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9 Hunky Asian Actors We’d Like to See Play Mulan’s Love Interest

Make a man out of us, please!


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9 Hunky Asian Actors We’d Like to See Play Mulan’s Love Interest
Now that Disney has found its Mulan in Chinese actress Liu Yifei, it won’t be long before we get the news on the actor who will play her love interest.

But before that, we hate to break it to you but there won’t be a Captain Li Shang in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 animated film. 

Instead, Mulan’s love interest is now named Chen Hong Hui: a strappy, cocky, and handsome fellow recruit who joins the army. 

Who's gonna make a man out of Mulan?!
He’s determined to be the best soldier in human history and quickly realises that Mulan is his main rival. He becomes increasingly peeved at Mulan’s ability to match and beat him in every aspect.

His feelings of irritation and jealousy change, turning into love when he realises Mulan is a woman.

(By the way, if you don't know who Liu Yifei is, we wrote a really interesting piece about her) 

According to the character description, Chen Honghui is Chinese, in his 20s, and must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin. 

The casting call also specifies that the actor auditioning must be at least 18 years old by 1 May 2017 and that martial arts training would be a plus. 

Know anyone who fits the bill?
Though the casting call implies that production would begin in April or May 2017, it seems that they’ve had to postpone the shooting since they’ve just cast Liu Yifei as Mulan and no one has been cast in the lead role of Chen Honghui yet.

Hmmm.. who could play Mulan’s love interest? We could think of several hot Asian actors who can kick ass and hold their own in a Disney production.

Disney, if you’re still looking for the perfect male lead, hit us up, we’ve got a list right here for you!

1. AARIF RAHMAN 

Aarif Rahman in 'Kung Fu Yoga'.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Aarif Rahman is of Arab, Chinese, and Malay heritage. His film credits include Bruce Lee, My Brother, Cold War, rom-com One Night Surprise, and Kung Fu Yoga.

In 2014, he stirred hearts across China in hit Chinese television series Empress of China, playing Empress Gaozong opposite Fan Bingbing’s Wu Zetian.  
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Aarif Rahman in Empress of China.
Thanks to his dad who is from Malaysia and has Arab-Chinese-Malay ancestry and his mom who is Chinese, Aarif Rahman won the genetic lottery. He’s got the looks, he’s got the bod, and he can act.

The 30-year-old actor has received several nominations for his roles in debut film Echoes of the Rainbow, One Night Surprise, and TV drama Empress of China.

And he can fight! He played a young Bruce Lee in Bruce Lee, My Brother. And if you don’t believe us when we say he can fight, you should believe Jackie Chan who led the action adventure film Kung Fu Yoga and vouched for the rising star.

Perfectly fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, Rahman will have a breeze of a time playing the male lead in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated film. 

2. HENRY GOLDING

Malaysia represent. 
Born in Sarawak and raised in Terengganu and the UK, British-Malaysian actor Henry Golding has been making a splash in Hollywood lately.

The TV host formerly presented BBC’s The Travel Show and 8TV production Welcome to the Railworld. We’ll see him next on the big screen as wealthy scion Nick Young opposite Constance Wu in the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestseller Crazy Rich Asians.

Then, expect to see him acting alongside Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in Gone Girl-ish movie, A Simple Favour
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Watch out for him in 'Crazy Rich Asians'.
Since he’s of English-Iban heritage, it’s no surprise that Golding is drop dead gorgeous. He can definitely play a hot soldier who falls in love with Mulan.

Also, we’ve got absolute faith that he’ll be able to carry out his fight scenes in the action adventure film perfectly since he’s travelled the wilderness of Borneo while performing his bejalai, an Iban rite of passage into manhood. As for his Chinese lines, we think he can easily pick up Mandarin from his Italian-Taiwanese wife, Liv Lo.

3. AARON AZIZ

From drifting to soldier-ing.
Singaporean actor Aaron Aziz entered the film industry as a drift racer in Evolusi KL Drift back in 2008.

He wowed Malaysians with his roles as a private detective in Pisau Cukur, a devoted lover in romance drama Ombak Rindu, and a former gangster in the KL Gangster series. 
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Aaron Aziz and Zizan Razak in 'KL Gangster 2'.
Having cut his teeth on action films like Evolusi KL Drift and KL Gangster, Aziz is used to performing his own stunts. The stunts in Mulan should be a piece of cake for this tough guy.

Aside from his fighting skills, the 41-year-old has got the acting chops to sell the romance with Liu Yifei’s Mulan. In fact, he won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Evolusi KL Drift 2 and received several nominations for his roles in KL Gangster and Ombak Rindu.

Since he memorised his Cantonese lines for Hong Kong action film Special Female Force, we're pretty sure he'll be just as dedicated to learning his Mandarin lines for Mulan. There is just one tiny problem: he’s under orders from his doctor and manager-slash-wife to refrain from acting in action films as he’s still recovering from osteoarthritis.

4. SHAWN DOU

Meet Shawn Dou.Chinese-Canadian actor Shawn Dou got his big break in Zhang Yimou’s film Under the Hawthorn Tree. Other film credits include Wolf Totem, Dangerous Liaisons, and Youth Dinner.

