'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu Cried "Hysterically" When He Was Cast as a Superhero

The early buzz for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gives the MCU film high praise across the board, including for the movie’s star, Simu Liu.

In the lead-up to the September 3 premiere, Liu shared what it’s like being cast as a superhero, and what that means for kids who are like him.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

In an interview with Total Film, Liu shared how he reacted when Marvel’s head honcho, Kevin Feige, let him know they cast him as Shang-Chi. “I reacted by crying hysterically into my pillow,” he said, going on to admit it put a lot of weight on his shoulders. “It’s certainly quite a bit of pressure, I have to say. I loved superhero movies growing up. I loved Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, but I was always keenly aware that people who looked like me could not look like that.”

Liu went on in the article to share what he thinks the movie will mean for others of Asian descent:

“It’s a beautiful and exciting new origin story for this character that a lot of the world hasn’t heard of before. And it means that kids growing up today will have what I didn’t, which are characters that are aspirational, that also reflect their lived experience.”

“A Huge Thing” For Many Around The World

During the red carpet premiere yesterday, Liu touched again on this aspect of the movie with correspondent Erika Ishii. In an emotional moment with Ishii, the two shared how they yearned for a movie like Shang-Chi when they were younger. “It’s a huge thing!” Ishii said to Liu. “There are going to be kids looking up [to the screen] and saying, ‘Oh, he looks like me — I can be a hero!”

Liu agreed with Ishii: “That’s certainly the hope,” he responded. “I think you’d agree with me we didn’t have that growing up.”

Liu went on to say that everyone can relate to the struggles his character goes through in the film. “I think the struggle between constantly feeling like you’re between two worlds and that you don’t truly belong in either — I think regardless of what your nationality is or where you came from, what language you speak, I think you’re going to watch this movie and feel the relatability of that.”

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