Simu Liu (Chinese: 刘思慕; born 19 April 1989) is a Canadian actor, writer, and stuntman. He is known for his performance as Jung Kim in the award-winning CBC Television sitcom Kim's Convenience. He received nominations at the ACTRA Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for his work in Blood and Water. He will portray Shang-Chi in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021); in doing so, he will become the first actor of Asian descent to lead a Marvel Studios film.
|Alma mater||University of Western Ontario (HBA)|
Early life and educationEdit
Liu was born in Harbin, China and immigrated to Canada at the age of five. He was raised in Erin Mills, an area of Mississauga, Ontario and is an only child. He attended University of Toronto Schools for high school. Liu graduated from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario in 2011 with an Honours Business Administration (HBA) degree. He worked as an accountant at Deloitte but was eventually laid off. He decided to explore other career options before deciding to pursue a career as an actor and stuntman. He has a background in martial arts such as Taekwondo and Wing Chun, as well as gymnastics.
Liu first got his start working as an extra on Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim. His early onscreen credits include Nikita (2012) and Beauty and the Beast (2014). In 2015, he was a member of the Heroes Reborn stunt team, appearing in three episodes as a stunt double. He next appeared as a series regular in the OMNI Television crime drama series Blood and Water (2015–2016), for which he received ACTRA and Canadian Screen Award nominations in 2017.
In 2016, Liu was cast in three television series. Liu was cast as Jung in the CBC television adaptation of the hit Canadian play Kim's Convenience. He was cast 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. Later that year, Liu joined the cast of the hit BBC-Space series Orphan Black for its fifth and final season. On stage, Liu was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in the Outstanding Ensemble category alongside his castmates in the Factory Theatre remount of the play Banana Boys.
In 2017, Liu joined the cast of the second season of Slasher as well as the CityTV miniseries Bad Blood, both as recurring characters. The following year, he appeared in the science fiction television series The Expanse and the YouTube series Yappie.
In early 2019, it was announced that Liu would be joining the cast of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat as a guest star. He ended up starring as a noodle vendor named Willie in the 100th episode of the series.
At Comic-Con 2019, it was announced that he has been cast as the Marvel Comics superhero Shang-Chi in the upcoming 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 will be Marvel's first Asian-led film. Liu had previously petitioned for the role on Twitter in December 2018 when the movie was revealed to be in development. Before his casting, Liu expressed interest in playing either Sunfire or Namor. The movie is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and scheduled to hit theaters on September 3, 2021.
Aside from his work performing onscreen, Liu is also a writer and filmmaker. Liu participated in the writing room for Blood and Water, during which he helped break the story for the show and wrote an episode for its second season. He also wrote an online piece for Maclean's magazine in December 2017 detailing his experiences growing up in an immigrant family. The article was later published in the magazine's January 2018 issue. As a filmmaker Liu has written, directed and produced short films which have screened and won awards in festivals across the US and Canada. His most recent short film Meeting Mommy, which he wrote and produced with Tina Jung, was released in February 2018 on the Wong Fu Productions YouTube channel. The film amassed over 250,000 views in its first week.
A news item in January 2021 stated that Liu had been in Australia shooting the Marvel film during a part of 2020 and was unable to return to Toronto on the planned date, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was finally able to do so as season 5 of Kim's Convenience was nearing the end of production. According to Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Liu then spent "an almost crazy bootcamp-esque period of like nine straight days, where he [shot] all the stuff that he missed out on". The production followed strict COVID protocols.
