Mulan battling the witch

In Disney’s 1998 animated classic Mulan, artist’s pen and brushstroke was all it took to give the titular hero her impressive fighting abilities. It wasn’t quite so simple for Niki Caro’s live-action remake starring Liu Yifei. On the contrary, the actress underwent lengthy and intense training for the action-packed Disney film. It sounds like it was all worth it though, because Liu Yifei is pumped that she "can do more push-ups" now, saying:

I’ve had three months of the training process. It’s quite challenging, six or seven hours a day. It’s been really helpful, I feel like I can do more push-ups.

It’s always good to be able to do more push-ups, so Liu Yifei is right to be pumped about her newfound strength. It’s one thing to look the part of a warrior, but it’s another thing to feel it, and it seems the Liu Yifei is more confident in her physical capabilities after training for Mulan. I would certainly imagine that the actress could do more push-ups after all the training she underwent for the Disney film.

In a featurette on Mulan’s official Twitter account, Liu Yifei described her training regimen to prepare to play the legendary Chinese folk heroine, and it does not sound easy. For three months, she trained and rehearsed for six or seven hours a day to become Mulan and convincingly play the warrior onscreen. That is a ton of work day in and day out, and according to Liu Yifei, it was quite challenging.

It doesn’t sound like the actress has tested the theory yet, but she suspects that she can do more push-ups now. I would guess she is probably right and can maybe even do more than she thinks. Push-ups may not have been an explicit part of the physical training, but everything else likely contributed to her push-up ability.

Swinging a sword and other weapons all day was surely strengthening Liu Yifei’s arms and core, and the breadth of the training probably got her in better shape overall, thereby giving her some warrior strength. Regardless of how many push-ups she can do, it’s clear that Liu Yifei put a lot of work in for Mulan. Take a look at some of it in the video below:

Director Niki Caro calls Mulan an action movie hero, and based on the footage we’ve seen of this movie so far, it’s hard to argue that point as Liu Yifei’s balletic performance appears reminiscent of something like Jet Li in Hero.

Liu Yifei isn’t the only one who feels different after all the running, jumping, rolling and sword-fighting involved in training for Mulan. Actor Yoson An, who plays Honghui in the film, has the beginnings of a six-pack after all that work, indicating that cast didn’t only build some muscle, but they also burned some fat.

I guess the lesson here is that if you want to get in shape, get cast in a big-budget action epic. That’s easier said than done though, so perhaps the next best thing is to watch Mulan to get the kind of battle motivation necessary to hit the gym.

Mulan opens in theaters on March 27. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what other movies you can look forward to this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.

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