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Why Jet Li said Yes to Mulan

Martial arts hero Jet Li had to concede defeat after a verbal duel with his daughter.

The 15-year-old had asked him why he parried away approaches from Disney to act in the live-action reboot of 1998 animated movie Mulan.

She reasoned his stature could give an extra lift to the new film that showcased Chinese culture.

In a recent interview with Chinese talk-show host Chen Luyu, Li said he finally threw in the towel when his daughter found the weakest spot in his armour.

She asked the 55-year-old to star in the movie – just for her, according to Tencent’s QQ social platform. Which daddy could say no to his child’s sweet request?

In April, Mulan’s producers announced that Li would be joining the cast, alongside stellar names such as Donnie Yen and Gong Li.

The movie is slated to hit screens in 2020.

On the programme called A Date With Luyu, Li looked healthy, a great relief for fans after photographs of him looking sick and frail had popped up earlier this year and stoked worries.

Li had said previously that he suffered from hyperthyroidism and spinal problems from stunt work injuries.

On the show, Li also revealed why he said no to a role in The Matrix science-fiction sequels in the early 2000s.

He recalled: “I realised the Americans wanted me to film for three months, but be with the crew for nine.

“And for six months, they wanted to record and copy all my moves into a digital library. By the end of the recording, the right to these moves would go to them.

“I was thinking: I’ve been training my entire life. And we martial artists could grow only older.

“Yet, they could own (my moves), as an intellectual property, forever. So I said I couldn’t do that.”

 

– Straits Times

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