If you don’t already know, Disney’s live-action remake ‘Mulan’ is showing on the big screen now!
But when it comes to Chinese film actor Jet Li who plays the emperor in the film, it turns out that he had originally turned down the role due to the script and pay.
However, that changed after his then 15-year-old daughter, Jada, requested him to take up the role, the 57-year-old revealed in an email interview with Shin Min Daily News.
He said that his youngest daughter, Jada, asked him three questions when she heard about his decision.
Image source: Instagram/_jadali_
“She asked me if I am proud to promote Chinese culture to the world. I didn’t disagree—I do like to share Chinese culture with the world,” the father of four said.
Jada then suddenly asked Li if he lacked money, in which he denied. Apparently, Jada believed that Li rejected taking on the role because he thought it did not pay enough.
Lastly, she questioned whether Disney was investing a lot of money into shooting Chinese stories. Jada asked: “The main characters are all Chinese. Isn’t it promoting Chinese culture?”
Li said her question “shocked” him and that he didn’t know how to answer her.
However, Jada did not stop there as she pressed on further, asking Li to take on the role for her. Jada’s elder sister, Jane, also shared her sentiments.
“That’s how I decided to make this film,” said Li who was encouraged by his daughters who loved the original animated 1998 film.
This prompted the star, who is said to be picky about his film roles, to take on the role of emperor once again.
He said: “When I think about ancient China or the ancient world, I wonder why people want to become king. For my personal taste, I like freedom.”
Jet Li who is portrayed as a regal emperor in ‘Mulan’. | Image source: YouTube screengrab
Aside from that, the heavy imperial robe and having to deliver his lines in English were the challenges Li said he faced while filming.
“Speaking English dialogue is not easy for me. I am too lazy to learn English or speak any foreign language, so I am very
grateful to my dialogue coach for helping me a lot,” said Li.
Also, a great father-daughter film to engage in, it is said that more time is spent on building the core relationship between Mulan and her father (Tzi Ma), despite its small amount of time on screen in the original.
And above all else, the film also sends an empowering message to young women.
Mulan was previously slated to be released in Singapore on 20 August but only came to the theatres from 4 September due to delays from the pandemic.
It is also available on Disney+ and will be released directly to the streaming platform.
Lead image source: Instagram/_jadali_, YouTube screengrab/Walt Disney Studios
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