Liu was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and an ACTRA Award in 2017 for his work in Blood and Water. 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.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2013||Pacific Rim||Extra||Guillermo del Toro|
|2021||Women Is Losers||Gilbert||Lissette Feliciano|
|Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings||Shang-Chi||Destin Daniel Cretton||Post-production|
|TBA||Arthur The King||Simon Cellan Jones||Post-production|
|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"|
|2019||Fresh Off the Boat||Willie||Episode: "Under the Taipei Sun"|
|2020||Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens||Garbage Boy||Episode: "Grandma & Chill"|
|2012||"I Could Be The One"||Avicii & Nicky Romero||Office Worker|||
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2017||Blood and Water||ACTRA Awards||Outstanding Performance – Male||Nominated|||
|Canadian Screen Award||Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Program or Series||Nominated|||
|Kim's Convenience||ACTRA Awards 2017||Outstanding Performance – Ensemble||Won|||
|2018||ACTRA Awards 2018||Outstanding Performance – Ensemble||Nominated|||
- Simu Liu [@SimuLiu] (20 January 2017). "I'm a Canadian citizen. I'm good" (Tweet). Retrieved 20 July 2021 – via Twitter.
- "Kim's Convenience – CBC Media Centre". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
- "Simu Liu – Academy.ca". Academy.ca. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- 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.
- "KollabCast Episode 144 – Simu's Convenience w/ Simu Liu". Kollaboration. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
- Cornblum, Marcy. "Simu Liu for Toronto Sun". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "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.
- Service, Wire (27 February 2017). "Kim's Convenience scores two prizes at ACTRA Awards". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "Kim's Convenience: A TV first that doesn't buckle under the pressure – Macleans.ca". Maclean's. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- 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.
- Kelley, Seth. "'Orphan Black' Reveals Sneak Peek, Sets Cast for Fifth and Final Season". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- "2016 DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARDS NOMINEES" (PDF). Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- "Shaftesbury | Slasher wraps production on Season 2". shaftesbury.ca. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "'Kim's Convenience' Actor Simu Liu Will Guest Star On 'Fresh Off The Boat'". HuffPost. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "'Fresh Off the Boat': 'Kim's Convenience's' Simu Liu Drops by 100th". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- Sandra Gonzalez. "Marvel's latest leading man Simu Liu will soon be a 'household name'". CNN. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Smith, Neil (22 July 2019). "Marvel Phase 4: A new era for diversity in Hollywood?". BBC.
- Worgaftik, Gabe (22 July 2019). "Shang-Chi star Simu Liu asked Marvel about playing Shang-Chi on Twitter 8 months ago". AV Club.
- "20 Questions With Simu Liu: Skincare, Korean BBQ, And Power Rangers | NBC Asian America" (Video). NBC News – via www.youtube.com.
- "Is This Our First Look At Tony Leung's Mandarin In 'Shang-Chi'?". Heroic Hollywood. 2021-04-02
- "A Chinese-Canadian to his parents: 'Privately, I yearned for your love' – Macleans.ca". Maclean's. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- Wong Fu Productions (28 February 2018), Meeting Mommy, retrieved 4 March 2018
- Chew, Cohan (23 May 2019). "INTERVIEW: Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu answers YOUR questions". Resonate. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Kollaboration SF Community Spotlight: Simu Liu, retrieved 17 January 2020
- "Video: Kim's Convenience cast talks season 5, Marvel, Star Wars and COVID". Now Toronto. 12 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
- Vlessing, Etan. "Canadian Screen Awards: 'Alias Grace,' 'Maudie,' 'Anne With an E' Dominate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Canada's Most Beautiful 2017: See who made the list!". Hello! Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Canada's 25 Hottest Bachelors of 2017". Hello! Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Canada's Most Beautiful 2018: See who made the list!". Hello! Canada. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- Wasserman, Ben. "Marvel Star Simu Liu Is the First East-Asian to Cover Men's Health in Over a Decade". CBR. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
- "Avicii vs Nicky Romero - I Could Be The One (Nicktim)". YouTube. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
- Davis, Erin (28 February 2017). "Move Over, Oscars: Canada's Finest Talent Inspired at the ACTRA Awards". Toronto Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu thanks his immigrant parents for his Canadian life". CBC. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Simu Liu, new Marvel superhero & Kim's Convenience star, writing a memoir". CBC. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "The 16th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto Nominees". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 20 September 2019.