From Kim's Convenience to Shang-Chi: meet Simu Liu, Marvel's new superhero
Canadian actor Simu Liu set to star in Marvel's ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'.
When a young Simu Liu first laid eyes on Bruce Lee, his destiny was set.
"I got kind of like a jolt" says Liu, who was electrified by Lee's performance.
Once dreaming of being a leading man like Lee, it has come to pass with the news that Liu will be Marvel's first Asian-American superhero on the silver screen.
You may recognize him from the CBC sit-com Kim's Convenience as Jung.
Liu's co-star Andrew Phung recalls how long Liu has aspired to be a lead in a superhero movie.
4 years ago, <a href="https://twitter.com/SimuLiu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SimuLiu</a> and I went to see an X-Men movie before filming S1 of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kimsconvenience?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kimsconvenience</a>. Afterwards he told me he was going to play a superhero someday. That day is today. Congrats brother! You made this happen and I’m so proud of you! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SDCC0219?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SDCC0219</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MCUphase4?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MCUphase4</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShangChi?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ShangChi</a> <a href="https://t.co/sjX9J8k9Ns">pic.twitter.com/sjX9J8k9Ns</a>—@andrewphung
Andrea Bang reacted to the news in character as Jung's sister in Kim's Convenience.
My tv brother is a superhero! He still grosses me out. CONGRATS dude!!! 🙌🙌🙌 Can’t wait to see you on the big screen! <a href="https://t.co/tcz0prVy66">https://t.co/tcz0prVy66</a>—@iAndreaBang
Growing up in Mississauga, Ontario, Liu's thing was sports – he wanted to be a jock, not the schoolboy that his parents wanted him to be. Liu studied finance and accounting at Ivey Business School and worked as an accountant for nine months until he got laid off.
After getting fired, he set off to take a risk and start his acting career (he also side-hustled as a stock photo model at one point.)
While in production for the fourth season of Kim's Convenience, Liu flew to New York for the Shang-Chi audition and came back to Toronto to continue shooting on Kim's. After he got the part, he announced the good news to fans at San Diego's Comic-Con on Saturday.
Back in 2018, Liu tweeted at Marvel about casting for Shang-Chi.
It's no secret that Simu Liu is a total heartthrob, challenging the Hollywood stereotype that Asian males can't play romantic leads.
In the short digital series An Awkward Girl Dates, Liu plays "The Hot Guy" (yes, that's literally the character's name.)
After Black Panther made strides for diverse representation of black actors on screen, Shang-Chi aims to do the same for Asian actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Very happy to hear Simu Liu <a href="https://twitter.com/SimuLiu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SimuLiu</a> got cast as <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShangChi?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ShangChi</a>. I'm glad the current generation of Asian Americans/diasporic Asians—particularly AsAm boys—won't miss out on such important representation the way mine did. Asian men deserve to be heroes too. 1/<a href="https://t.co/NKh8Pmsvge">https://t.co/NKh8Pmsvge</a>—@Joshua_Luna
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is slated for release in 2021.
Can't get enough of Simu Liu? Stream Kim's Convenience for free on CBC Gem while you wait for his Marvel debut.