updated 7 Nov 2011, 05:41
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Wed, Nov 25, 2009
The New Paper
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Was Stefanie Sun director's first pick for Mulan role?

IT seems that Vicki Zhao was not the first choice to play the lead role in Mulan.

The role was initially offered to someone who is not even famous for acting, reported Chinese media.

Jingle Ma, the Hong Kong-based director of Mulan, reportedly first approached Singapore singer Stefanie Sun, 31, but she turned it down because she couldn’t fit in the filming schedule.

How does Vicki, who is regarded as one of the top four actresses in China alongside Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun and Xu Jinglei, feel about such reports? “I can’t say if it’s true or not,” she told The New Paper.

“But if this is indeed the case, maybe it’s because Yanzi (Stefanie’s Chinese name) doesn’t want to act. Or perhaps I was chosen because I have more acting experience.”

But she said Stefanie does suit the image of Hua Mulan.

Vicki told the media at Mulan’s Beijing premiere last week: “Yanzi is suitable for the part. Don’t just look at her petite frame. She has an androgynous air about her.”

Stefanie, who also attended the event, said: “I don’t think I can act, especially if it’s a period film. I’m still more handy with singing.”

And that’s what she does in Mulan – singing the theme song Mulan Qing (Mandarin For The Heart Of Mulan).

Songwriter Li Weisong, who co-produced the Mulan soundtrack with his brother Sisong, has hinted that Stefanie may still play Mulan – in a theatre production.

Beijing Starlight International Media is slated to present the Hua Mulan story as a musical next year, and the Li brothers will be involved with its music production.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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