Mabel Li plays Lei, who holds a rare powerful role for a woman in the mine fields and grapples with this being taken away from her in favour of more a traditional gender role.
Speaking to Mamamia, Li explained her character as the “opposing force to Shing”.
“She has autonomy. She has power, but I think she’s fought a lot to have that position, and that freedom has been granted by a father,” Li said.
“I think she’s aware of what a vulnerable position she’s in. And that freedom can be taken away from her at any time. So she’s constantly on edge. And she’s constantly fighting for that.”
At its heart, the main characters of New Gold Mountain are fighting to belong in a society where the ruling class don’t think they do.
Come for the…
Surprising murder mystery, as well as the long overdue storytelling and representation of this part in Australia’s history.
Stay for the…
Twists, complications, and fantastic performances, especially by leading man Yoson An, Leonie Whyman and Mabel Li.
Li told Mamamia playing such a complicated character was the thing that really gripped her to the story.
“She’s an antagonist, and she’s sort of the opposing force to Shing. There’s just something very fun and special to play an antagonist because you get to do these extreme things that are grey, morally, that maybe the protagonist doesn’t get to do.
“She’s an outsider. She’s obviously flawed, and she’s extreme, and she’s ruthless. But she’s also very intelligent, and she’s playful. And I think she’s spontaneous, and political. And I think she knows how to use the male gaze to her advantage… I think
at the core of everything, she’s trying to preserve a freedom.”