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Original Mulan actress Ming-Na Wen cameos in live action movie – when she pops up

The Mulan star has explained how it all came about - and how it nearly didn't happen.

Ming Na Wen at the Mulan remake premiere

Warning: Mulan 2020 spoilers to follow

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When Disney fans were watching the new Mulan remake there was one particular character than leapt out – Ming-Na Wen, the original actress.

The actress voiced the animated Mulan in 1998, but also appears in the live-action movie released on Disney+, simply under the name ‘Esteemed Guest’ as Mulan is presented to the Emperor.

Now Ming-Na has explained how the cameo came about.

Speaking to the New York Times Ming-Na said: “It all started with the fans tweeting about it, saying, ‘You have to be a part of it!’ I asked my manager and my agent if that would be a possibility because I thought that would be kind of fun.

Mulan cameo
Disney+

“Then I met with the producer Jason Reed and he loved the idea, but at that time I was doing Agents of SHIELD, so scheduling-wise, it was kind of a logistical nightmare because Mulan was shooting in New Zealand.

“They had written a scene for me to be a part of, but the schedule just didn’t work out.”

The original idea was for her to play the “potential mother-in-law” in the matchmaker scene, but thanks to weather concerns Ming-Na was needed on the Marvel series for a month.

She added: “The producers of Agents of SHIELD just threw up their hands, ‘We can’t lose you for a month!’ I totally understood and I’m always very Zen about this stuff.”

She found a way around the issue though along with director Niki Caro: “I said, ‘Look, if it was meant to be, it was meant to be. We all tried, and it’s too bad. So we sort of let it go, and then Jason and Niki came up with this great idea where instead of shooting an entire scene, I’d just make a cameo at the very end to announce Mulan to the emperor.”

To spot Ming-Na in the Mulan 2020 remake just make sure you don’t look away as Mulan walks in to meet the Emperor – she’s the woman walking ahead of her, which is oddly poetic.

Mulan is now on Disney+, Premier Access is £19.99 in the UK and $29.99 in the USA if you already have a Disney+ subscription. Sign up to Disney+ for £59.99 a year and £5.99 a month. 

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