Deafening cheers and applause filled the convention’s ballroom as a 5-foot-4-inch tall actress in a fitted green dress smiled and waved, making her way to her seat in front of a massive crowd of fans.
Ming-Na Wen, known for her leading roles such as Disney’s Mulan and now Marvel’s Melinda May, visited Baltimore for the first time Sept. 26 for Baltimore Comic-Con 2015. She shared little-known facts about her work, took photos and signed autographs for fans.
After Christine Blanch, the panel’s moderator, introduced Wen, she announced the agenda, which consisted of a presentation highlighting some of the Wen’s lead roles and a question and answer session.
The crowd cheered when Disney’s Mulan appeared on the giant screen.
“So tell us what it’s like to be Mulan,” Blanch said. The crowd leaned forward in apparent anticipation.
“So lucky to be a Disney princess – actually, she wasn’t really a Disney princess,” Wen said.
Mulan is neither royal by birth nor did she marry into royalty like the other Disney princesses.
“They kind of made her an honorary princess because she just kicked ass,” she said.
More than 20 years later, Mulan seems to still be a big part of Wen’s life.
“She’s still a great influence for young girls and I have a lot of fans in their mid to late 20s and 30s who tell me how much Mulan has influenced them and that just blows my mind,” she said.
Wen said that there are certain benefits that come with voicing such an iconic character.
“I can’t tell you the perks I get as Mulan – it’s fabulous!” she said, making the crowd laugh.
Although she claimed to be old, Wen told the crowd that she would love to join the cast of Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Mulan.
“I would definitely take the opportunity if it came up because it’s live,” she said. “I still haven’t met Eddie Murphy!”
Mulan seemed to be a fan favorite. Audience members were attentive as Wen disclosed which other Disney princess she likes.
“I really like Ariel from The Little Mermaid,” she said. “She’s feisty, independent – doesn’t listen to her parents – kind of like Mulan.”
About halfway through the panel, Melinda May from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was projected onto the giant screen and the conversation shifted to Wen’s television work. Like Mulan, May is a powerful and strong female character.
Wen also revealed which super powers she would want May to have.
“The power to heal,” she said. “As ‘The Cavalry,’ May gets upset whenever she sees her family S.H.I.E.L.D members get hurt.”
Many fans also asked for exclusive information on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s upcoming season.
“Sorry, you’re just going to have to watch the season premiere,” Wen said, making the crowd “awww” simultaneously in disappointment.
To make up for it, Wen revealed her “Marvel crush.”
Wen said that she would love to see a romantic connection between May and Thor, if the The Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D were to ever have a crossover.
“I love Chris Hemsworth – I mean Thor,” said Wen, making the crowd laugh.
Feeling torn, Wen also revealed her Guadians of the Galaxy crush.
“I also love Chris Pratt – please don’t ask me to choose between the two,” said Wen, as the crowd continued to laugh.
As the panel came to a close, Wen stood up and made her closing remarks.
“I love my job. I get paid to work with hardworking and creative people that make all of these projects possible and I get to go to these conventions – thank you, Baltimore!”
Wen returns as May in the third season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show airs Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on ABC.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Flickr user starbright31.
Aria Pham is a junior multiplatform journalism major and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.