In this year’s hit Chinese political drama, Princess Agents, he played a prince bent on revenge for the slaughter of his people. He can currently be seen in Chinese political-fantasy drama, Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy.
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Revenge is his!Having lived in Canada for many years, he’s fluent in both English and Mandarin and will have no trouble with the script.

As if famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou as his mentor isn’t enough to convince you, Dou also won the Best Actor award at 11th Festival Du Cinema Chinois De Paris for his performance in Youth Dinner. We think he can hold his own alongside Liu Yifei in any action scene. 

5. EDDIE PENG

That’s a smirk we can totally see on Chen Honghui.
Eddie Peng got his start in the early 2000s in Taiwanese dramas The White Paper of Love and When Dolphin Met Cat.

Since then, the Canadian-Taiwanese actor and singer has acted in a wide range of films and TV dramas from Chinese-US blockbuster The Great Wall to police thriller Cold War
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

He already has the biceps for the role.Like his fellow Canadians on this list, Eddie Peng is really fluent in English and Mandarin. He’s also a versatile actor, having acted as an autistic teen in Taiwanese drama When Dolphin Met Cat and the kungfu comedy Tai Chi 0 film series.

He’s also played Chinese kungfu hero Wong Fei Hung in Rise of the Legend. Needless to say, he’ll be doing his own stunts. Bonus: he’s also acted alongside Mulan lead actress Liu Yifei in the fantasy drama Chinese Paladin, so acting in the Disney movie will be a reunion for them. 

6. MARK CHAO 

Maybe those deep, soulful eyes will win him the role.Mark Chao is another Canadian-Taiwanese actor we’d like to see as the male lead of Mulan.

Since his breakout drama, Black & White, he’s also received critical praise for his films, Monga and Caught in the Web. This year, he won millions of fans over with his portrayal of the lofty immortal prince, Ye Hua, in the fantasy drama Eternal Love
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Has experience holding a sword.The multilingual actor is no stranger to international productions, having acted in the Luc Besson-written Chinese-French fantasy adventure film, The Warriors Gate.

The 33-year-old definitely inherited his talent for acting from his dad, Taiwanese actor and TV host Allen Chao. The evidence: multiple Best Actor awards and nominations.

Since he’s played a police detective, a gangster, an immortal prince, a tomb-raider and even gone to Antarctica for the production of his romance film, Till the End of World, there’s no doubt at all that Mark Chao can handle anything the Mulan production requires. 

7. LUDI LIN 

Black Ranger to heartbreaker.Most recently seen as the Black Ranger in the Power Rangers reboot, Ludi Lin has previously acted in Netflix drama Marco Polo and Chinese fantasy adventure film Monster Hunt.

He is also set to appear in Aquaman in 2018. 
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

Looking more and more like a warrior every day.
Born in Fuzhou, China, the Canadian actor has lived in Australia, Canada, Thailand, and the US and speaks several languages including English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Having studied theatre performance at the University of British Columbia and film and TV acting in Los Angeles, he should be a fine rival-turned-love interest.

Lin has also studied Muay Thai kickboxing, jujitsu, and Olympic-style wrestling so we can expect him to show off some cool moves in the movie if he gets the role.

8. LEWIS TAN 

Knows how to handle a katana. Check.You’ve probably seen Lewis Tan as the badass drunkard Zhou Cheng who fought Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in the Marvel-Netflix series Iron Fist. He has also had small roles in Hangover 3 and Olympus Has Fallen.

And he’ll next be seen in the AMC post-apocalyptic series Into the Badlands
 
Why we think he should get the lead role:

He may not have gotten the role of Iron Fist, but we're hoping he’ll get a lead role in Mulan.
His mom’s a retired English fashion model. His dad’s of Singaporean-Chinese descent, so no surprise why Lewis Tan is so gorgeous then.

The 188cm-tall actor is also insanely buff and fits the "strapping, cocky, handsome" description perfectly. Thanks to his dad who was a martial artist, actor, and a stunt coordinator, Lewis Tan got formally trained in multiple forms of martial arts since young including Muay Thai boxing, jujitsu, and Chinese martial arts.

Like Ludi Lin, the 30-year-old actor, who identifies as part Asian and part British, also studied acting professionally.

9. GODFREY GAO

How can Mulan resist this face?Godfrey Gao was born in Taipei to a Shanghainese dad and a Peranakan Chinese mom from Penang. The actor then moved to Vancouver, Canada when he was a child and returned to Taiwan in 2004 to work as a model.

His TV credits include Taiwanese dramas Queen of SOP and Volleyball Lover. He also played wizard Magnus Bane in the big-screen adaptation of YA novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Why we think he should get the lead role:

Yup, he definitely looks like a hotheaded soldier.At 193cm, he definitely fits the bill for “strapping and handsome”. Not only is he fluent in English and Mandarin, he’s portrayed a famous Chinese general before in the 2016 Chinese TV drama God of War: Zhao Yun so he’s definitely familiar with battle scenes.

Interestingly, one of his newest movies, Love Is a Broadway Hit revolves around two Asian girls competing for the role of Mulan in a Broadway production and he’s the male lead there too. This must mean that Godfrey Gao is fated to play Mulan’s love interest in the live-action remake too!

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