Mulan star Tzi Ma praises his co-star Yifei Liu for her commitment

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With Mulan arriving on Disney Plus over the Labor Day holiday weekend, Chinese film legend Tzi Ma offered high praise for Yifei Liu, who played the title character.

Ma, 58, spoke with Digital Spy about the release of Mulan, which was delayed several times before arriving on Disney Plus on September 4 (with Premier Access costing $29.99), where he spoke quite highly of Liu.

Ma plays Zhou, a famed war hero and the title character’s father, who revealed that his 33-year-old co-star went all-in for the demanding role. 

Praise: With Mulan arriving on Disney Plus over the Labor Day holiday weekend, Chinese film legend Tzi Ma offered high praise for Yifei Liu, who played the title character

Praise: With Mulan arriving on Disney Plus over the Labor Day holiday weekend, Chinese film legend Tzi Ma offered high praise for Yifei Liu, who played the title character

‘She gives her entire being. She embodies that spirit. And her ability to connect with other cast members where you feel the chemistry of these relationships – familial relationships, the brotherhood,’ Ma said.

He added that the training for the role was ‘ridiculous,’ with Liu required to endure, ‘military training, combat training, stunt training, stamina training.’

‘And we all live in the same place, in the same hotel. We see each other every day. The boys are complaining. ‘Oh my god, I can’t walk, that killed me.’ But not a word from Yifei,’ he added.

Training: He added that the training for the role was 'ridiculous,' with Liu required to endure, 'military training, combat training, stunt training, stamina training'

Training: He added that the training for the role was ‘ridiculous,’ with Liu required to endure, ‘military training, combat training, stunt training, stamina training’

No complaints: 'And we all live in the same place, in the same hotel. We see each other every day. The boys are complaining. "Oh my god, I can't walk, that killed me." But not a word from Yifei,' he added

No complaints: ‘And we all live in the same place, in the same hotel. We see each other every day. The boys are complaining. ‘Oh my god, I can’t walk, that killed me.’ But not a word from Yifei,’ he added

Ma continued that his co-star continued to ‘raise the bar,’ adding that it required her co-stars to step up their game as well. 

‘I think (director) Niki (Caro) has said that in interviews. You’ve got to bring your A-game or you’re going to disappear in the scene,’ Ma added.

He added that his co-star, who previously starred in The Forbidden Kingom, is kind, and that, ‘there’s no mean bone in this young lady.’ 

Raising the bar: Ma continued that his co-star continued to 'raise the bar,' adding that it required her co-stars to step up their game as well

Raising the bar: Ma continued that his co-star continued to ‘raise the bar,’ adding that it required her co-stars to step up their game as well

Co-star: He added that his co-star, who previously starred in The Forbidden Kingom, is kind, and that, 'there's no mean bone in this young lady'

Co-star: He added that his co-star, who previously starred in The Forbidden Kingom, is kind, and that, ‘there’s no mean bone in this young lady’

When asked if he feels the release is more important given the global climate and anti-Chinese rhetoric from President Donald Trump, Ma added, ‘It’s going to do more good than harm for sure.

‘There’s obstacles. People are going to resist [the idea of watching an Asian cast] because of the coronavirus, because we’re constantly being blamed on a global scale,’ he added.

The actor added that word of mouth on the film is ‘really important,’ adding that he’s hoping social media will help grow the audience.

Climate: When asked if he feels the release is more important given the global climate and anti-Chinese rhetoric from President Donald Trump, Ma added, 'It's going to do more good than harm for sure

Climate: When asked if he feels the release is more important given the global climate and anti-Chinese rhetoric from President Donald Trump, Ma added, ‘It’s going to do more good than harm for sure

‘I can’t even begin to even tell you how the word of mouth on social media is going to help this film,’ he said. 

‘If there had been no COVID, anybody would have just enjoyed it and said, ‘Wow, this is an amazing piece of entertainment’. Subliminally they wouldn’t realise that the entire cast is Asian.

‘Hopefully, people are going to say it’s a universal story. It’s a story of human beings, about values that we all strive to have,’ he added.

The film was originally slated for release on March 27, though it was delayed due to COVID-19, pushed to July 24 and then August 21, before it was ultimately decided that the film will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service for the price of $29.99. 

Word of mouth: 'I can't even begin to even tell you how the word of mouth on social media is going to help this film,' he said

Word of mouth: ‘I can’t even begin to even tell you how the word of mouth on social media is going to help this film,’ he said

Price: The film was originally slated for release on March 27, though it was delayed due to COVID-19, pushed to July 24 and then August 21, before it was ultimately decided that the film will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service for the price of $29.99

Price: The film was originally slated for release on March 27, though it was delayed due to COVID-19, pushed to July 24 and then August 21, before it was ultimately decided that the film will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service for the price of $29.99

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