Meet The Man Who Plays Mulan’s Kind-Hearted Cricket, Jun Yu

Mulan is a live action drama film, released by Walt Disney Pictures earlier this year. It is a remake of Disney’s 1998 animated film based on the Chinese folk tale. This year’s version features Asian stars, such as Liu Yifei, Jet Li and Gong Li, as well as new faces including Jun Yu. The same age as the original Mulan, Yu plays the loveable Cricket, Mulan’s comrade when she enters military training and goes to war.

Junyu-By Featureflash Photo Agency
Junyu-By Featureflash Photo Agency

Yu was born and raised in Oakland, Calif. and after graduating from high school, he was accepted into University of South California’s dramatic arts BFA program.
Before his big screen debut in Mulan, he was in the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat on the ABC network, alongside Randall Park and Constance Wu.

When did you start your journey in the film industry?

Pretty much as soon as I dropped out of USC. I was in my sophomore year when I got the part in Mulan. Ever since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to continue working as an actor.

How did you get the scene-stealer role as Cricket? 

While I was at USC, my manager found me my first audition, which happened to be Mulan. I pretty much glued the audition sides to my hands. I didn’t let it go until the day of the audition. But, honestly, it could just be that I have a face of a young child. 

What did you learn while working on Fresh Off the Boat?

I learned that a TV series has a tight schedule and you need to be prepared. 

For youngsters in general and Asians, what would be your advice on entering the entertainment industry? 

This is a tough question. I feel like I shouldn’t be giving advice on how to break into the entertainment industry for anyone. I just got lucky and happened to break in quickly. But something that I’ve noticed is that you have to work on your craft or whatever it is you do. I cannot stress this enough. Having an amazing work ethic is a crucial thing. Those people who put in everything they have are more likely to succeed. 

Where do you want to go with your acting career?  

My plan is to simply be the best. I’m far, far from it now. I know it’s going be one wild journey, but that’s where I’m going. People think I’m cocky for saying that, but I genuinely mean it. I’m not here to play around.    

What would a future dream role be for you?

I would love to do a film like Parasite or Get Out. As for playing a specific role, it would be Shameik Moore’s character in Dope. It seemed like a lot of fun, and I personally understood what he was going through in some ways.  

In addition to being a full-time actor, you are also a rapper and are working on your debut EP. Can you tell us about it?

I want to release my EP in my own time. The first thing you release shows all of you and is your legacy. When it comes out, just know it’s going to be real special for me.

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