Simu Liu: The Inspiring Journey of an Asian Superhero


Who would have thought that a simple tweet would eventually come true? Chinese-Canadian Simu Liu had the once in a lifetime opportunity to star as Shang-Chi and be the latest addition to the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It marked the first time an Asian superhero had the lead role in a Marvel film. His journey towards this moment is definitely empowering to many, especially Asians.




At the age of 5, he immigrated from China along with his parents. Growing up in Ontario, he graduated from the Ivey School of Business at Western University, afterwards he had the opportunity to work for a top accounting firm for almost a year. He was left jobless due to corporate cutbacks. Instead of going back and trying another chance in accounting, he decided to go into acting which he always has an interest in.

Since then, he has gathered numerous roles on television such as guest roles in Canadian series Make It Pop (as Randy), American action thriller series Nikita (as Hong Kong Police Constable), American sci-fi series Warehouse 13 (as a bartender), American sitcom Fresh Off the Boat (as Willie), and Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience (Jung Kim).



Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


Photo Courtesy of CBC

It was July 2014 when the actor tweeted about Marvel doing a great job with Captain America and Thor and asking about having an Asian American hero. Five years later, he had a phone call that he would never forget. Quoting Simu Liu: “It was July 16, 2019, about 6:30 p.m., early evening. I had just woken up from a nap, and I was in my underwear, eating shrimp crackers. My dog was napping in my apartment, and I just remember getting a call from an unknown number in Burbank, California. And just hearing Kevin Feige’s beautiful, booming voice on the other end, telling me that my life was going to change forever, was pretty memorable.”

Furthermore, before he became known more as Shang-Chi, he used to be a model for Stock pictures. In February of 2020, he addressed his past Stock photos with his fans. He was paid $120 for his Stock images back then and was very open about it. It was at a time he was thriving to live every day financially.


Photo Courtesy of Buzz Feed

Simu Liu’s role as an Asian superhero in Marvel’s Shang-Chi is definitely a huge empowerment to Asians everywhere, young or old. In his Instagram post on the worldwide premiere date, he said: “I’ve said before that this film will change the world. A smile where there wasn’t one before. Pride where there was shame. Compassion where there was ignorance. If we reach out and touch even one person, then aren’t all of our lives better for it?”


Photo Courtesy of NBC News

The film tells the story of Shang-Chi who is a martial-arts master who confronts the past he thought he had left behind as he is brought to the mysterious Ten Rings Organization. It has grossed more than 400 million dollars.

References:
CBC
CBR
People
The Hollywood Reporter


Written by Jan Marbella

Jan Marbella is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of De La Salle University DasmariƱas.

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