On the Couch with Mabel Li

Mabel-Li-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Mabel Li?
I’m an actor in Belvoir’s Miss Peony, playing the character of Sabrina! She’s a contestant in the Miss Peony beauty pageant.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
This one’s hard! In high school at one point I told myself I wanted to become a documentary filmmaker (because it sounded slightly more reasonable than acting). I’ve also thought about social work.

Who inspires you and why?
A lot of people do, someone right now is actor Shareena Clanton.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
What I’m doing currently; I think the arts and story-telling is incredibly important in changing the world, challenging our pre-existing values and expanding our ability to empathise.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere I can eat really good food. I am really missing all the tropical fruits I get to eat in China. I love Durian. I also miss hanging out with my Poh Poh in New Zealand, as well as the food.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d take them to get braised eggplant and dumplings in Haymarket (Chinese Noodle House) and then go watch some theatre. NERD.

What are you currently reading?
Currently reading the anthology After Australia.

What are you currently listening to?
Hmm… there’s too much but: Lil Nas X, SOPHIE, Blackpink, Kid Cudi and I’m in a Ludovico Einaudi phase. The Maintenance Phase podcast is also sensational.

Happiness is?
Holding a big bowl of hot soup in your hands and not sharing it with anyone… or sharing it with everyone… there’s something in there.

What’s does the future hold for you?
I’m very excited for the release of Goalpost Television’s New Gold Mountain – a show I was lucky to shoot late last year. It’s a revisionist western set in the Victorian Goldfields in the 1850s. I had a lot of fun playing Lei, who is sent to Victoria by her father, the head of the Chinese brotherhood, to take care of some business.

Mabel stars as Sabrina in Michelle Law’s brand new play Miss Peony at the Belvoir Theatre from 10 July – 1 August 2021. For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details. Following the Sydney season, Miss Peony will play the Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne (5 – 22 August), before heading to the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong (25 – 28 August).

Image: Mabel Li (supplied)