Simu Liu

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Simu Liu
刘思慕
Simu Liu speaking at the San Diego Comic-Con International in 2019
Liu at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1989-04-19) 19 April 1989 (age 33)
CitizenshipCanada[1]
EducationUniversity of Western Ontario (HBA)
Occupation
Years active2012–present
AwardsFull list
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese劉思慕
Simplified Chinese刘思慕

Simu Liu (/ˈsimu ˈlij/ SEE-moo LEE-ew;[2] Chinese: 刘思慕; born 19 April 1989) is a Canadian actor, author, and stuntman. He is known for portraying Shang-Chi in the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He also played Jung Kim in the CBC Television sitcom Kim's Convenience[3] and received nominations at the ACTRA Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for his work in Blood and Water.[4] In 2022, Liu authored the memoir We Were Dreamers and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

Early life[edit]

Liu was born in Harbin, China, on 19 April 1989, son of Zhenning and Zheng Liu. His parents had succeeded, against considerable competition, in entering Beijing University to study engineering, his mother, Zheng, a "brilliant student" having been first sent "to work in rural camps for two years along with millions of other 'intellectual' urban teenagers." His father, Zhenning, went to America to study for a PhD whilst his mother worked in Beijing, and Liu was raised until age 5 by his grandparents in Harbin, China, "in a small apartment, without running water for much of the day", in circumstances he recalled as "idyllic and happy".[5][6] His parents later emigrated with him to Canada, where they supplemented their scholarships with dish-washing jobs and eventually became successful aerospace engineers; Liu was raised in Mississauga, Ontario.[7][5]

In his memoir, We Were Dreamers, he wrote of the deprivation and trauma his parents had experienced growing up in China's Cultural Revolution,[5] and their subsequent "tiger parenting" style, saying he felt they "wanted to rid [his] life of joy or happiness", and recalling "the weight of what he describes as impossible expectations, 'to be the star child, the studious academic, the obedient son'", being "belittled and physically punished" for perceived failings.[8] Liu's parents "hothoused him in maths at the age of five and set 'homework' that included reading biographies of scientists and studying algebra".[5] He attended University of Toronto Schools for high school and studied business administration at the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, graduating with honours in 2011.[9]

Liu initially worked as an accountant at Deloitte but was laid off in April 2012 after nine months.[10] He began to explore other career options and decided to pursue a career as an actor and stuntman.[11][12] Having become distant from his parents after losing his accounting job and entering acting, after discussing his memories of childhood with his parents, the family was reconciled and became close.[13]

Career[edit]

2012–2018: Early work and television roles[edit]

Liu got his start in acting working as an extra and stuntman, appearing in movies and music videos such as Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim[11] and Avicii's I Could Be The One.[14] His other early onscreen credits include Nikita (2012) and Beauty and the Beast (2014). He appeared as a stuntman in Sick: Survive the Night (2012) and the TV miniseries Heroes Reborn.

In 2015, Liu was cast in his first significant recurring role, appearing as a series regular in seven episodes of the Omni Television crime drama series Blood and Water (2015–2016). He would later receive his first award nominations for this role at the ACTRA Awards and Canadian Screen Awards in 2017.[15]

Liu in 2016

Later in 2015, Liu was cast in his first main role as Jung Kim in the CBC Television sitcom Kim's Convenience,[16] a TV adaptation of the play of the same name. It remains his most notable television success to date, with the series being nominated for and winning multiple awards internationally, including Best Comedy Series at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards and "Most Popular Foreign Drama" at the 2019 Seoul International Drama Awards. Liu starred in the series until its conclusion in 2021.

In 2016, Liu was cast in a recurring role as the ex-CIA analyst Faaron, loosely modeled on real-life ex-analyst Rodney Faraon, in the NBC prequel series Taken based on the film franchise starring Liam Neeson.[17]

Even as he was cast in main and recurring roles, Liu continued to appear as an extra on several television shows, appearing in an episode of the hit BBC-Space series Orphan Black as well as in the Canadian science fiction series Dark Matter.[citation needed]

In 2017, Liu appeared in the second season of Slasher as well as the CityTV miniseries Bad Blood, both as recurring characters.[18]

In 2018, he appeared in the science fiction television series The Expanse and Wong Fu Productions' YouTube series Yappie.[citation needed]

2019–present: Recent work and Marvel Cinematic Universe[edit]

Liu on The Beaverton in 2019

In early 2019, Liu guest-starred in the 100th episode of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat as a noodle vendor named Willie.[19] He also guest-starred in an episode of the TV series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens as Garbage Boy.[citation needed]

