Actress Lucy Liu has had no shortage of blockbuster movies over the years, but her role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods marks the first time she has appeared in a superhero movie. Liu stars in the upcoming sequel as Kalypso, one of the three Daughters of Atlas alongside Helen Mirren’s Hespera and Rachel Zegler’s Anthea. Her role in the film also heralds another step in the genre’s ongoing push for a more diverse landscape. Regardless, Liu wishes that a similar opportunity could have come her way when she was just starting her career.
In the early 2000s, Liu rose to prominence thanks to her roles in the Charlie’s Angels film and its 2003 sequel, plus other action vehicles like Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Shanghai Noon. But while speaking with Variety, Liu lamented the fact that movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals weren’t around back then. Because by putting actors of color in leading superhero roles, studios would have begun seeing these performers in a new light.
“If it had happened earlier, it would have been miraculous,” said Liu. “It would have been a different story; my career would have been easier. There would have been more opportunity.”
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Additionally, Liu discussed why she thinks her role as Alex Munday in the Charlie’s Angels franchise may have helped shift the conversation about Asian-American representation.
“That character, Alex, was important because of the composition of the three of us regardless of whether that movie did well or not,” noted Liu. “It’s really the visual that can help propel the next thing. And I say visual because even if a film doesn’t do well, it starts to move the needle a little in toward the direction you want it to go. Not just for yourself, but for others.”
Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters tonight before opening wide tomorrow, March 17.
Would you have liked to see Lucy Liu headline a superhero movie in the early 2000s? Let us know in the comment section below!
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