So there has been a lot of buzz about Disney's live-action production of Mulan. The most recent news is how Disney is hosting a worldwide audition for the cast of Mulan, which I am particularly pleased by. And just to help Disney out a little, I have complied a list of Asian actresses from various Asian ethnicities and nationalities who could take on the role of Mulan. Some of these actresses you may know from television series and Hollywood films, whilst the others are international stars from East Asia.
10. Brenda Song
She might not be new to Disney, but she has the quirkiness and talent to be Mulan. In fact, she's done a stellar job with her role as London Tipton in the Sweet Life of Zach & Cody (2005-2008) and Sweet Life on Deck (2008-2011), and she also had some movie experience with TV films such as Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006) and in theaters, with her role of Christy Lee in The Social Network (2010).
9. Gui Gui
Gui Gui is a popular Chinese actress and has received numerous roles in Taiwanese and mainland Chinese dramas and films. I watched one of her earlier dramas, Mysterious Incredible Terminator (2008), and just from her acting, she has this bubbly, innocent on-screen personality that easily reflects Mulan's youthfulness. However, as she got older, Gui Gui took on more mature roles including roles in the 2011 to 2014 franchise, The Four, The Legend of the Flying Daggers (2016), and the American-Chinese epic, The Great Wall (2016), alongside Matt Damon.
8. Arden Cho
Arden Cho is a Korean-American actress who is prominently known for her recurring role in Teen Wolf (2014-2016) as Kira Yukimura, a kitsune (fox spirit). She is currently starring in a musical drama film called, Stuck (2016). The reason I placed her on this list is because the role of Mulan could further expand her experience as an actress.
7. Fan Bingbing
I would consider Fan Bingbing a legendary actress, as she has appeared in numerous foreign films and received countless awards for her roles. Some of her noteworthy work includes the Chinese comedy-drama, Cell Phone (2003), the South Korean war film, My Way (2011), and the Hollywood blockbuster, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). She's well-known in the movie industry—so her popularity can only increase with a role like Mulan. However, one thing of concern would be her age as she isn't in the target age range that could attract young audience goers.
6. Krystal Jung
Krystal Jung is a American-born South Korean actress and singer from the girl group, f(x). She's popular in South Korea and other Asian countries, and I think her sassy and star power image will also be popular among American audiences. Although she starred in many South Korean romantic comedies such as My Lovely Girl (2014) and The Heirs (2013), she has yet to show her acting ability in action and historical genres for television and film. Yet, despite not having that prior experience, I do think her acting in melodramas will greatly contribute to the raw emotion that Mulan exhibits in the animated version.
5. Karen Fukuhara
Karen Fukuhara is an up and coming Japanese-American actress who debuted in the 2016 film, Suicide Squad as Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana. One should not doubt her abilities to be a great Mulan just because she took on such a fun and action-packed role in Suicide Squad—and we all know that she can wield a sword.
4. Jamie Chung
Jamie Chung has years of action movie experience. She starred in the steampunk action movie, Sucker Punch (2011), the horrible, loose adaptation American movie, Dragonball Evolution (2009), as well as the mini series, Samurai Girl (2006).
In fact, Jamie Chung should be a leading prospect for Mulan since she already plays the role in ABC's Once Upon A Time. However, I can see this as being problematic, though, because she already portrays the role for a TV show. Her portrayal of Mulan in the movie version would have to be different from the one in Once Upon A Time. She would have to bring something new to the table for her Mulan characterization, and that would be a testament for her as an actress.
3. Lana Condor
Lana Condor is a Vietnamese-American actress. She had a minor role in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) as the fun, sassy mutant, Jubilee. I think many X-Men fans, myself included, were ecstatic to see Jubilee getting a little more action as opposed to a cameo in the previous X-Men movies.
Jubilee is her debut role as an actress and she's been cast for other roles: Patriots Day (2016), High School Lover (2017), and now recently, Alita: Battle Angel (2018). Since her acting career is just taking off, Mulan would be another perfect role to add on to the list of roles she's receiving.
2. Victoria Song
She's my ideal actress for Mulan. Victoria Song is a Chinese actress and is also part of the South Korean girl group, f(x), alongside Krystal Jung. She demonstrated her maturity and femininity in the Taiwanese drama, When Loved Walked In (2012), and is currently playing as Li Luo in the Chinese epic fantasy, Ice Fantasy (2016), which is based on Guo Jing Ming's bestselling novel, City of Fantasy. From her looks to her acting ability, I think Victoria Song has the necessary criteria to be Disney's Mulan, and she can sing!
1. Boa Kwon
Now it's highly unlikely that Victoria Song will get cast as Mulan, so Boa Kwon is my next choice. Boa Kwon is a famous South Korean singer and has reached international stardom across various Asian countries including Japan and China. She's a talented singer and dancer, so she can definitely sing those Disney songs. In addition, she starred in the South Korean-American movie, Make Your Move 3D (2014), alongside ballroom dancer, Derek Hough—so she has familiarity with not only international audiences, but also American audiences as well.
And that is my list of potential actresses that could play Mulan! Do you know of any other Asian actresses in America and aboard that you think would be suited for the role? Let me know in the comments!