Actor Jason Scott Lee has been steadily making his mark in Hollywood for a long time, from a starring role in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, to 1994's The Jungle Book. He is also part of Disney's live-action reboot of Mulan, where Lee plays the role of the villainous Bori Khan. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, the actor revealed he almost lost out on the role due to a botched Skype audition.
"The auditioning process was really long. It came first as a Skype audition, and I think Skype auditions are completely botched. It was terrible. I came off very bad, and it's funny because they ended up passing on me. And, of course, Disney's very tight with material. They don't let you read anything. They're not going to give you a script to look at, so you're kind of flying blind. So I had done the Skype audition, and I didn't hear back for almost a year."
After the less-than-ideal virtual audition process, Lee did not hear back from Disney for a long time, until one day they informed him that circumstances had changed in connection with another actor, and he was back under consideration for the role. The mouse empire asked Lee to send another audition taping, and a few days after he sent the tape, Disney informed Lee that they wanted him to board the project, but he still needed to go down to New Zealand to meet with the director Niki Caro for a personal audition. That was when things got even more complicated, according to Lee.
"I said, "Okay." Then, they said, "But the stipulation is, if you get the part, you're going to stay down there and start pre-production." I was like, "That's impossible." (Laughs.) They give you a few days notice, and then they want you to just pack up and go spend six months in New Zealand, which some people would jump at, but I've got a family and stuff. Anyway, that's how it all kind of turned about, and fortunately for me, I got accepted by Niki."
Once he was approved by Caro, Jason Scott Lee had a few days to take care of things at home before he went back to get started preparing for the role of Bori Khan. Despite the tough road to getting the part, the actor is happy to be a part of the live-action Mulan, particularly due to what the movie portrays for his two daughters and their Chinese heritage.
Directed by Niki Caro, Disney's live-action Mulan stars Yifei Liu as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan and Yoson An as Chen Honghui, with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor.
The movie tells the tale of a young woman who disguises herself as a man to join the Imperial Army in place of her elderly father. After a long wait and many delays, Mulan is now available for streaming through Premier Access on Disney+. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.