At Comic-Con 2019, Disney announced that Liu would play the titular superhero Shang-Chi in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is Marvel's first film with an Asian-led cast.[20][21] Liu had asked about playing the role on Twitter in December 2018 when the movie was revealed to be in development.[22] After several production and release delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released in theaters on 3 September 2021, garnering positive critical reception and achieving commercial success.[23][24] A sequel is planned.[25]

In September 2021, it was revealed that Liu will lead the English-language voice cast of Bright: Samurai Soul, a Netflix anime film which premiered on 12 October.[26] In February 2022, Liu joined the cast of Greta Gerwig's Barbie film for Warner Bros.[27] and thriller film Hello Stranger directed by April Mullen.[28]

Liu and NBA player Jeremy Lin also had guest appearances as caricaturized versions of themselves in Malaysian comedian Ronny Chieng's Netflix short Ronny Chieng Takes Chinatown (2022).[29][30]

Other work and public image[edit]

In 2014, Liu was paid $100 to model for a set of stock photos for FatCamera; the photos later appeared in subway stations, advertisements, storefronts, pamphlets, and textbook covers. The photos received widespread media coverage upon Liu's mainstream acting breakthrough in 2021.[31][better source needed]

Liu is also a filmmaker, producer, and writer. Liu's first work in this area was Open Gym, a short film he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in that debuted at the 2013 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. He has directed, produced, and written several other shorts, including Crimson Defender vs. The Slightly Racist Family (2015). In 2016, Liu helped write Blood and Water, during which he helped break the story for the show and wrote an episode for its second season.[4] In 2017, Liu worked with Wong Fu Productions on their short Meeting Mommy (2017), which he wrote and produced with Tina Jung. It was released in February 2018 on the Wong Fu Productions YouTube channel.[32][non-primary source needed] In 2018, he founded his own film production company, 4:12 Entertainment, and began developing long-form film projects under it.[33][34]

In December 2017, Liu wrote for Maclean's magazine about his experiences growing up in an immigrant family. The article was later published in the magazine's January 2018 issue.[35] His memoir, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story, was published by HarperCollins on 17 May 2022.[36] In March 2021, Liu published a column in Variety detailing the effects of Asian hate crimes and how "rhetoric like 'the China virus' encourages hate toward all Asian people—not just Chinese."[37]

Liu was included on Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2022.[38] Liu was named one of Hello!'s 50 Most Beautiful Canadians and 25 Hottest Bachelors in 2017 and 2018.[39][40][41] In May 2021, Liu became the first East Asian man to cover Men's Health magazine in over a decade since Jet Li in 2010.[42] In November 2021, Liu became the fourth actor of Chinese descent to host Saturday Night Live.[43] He is slated to host the Juno Awards of 2022 ceremony in May 2022.[44]

Liu is a fan of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA.[45]

Accolades[edit]

Liu was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and an ACTRA Award in 2017 for his work in Blood and Water.[4] He, along with his Kim's Convenience castmates, won the ACTRA Award for Outstanding Ensemble in 2017. Liu and his castmates were subsequently nominated for the same award in 2018 and 2019. Kim's Convenience also went on to win the award for Best Comedy Series at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.[46]

On stage, Liu was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in the Outstanding Ensemble category alongside his castmates in the 2016 Factory Theatre remount of the play Banana Boys.[47]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Director Notes
2013 Pacific Rim Guillermo del Toro Extra
2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Xu Shang-Chi / Shaun Destin Daniel Cretton
Bright: Samurai Soul Izno (voice) Kyōhei Ishiguro English dub
Women Is Losers Gilbert Lissette Feliciano
2022 Ronny Chieng Takes Chinatown Himself Sebastian DiNatale
2023 Barbie dagger Ken Greta Gerwig Filming
TBA Arthur the King dagger Liam Simon Cellan Jones Post–production
One True Loves Sam Andy Fickman Post–production
Untitled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings sequel dagger Xu Shang-Chi / Shaun Destin Daniel Cretton In development

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Nikita Hong Kong Police Constable Episode: "3.0"
2013 Warehouse 13 Bartender Episode: "Secret Services"
Played Gunman Episode: "Made – Daniel"
Mayday Narita Air Traffic Controller Episode: "The Final Push"
2014 Beauty and the Beast EMT Episode: "Both Sides Now"
2015 Blood and Water Paul Xie Main role
Make It Pop! Randy Episode: "Rumors and Roommates"
2016 Taken Faaron Recurring role; season 1
2016–2021 Kim's Convenience Jung Kim Main role
2017 Orphan Black Mr. Mitchell Episode: "Clutch of Greed"
Dark Matter Technician Episode: "Nowhere To Go"
Slasher: Guilty Party Luke 2 episodes
Bad Blood Guy 3 episodes
2018 The Expanse Lt. Paolo Mayer Episode: "Dandelion Sky"
Yappie Tom Main role
2019 Fresh Off the Boat Willie Episode: "Under the Taipei Sun"
2020 Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens Garbage Boy Episode: "Grandma & Chill"
2021 Corner Gas Animated Gerald Mesmerizer (voice) Episode: "The Fresh Prints of Bell Heir"
Star Wars: Visions Lah Zhima (voice) Episode: "The Ninth Jedi": English language dub[48]
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself (guest) Episode: 10 September 2021
Selling Sunset Himself (guest) Episode: “A House For A Hero”
Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Simu Liu/Saweetie"[49]

