Meet the Aussie Woman Who Could Be Disney’s Mulan

With Disney’s live-action retelling of the 1998 animated film bound to hit theaters next year, fans are eagerly pitting names for the coveted lead role.

For some, “Mulan” might be Natasha Liu Bordizzo, a 22-year-old Australian actress who first appeared in last year’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.”

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According to China Film Insider, rumors about Bordizzo’s casting started spreading on Chinese social media last week. Apparently, the hype was too strong that Disney had to butt in on Friday to clarify that they were “still in the casting process.”

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Disney reportedly launched a “global casting search” for one Chinese actress to play Mulan. However, word about a white male love interest spread online, stirring talks on potential whitewashing.

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In any case, Bordizzo is an interesting choice as the legendary heroine. She took the role of a young martial arts acolyte called “Snow Vase” in her debut film. She also trained in kempo karate and taekwondo, even holding a black belt title in the latter.

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She told Vogue last year:

“When I was about 9 or 10, my parents told me I’d either have to start martial arts or dance. I was always a tomboy, so of course I was like, ‘Martial arts, definitely. I’m not a ballerina—come on!’ And I stuck with it. Through my teenage years it really became an outlet for me to let out any frustration. I think it transfers into your life as well: You just become more disciplined and more focused.”

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A former law student, Bordizzo was born to an Italian father and a Chinese mother. She identifies as “very Australian.”

Other actresses rumored to play Mulan include Fan Bingbing, Liu Yifei and Zhang Ziyi.

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The film opens in cinemas, including 3D, on November 2, 2018. But if you’re not into any more Disney, watch out for Sony.

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