EXCLUSIVE | 'Mulan' actor Nelson Lee reveals how live-action Chancellor is different from animated counterpart
Nelson Lee talks about what sets Chi-Fu and 'Mulan' apart from the animated version, as well as how he's been dealing with the lockdown
The live-action 'Mulan' has completed its production, but its release has been delayed due to pandemic restrictions. Meanwhile, Nelson Lee, who plays the Chanceller, talk too MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) about the film and how his character compares to the Chi-Fu of the animated series.
The original Chi-Fu was played by James Hong. The Chancellor is a comedically cynical man, who does not trust Mulan (Ming Na-Wen) and puts her down every chance he gets. Nelson Lee talks about just what makes his version different. "Of course the original James Hong is an amazing legend, and so my Chancellor and the Chi-Fu obviously is based off of that, but it's definitely a lot looser," he says.
He goes on to talk about what makes the live-action film so different, overall. Unlike most of the other Disney live-action reboots, 'Mulan' does not pattern itself entirely after the animated film. "What we're doing as more of a retelling of the original 500 AD story with the similar DNA to the Disney one," he says. "Of course, a lot of our plots and our drive is very different than Chi-Fu in the original 'Mulan.' I think everyone's gonna still love it but I think this is a modern retelling that Niki [Caro] really had this amazing vision and scope and I love what we're all able to do and to bring this ancient tale to 2020," he says, adding, "I hope it's 2020, not 2021."
Nelson Lee talked a little about how he's been dealing with life under lockdown, and how keeping to a schedule and promoting projects like 'Mulan' and his role on 'Stargirl' have helped kept him sane. "I've gotten kinda used to it. I stare out the window like an old man at everyone going to the lake and I just judge them," he says. He mentions that he's "just trying to try to keep busy, really, try and keep the schedule. That's been good to keep myself sane, and doing interviews like this has been great, and also just promoting 'Stargirl' and 'Mulan'"
The current release date for 'Mulan' is set for July 24, 2020.