according to South China Morning Post.
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Disney’s decision to choose Liu Yifei as Mulan comes as it is reported that the Chinese star is fluent in English.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, casting directors considered almost 1,000 actors before choosing Liu. The role requires the actor to have sound martial arts skills.
Besides being an actor, Liu Yifei is also a singer. She had a contract with Sony Music Entertainment and released two albums.
[Featured Image by Visual China/Getty Images]