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role Ref.
2012 "I Could Be The One" Avicii & Nicky Romero Office Worker [14]
2015 "The Filth" Dream Jefferson Gangster/Stunt Coordinator [50]
2021 "Run It" DJ Snake ft. Rick Ross & Rich Brian Himself [51]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result Ref
2017 Blood and Water ACTRA Awards Outstanding Performance – Male Nominated [52]
Canadian Screen Award Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Program or Series Nominated [53]
Kim's Convenience ACTRA Awards 2017 Outstanding Performance – Ensemble Won [54]
2018 ACTRA Awards 2018 Outstanding Performance – Ensemble Nominated [55]
2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings People's Choice Awards The Male Movie Star of 2021 Nominated [56]
The Action Movie Star of 2021 Won
2022 Kim's Convenience Canadian Screen Award Best Lead Actor, Comedy Nominated [57]
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Hero Pending [58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liu, Simu [@SimuLiu] (20 January 2017). "@Lillianna277 I'm a Canadian citizen. I'm good" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Liu, Simu [@SimuLiu] (2 May 2021). "Your friendly #AsianHeritageMonth reminder: "SEE-moo LEE-ew" "SHONG-chee" "Dad" Thank you for coming to my TED Talk" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 31 October 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Kim's Convenience – CBC Media Centre". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Simu Liu – Academy.ca". Academy.ca. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Marvel star Simu Liu: 'I felt like my parents wanted to rid my life of joy or happiness'". TheGuardian.com. 21 May 2022.
  6. ^ Ansari, Sadiya (19 August 2021). "Simu Liu is on the cusp of superstardom. But that isn't his end game". Maclean's.
  7. ^ Clay, Chris (27 October 2016). "Mississauga-raised actor stars in Kim's Convenience, lands role in NBC's Taken". Mississauga News. Mississauga, ON. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Resentment, acceptance, gratitude: The paradox facing Australian children of 'tiger' parents". TheGuardian.com. 2 July 2022.
  9. ^ "5 things to know about Simu Liu". South China Morning Post. 29 July 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Simu Liu opens up about repairing his relationship with his immigrant parents after childhood trauma".
  11. ^ a b "KollabCast Episode 144 – Simu's Convenience w/ Simu Liu". Kollaboration. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  12. ^ Lee, Traci G. (31 August 2018). "'Kim's Convenience' actor Simu Liu on being an accountant, his big break, and 'Crazy Rich Asians' momentum". NBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Simu Liu Revealed the Emotional Childhood Trauma He Went Through with His Parents and How He Rebuilt a Relationship with Them, After Writing an 8-Page Letter".
  14. ^ a b Avicii vs Nicky Romero - I Could Be The One (Nicktim). AviciiOfficialVEVO. 24 December 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2021 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "Simu Liu | Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program | Canadian Screen Awards". Academy.ca. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Kim's Convenience: A TV first that doesn't buckle under the pressure – Macleans.ca". Maclean's. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  17. ^ Clay, Chris (27 October 2016). "Mississauga-raised actor stars in Kim's Convenience, lands role in NBC's Taken | Mississauga.com". Mississauga.com. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Shaftesbury | Slasher wraps production on Season 2". shaftesbury.ca. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  19. ^ "'Fresh Off the Boat': 'Kim's Convenience's' Simu Liu Drops by 100th". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  20. ^ Sandra Gonzalez (21 July 2019). "Marvel's latest leading man Simu Liu will soon be a 'household name'". CNN. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  21. ^ Smith, Neil (22 July 2019). "Marvel Phase 4: A new era for diversity in Hollywood?". BBC News.
  22. ^ Worgaftik, Gabe (22 July 2019). "Shang-Chi star Simu Liu asked Marvel about playing Shang-Chi on Twitter 8 months ago". The A.V. Club.
  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (1 October 2021). "'Shang-Chi' Box Office: Marvel Pic Crosses $200M in Pandemic-Era First". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  24. ^ Solsman, Joan E. (6 May 2022). "'Doctor Strange' Won't Hit Disney Plus for Weeks (or Months). Here's Why". CNET. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  25. ^ "A 'Shang-Chi' sequel is officially in the works". NBC News. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  26. ^ Grobar, Matt (14 September 2021). "'Bright: Samurai Soul' Trailer, Premiere Date: Simu Liu Cast In Netflix Anime Film Based On David Ayer's 'Bright'".
  27. ^ Kit, Borys; Galuppo, Mia (11 February 2022). "Simu Liu Joins Margot Robbie in Warner Bros.'s Barbie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  28. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (22 February 2022). "'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu Joins Sam Worthington, Jordana Brewster, Robbie Amell & Alicia Sanz In Thriller 'Hello Stranger'". Deadline Hollywood.
