Mulan star Yifei Liu has shared what it's like to play the role of the iconic title character! "We're all waiting for this," she said of the highly anticipated live-action version of the 1998 Disney movie, which she talked about in an exclusive interview for People.

Liu talks about her audition for Mulan: "All eyes were on me"

Liu mentioned how her initial Mulan audition took place after she had flown from Beijing to Los Angeles, which was a two-day trip. And she shared that even though she felt her audition went well, she still wasn't totally sure if she was going to get the role! 

"All eyes were on me for maybe three, four hours," she said. "Although I felt good, I didn't know whether they were going to hire me or not." It took a little while for her to hear back from the casting directors, but after two days, "I got the offer."


Liu hopes that fans respond well to new version of Mulan

Liu says she's a self-professed "big fan" of the animated Mulan and really hopes fans respond well to the live-action version. "You have to put in all your emotion to be able to respect that character. I see the passion people have for the story," she told People. "I really hope that we could bring back some of their memories and love. I hope they love it."

Playing a warrior princess also comes with some pretty intense training sessions! Liu had to train for two months in order to play "Mulan," and she reflected on the experience. "One day I just felt like I couldn't get up," she said. "Your body's like, 'Give me a break! Just one day.' I went to the beach, took a walk and then quickly got back on track."

Mulan splits love story between "two different characters"

Mulan's live-action version doesn't have the same cast of characters as the animated movie, with dragon "Mushu" and love interest "Shang" notably absent. According to Liu though, there's still a love story in the new movie! "We still have that, but we just divided that to two different characters," she explained. "We have a younger soldier — they have their story. Also, we have a commander that's kind of her mentor."

People mentions that the actress has been spending time reading during quarantine, as well as doing yoga and Pilates. And when it comes to Liu's hopes for her career trajectory post-Mulan, she's aiming high! "I want people to see me on a wider stage," she shared. "This is really a dream moment."

Mulan was supposed to be released in theatres in March, but ended up going directly to Disney+ because of the coronavirus pandemic! The movie is currently available to watch on the streaming service for a $30 fee but will become available for free (with a subscription) in December. We look forward to seeing this new take on a Disney classic, and Liu's version of the empowering Chinese hero!