The live-action Mulan debuted on Disney+ last week and while the film differed in several ways from the 1998 animated classic, it had a few surprises in store for fans, including an incredible surprise cameo from Ming-Na Wen. Wen, who voiced Mulan in the animated film, appeared near the end of the live-action film, presenting Yifei Liu's Mulan to the Emperor. Now, Wen is sharing some behind-the-scenes photos from her cameo -- which included an appearance by her daughter, Michaela Zee, as well.
"Filming this Mulan in 2018. Animated Mulan was released in 1998. 20 years! Wow," Wen wrote. "I got to share a very special moment with my baby girl. Priceless life experience. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Thank you to all the Mulan fans who wanted this when the film was first announced. I❤️U. What an incredible journey with this beloved Disney warrior princess."
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Filming this @mulan in 2018. Animated #Mulan was released in 1998. 20 years! Wow. I got to share a very special moment with my baby girl. Priceless life experience. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this happen. 🙌🏼❤️ Thank you to all the Mulan fans who wanted this when the film was first announced. I❤️U. What an incredible journey with this beloved @Disney warrior princess. 🥰🌺 Catch this beautiful and epic @mulan on @disneyplus #premieraccess now. The cast is amazing and @nikicaro brought it to life in the most action-packed, gorgeous and magical way! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🥰 #honored #grateful #motherdaughter #asianrepresentation
In the series of photos, Wen can be seen hanging out with the film's cast, her daughter, and even sharing an Easter egg of sorts in that her appearance in the live-action film was done up to look like the animated Mulan.
As Wen explained in a recent interview, that cameo appearance almost didn't happen. She explained that after fans tweeted about how she needed to be part of the new Mulan, she reached out to her manager to check into the possibility and that the film's producer, Jason Reed, loved the idea. But that's when things hit a snag. The plan initially was for Wen to play the mother-in-law during the matchmaker sequence, but it would have required her to go to New Zealand for a month -- something that wouldn't work.
"The producers of Agents of SHIELD just threw up their hands: 'We can't lose you for a month!'" Wen explained. "I totally understood, and I'm always very Zen about this stuff. I said, 'Look, if it was meant to be, it was meant to be. We all tried and it's too bad.'"
Fortunately, while Wen accepted that things weren't going to work, Reed and Mulan director Niki Caro didn't give up that easily. They came up with another idea, the role of "Esteemed Guest" near the end of the film -- one that required her to be on set for just a week and ultimately gave fans the cameo they had asked for and offered Wen a touching moment as well.0comments
"I thought that was very appropriate and just wonderful, a little Easter egg where I could pass the baton," Wen said.
Disney's Mulan is now available to stream on Disney+ through its Premium Access tier.