  29. ^ Cai, Delia (21 April 2022). ""Let's Just Be Funny. Let's Not Teach People Anything": Ronny Chieng Will Use His Platform However He Sees Fit, Thank You". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 30 July 2022. So he convinced Jeremy Lin and Simu Liu to appear in the video as caricatures of their public personas.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ Caoile, Patrick (15 February 2022). "From the Fung Bros to Padma Lakshmi: How Asian Americans Are Excelling at Food Shows". Collider. Retrieved 30 July 2022. In “Ronny Chieng Takes Chinatown,” Fung and Chieng try to save a Chinatown restaurant from closing by enlisting the help and support of NBA player Jeremy Lin and actor and recent Marvel superhero, Shang-Chi himself, Simu Liu.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ Trinh, Brittney. "I Just Found Out Simu Liu Modeled For Stock Images Before He Became Famous, And I'm Sobbing Because These Are Amazing". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  32. ^ Wong Fu Productions (28 February 2018). Meeting Mommy. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  33. ^ Chew, Cohan (23 May 2019). "INTERVIEW: Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu answers YOUR questions". Resonate. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  34. ^ Kollaboration SF Community Spotlight: Simu Liu. Kollaboration SF. 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021 – via YouTube.
  35. ^ "A Chinese-Canadian to his parents: 'Privately, I yearned for your love' – Macleans.ca". Maclean's. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  36. ^ Ahsan, Sadaf (10 June 2021). "Simu Liu offers sneak peek at upcoming memoir". Etalk. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  37. ^ Liu, Simu (11 March 2021). "'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu: 'Anti-Asian Racism Is Very Real' (Guest Column)". Variety. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  38. ^ Oh, Sandra (23 May 2022). "Simu Liu Is on the 2022 TIME 100 List". Time. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  39. ^ "Canada's Most Beautiful 2017: See who made the list!". Hello! Canada. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  40. ^ "Canada's 25 Hottest Bachelors of 2017". Hello! Canada. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  41. ^ "Canada's Most Beautiful 2018: See who made the list!". Hello! Canada. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  42. ^ Wasserman, Ben (19 May 2021). "Marvel Star Simu Liu Is the First East-Asian to Cover Men's Health in Over a Decade". CBR. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  43. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' Review: The Best and Worst of Simu Liu's Hosting Debut". Indiewire. 21 November 2018.
  44. ^ David Friend, "Actor Simu Liu to host first outdoor Juno Awards at Toronto's Budweiser Stage in May". The Globe and Mail, 2 February 2022.
  45. ^ "Simu Liu Doesn't Own the Raptors. Yet".
  46. ^ Vlessing, Etan (11 March 2018). "Canadian Screen Awards: 'Alias Grace,' 'Maudie,' 'Anne With an E' Dominate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  47. ^ "2016 DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARDS NOMINEES" (PDF). Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  48. ^ "Stunning New Star Wars: Visions Trailer Debuts". StarWars.com. 17 August 2021. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  49. ^ White, Peter (2 November 2021). "'SNL': Jonathan Majors & Simu Liu To Make Hosting Debuts With Taylor Swift & Saweetie Set As Musical Guests". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  50. ^ "Dream Jefferson - The Filth". Dream Jeff. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2022 – via YouTube.
  51. ^ "DJ Snake, Rich Brian, And Rick Ross Drop 'Run It' Video Starring Simu Liu". Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  52. ^ Davis, Erin (28 February 2017). "Move Over, Oscars: Canada's Finest Talent Inspired at the ACTRA Awards". Toronto Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  53. ^ "Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu thanks his immigrant parents for his Canadian life". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  54. ^ "Simu Liu, new Marvel superhero & Kim's Convenience star, writing a memoir". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  55. ^ "The 16th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto Nominees". newswire.ca. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  56. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee (27 October 2021). "Here are the nominees for the 2021 People's Choice Awards". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 October 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  57. ^ Brent Furdyk, "2022 Canadian Screen Award Nominees Announced, ‘Sort Of’ & ‘Scarborough’ Lead The Pack". ET Canada, 15 February 2022.
  58. ^ Hipes, Patrick (11 May 2022). "MTV Movie & TV Awards Unveil Scripted And Unscripted Nominations: 'Spider-Man: No Way Home', 'Euphoria' Lead Way For Now-Combined Event". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 13 May 2022.

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