Simu Liu was virtually unknown prior to being announced as the star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2019. But with the movie’s release only six months away (COVID-19 permitting, of course), he’s poised to become a household name by the end of the year. There’s a lot riding on Shang-Chi, which marks the first mainstream superhero movie to feature an Asian protagonist. And while speaking with Toronto Life, Liu discussed what it was like to work on such a groundbreaking film.
As of now, we haven’t seen so much as an ounce of footage from Shang-Chi, which officially wrapped filming last October. However, we know that Liu’s character is definitely sporting his own costume in the movie. When asked about any moments from the production that stood out, he recounted what it felt like to don the suit for the first time.
“Marvel has never had an Asian lead,” said Liu. “So that was such a rare and impactful moment, for me as an actor but also for people who look like me. I nearly cried. It was so emotional. And then of course by the fifth day, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I hate this thing, why are there so many zippers?’”
In some ways, Liu is an unusual choice to star in a big-budget action flick. In his native Canada, he’s best known for his role on the Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience, which is also available to stream on Netflix in the U.S. But even though Shang-Chi might lead to new opportunities, Liu doesn’t plan to step away from the show anytime soon.
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“My schedule definitely looks a lot different now than it did a few years ago,” added Liu. “But I’m very aware that Kim’s is the reason I got the movie. The experience and the mentors I’ve had over the five seasons have been incredible, and I still think there’s a lot to do with my character, so my hope is to be able to continue.”
Right now, it’s still unclear what Marvel’s plans are for Shang-Chi beyond his first standalone film. Regardless, it seems likely that he’ll have a role to play in the larger MCU in the future, and Liu sounds ready to go toe-to-toe with some of Marvel’s heavy-hitters. In fact, when asked who would win in a fight between himself, Iron Man, the Hulk, and Black Widow, he immediately claimed victory for himself.
“I win!” Liu said. “Shang-Chi. I could debate this as a fan for hours. But now that I’ve got some skin in the game, I have to think I could take any of these guys on. Shang-Chi can definitely throw a punch. As for his other skills and powers, you’ll have to wait and see.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens on July 9.
Are you looking forward to seeing Liu’s costume in the film? Let us know in the comments below!
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