Following the news about Disney’s live-action remake of its 1998 animated hit, Mulan, fans all around pleaded Disney to cast the right actress for the job, an asian one.
Now, after an entire year of searching across continents and going through more than 1000 auditions, Disney finally gave the fans what they wanted, and more. Introducing Liu Yi Fei (劉亦菲) as Disney’s first Chinese princess—Hua Mulan (花木蘭).
Here are 5 things you didn’t know about the star:
1. Liu Yi Fei, who was originally named An Feng (安風), legal name Liu Ximeizi (刘茜美子), is also called Crystal Liu. She is named ‘Fairy Sister’ due to her natural and ethereal looks which is described to be fairy-like by her fans. When she was called out regarding the nickname in an interview with Cosmopolitan Korea, she humbly replied “Honestly, I think there are many celebrities out there who are prettier than me. As an actress, it’s not only about looking good on camera, but being able to deliver the right emotions for the characters you play. This makes you more attractive on the screen. That’s why I focus more on acting rather than my appearance.”
2. Although Liu Yi Fei was born in Wuhan, the Hubei province of China, she is an American in nationality. Liu moved to the US with her mother at the early age of 10 after her parents’ divorce. She returned back to China from New York when she was 15, and enrolled to Beijing Film Academy, the most prestigious and largest higher education institution dedicated to film production in China, becoming the youngest student in class. Due to her fluency in English, she landed herself three English-language films to date: 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom and 2014’s Outcast. This year, she also starred in The Chinese Widow, opposite Emile Hirsch.
3. Liu Yi Fei isn’t just a talented actress, she’s also a talented dancer, singer, and musician. She formally trained and signed a recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment Japan when she was 18, and later on produced two albums. This definitely makes the actress a triple threat. Make way people, Liu Yi Fei is ready to take Hollywood by storm.
4. The Disney princess isn’t new to stardom, as she’s been living in the spotlight her whole life. Her father, An Shaokang, was a diplomat and a first secretary in the Chinese Embassy in France and a French language university professor, and her mother is Liu Xiaoli, a dancer and stage performer. Her godfather is Chen Jinfei of Tongchan Investment Group, ranked #368 on the Forbes 400 Richest Chinese list with an estimated net worth of 62 million USD.
5. The Disney princess has been dating Korean hunk Song Seung-heon since 2015 after they met on the set of The Third Way of Love. Fans of the on-screen couple congratulated their reel-to-real romance, however, there has been many break-up rumours around the couple due to their international relationship and busy schedules. Rumours about their breakup was shut down by Song last year in 2016.
We are all excited to see the 30-year-old actress (yes, 30, though she looks 20) play the role of Mulan in its 2019 live-action remake film. What do you think of Disney’s first Chinese princess? Leave your comments in the comments section!