‘Mulan’ Star Yifei Liu Was Once a Cat Mom to 30 Feline Critters

Yifei Liu is one of Hollywood’s up and coming young stars, and is earning acclaim for her performance in the new Disney film, Mulan.

With an extensive career in Chinese films prior to her Hollywood debut, Liu, who is also known as Liu Yifei and even Crystal Liu, clearly has a bright future ahead of her in the entertainment industry.

Charming and driven, Liu has been the subject of some controversy surrounding the release of Mulan — but she has been able to rise above it all and focus on her career with grace and determination.

When was Yifei Liu born?

Yifei Liu on the red carpet
Yifei Liu on the red carpet | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

According to her IMDb page, Yifei Liu was born in Wuhan, China, in 1987. An only child, Liu was raised primarily by her mother, who encouraged her in her pursuit of a career in entertainment. In 1997, Liu and her mother moved to New York City, where they remained until 2002, when Liu returned to China to launch her film career.

At the age of 15, Liu was accepted into the Performance Institute of Beijing Film Academy, a prestigious acting school.

Liu graduated from the academy in 2006 and immediately began performing in television shows. A few of her early roles in Chinese television included parts in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, Chinese Paladin, and The Return of the Condor Heroes.

After breaking into the industry through television, Liu began landing roles in films. Over the next few years, the actress honed her skills by appearing in high-profile Chinese movies such as The Chinese Widow

Yifei Liu is a Disney star

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In 2017, Yifei Liu became a name known all around the world when she was announced as the star of the upcoming Disney live-action film Mulan.

Reportedly, Liu beat over one thousand other candidates to win the coveted role of Mulan, the Chinese warrior who dressed as a man in order to defend her country against invaders. 

The original Disney animated classic debuted in 1998, and the live-action film was highly anticipated by millions of fans. Unfortunately, the film was involved in a slurry of controversy when Disney decided to debut the film on its streaming platform, Disney+, and to charge current subscribers thirty dollars.

Still, many fans have had good things to say about Yifei Liu, and as the actress prepares for her upcoming projects, including future Hollywood movie roles, fans are eager to learn more about the newly-minted star. 

Yifei Liu was a proud cat mom

Yifei Liu is positioned well for stardom, considering the actress trained like a beast for her work in Mulan. In a recent interview, according to Page Six, Liu admitted that her training for the role “took great fortitude. I built up strength to play the character. How fast can I move? Have I energy for those action sequences? We shot on location with a cast of thousands. With the passion to learn more and more, I’m thankful for my trainers.”

Although Liu did have a stunt double on hand for some of the movie’s most dangerous tricks, she took on the bulk of the action herself, and all in all, the talented actress underwent over three months of training in order to properly prepare for the fight sequences.

The role of the battle-hardened warrior was a totally new one for Liu, who, in her past life in Queens, shared a small living space with 30 cats.

While Liu’s introduction to the world of Hollywood might have been unconventional, it is clear that she is ready to tackle the next challenge in her career with fortitude.