Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography
Simu Liu Biography

Simu Liu Biography

Simu Liu

Simu Liu (/ˈsimu ˈlijuː/ SEE-moo LEE-ew; 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 and received nominations at the ACTRA Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for his work in Blood and Water. In 2022, Liu authored the memoir We Were Dreamers and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

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". 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.

In his memoir, We Were Dreamers, he wrote of the deprivation and trauma his parents had experienced growing up in China's Cultural Revolution, 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. Liu's parents "hothoused him in maths at the age of five and set 'homework' that included reading biographies of scientists and studying algebra". 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.

Liu initially worked as an accountant at Deloitte but was laid off in April 2012 after nine months. He began to explore other career options and decided to pursue a career as an actor and stuntman. 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.

2012–2018: Early work and television roles

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 and Avicii's I Could Be The One. 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.

Later in 2015, Liu was cast in his first main role as Jung Kim in the CBC Television sitcom Kim's Convenience, 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.

2019–present: Recent work and Marvel Cinematic Universe

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

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. Liu had asked about playing the role on Twitter in December 2018 when the movie was revealed to be in development. 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. A sequel is planned.

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

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).

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