Simu Liu Biography

(Known for His Portrayal in the film Shang-Chi)

Birthday: April 19, 1989 (Aries)

Born In: Harbin, China

Simu Liu is a Canadian actor, stuntperson and an author. Born to engineering students in China, the actor moved to Canada with his parents as a 5-year-old. Pushed into academics by his parents, he initially studied business administration and joined Deloitte as an accountant. Fired after working for less than a year in the company, he later built his career as an actor and stuntman. After working in minor roles on TV for a while, he bagged the more significant roles of Paul Xie in Blood and Water and Jung Kim in Kim’s Convenience. In 2021, he became the first Asian lead in a Marvel movie when he appeared in the titular role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The role won him many awards and catapulted him to international fame. Liu has also voiced roles in several animated projects and has even penned a memoir.

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Quick Facts

Canadian Celebrities Born In April

Girlfriend: Allison Hsu

Age: 34 Years, 34 Year Old Males

Family:

father: Zheng Liu

mother: Zhenning

Born Country: China

Actors Canadian Men

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Notable Alumni: University Of Western Ontario

More Facts

education: University Of Western Ontario

Childhood, Early Life & Education

Simu Liu was born on April 19, 1989, in Harbin, the largest city of the Heilongjiang province in China. His parents, Zhenning and Zheng Liu, had met while studying engineering at a Beijing university.

Liu’s father, Zhenning, later moved to the US to obtain his PhD, while his mother, Zheng remained in Beijing, where she worked. Liu grew up in a tiny apartment, under the care of his grandparents in Harbin, China.

He was 5 when he moved to Canada with his parents. Liu’s parents took up dish-washing jobs to support themselves while they completed their studies in aerospace engineering on scholarships.

Liu thus later grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. Liu later revealed that his parents had a lot of expectations from him and thus pushed him to study advanced math and read biographies of scientists at the tender age of 5.

Liu later joined the University of Toronto Schools and then took up the business administration course at the Ivey Business School (formerly the Richard Ivey School of Business) of the University of Western Ontario. In 2011, he graduated with honors.

He started his career as an accountant at Deloitte. In April 2012, however, he was laid off, after spending only 9 months in the firm.

Soon after being laid off, Liu decided to look for other career options and thought of trying his luck as an actor and stuntman. As a result, he grew distant from his parents, who wanted him to pursue a traditional career.

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Entertainment Career

Simu Liu has had a long path to success in the entertainment industry. He spent years as a moderately successful actor in the US, working steadily in movies, TV shows, short films, and even in music videos.

He initially played minor roles in series such as Nikita (2012), Mayday (2013), and Beauty and the Beast (2014). He has also been seen in Air Crash Investigation (2003), Warehouse 13 (2009), and Heroes Reborn (as a stuntman, 2015).

In 2015, Liu bagged the recurring role of Paul Xie in the Canadian crime drama series Blood and Water. In 2016, Liu appeared as a misfit brother, Jung Kim, in the critically acclaimed Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience. The series ran for 5 seasons and continued till 2021.

Following this, Liu continued to appear in minor roles in series such as the action thriller Taken (as Faaron, 2017), the sci-fi thriller Orphan Black (as Mr. Mitchell, 2017), and the American sitcom Fresh Off the Boat (as Willie, 2019).

In 2021, Liu was cast as the titular character in the Marvel comic book superhero movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He thus created history as the first Asian-origin actor to play a lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise.

The film narrated the story of Shang-Chi, an immigrant to America, and his struggle to confront his father, who leads the Chinese criminal organization, Ten Rings. Liu’s performance, including his martial arts moves and comedy, received rave reviews and was critically acclaimed.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings became the second-highest grossing movie of 2021 in the US, surpassed only by another Marvel blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home. The movie’s success came in despite it being released during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sequel for the film, too, has been confirmed.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was also one of those rare movies in the US that had a leading Asian cast, including Malaysian actor Michelle Yeoh, American comedian Awkwafina, British actor Benedict Wong, Chinese actor Meng’er Zhang.

Liu’s performance in the movie was considered one of the finest debuts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The role also earned Liu a place on TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in May 2022. His performance as Shang-Chi also won him the Game Changer Award from the Hollywood Critics Association (2022), the Unforgettable Gala-Asian American Award for Breakout Actor on Film (2021), and the People's Choice Award for the Action Movie Star of 2021.

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His success in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was also followed by voice roles as Lah Zhima in the 2021 animated anthology series Star Wars: Visions (2021) and as Adult Hubert Wong in a 2022 episode of the hit American animated sitcom The Simpsons.

Liu is all set to appear in the highly anticipated movie Barbie in 2023, starring with Margot Robbie and fellow Canadian actor Ryan Gosling. He is also set to appear in the upcoming movies Arthur the King, Atlas, and Grand Death Lotto.

Liu has also written and produced for TV series and films. His short film Meeting Mommy (2017) was chosen as a semi-finalist entry for the NBC Universal Shorts Festival.

He also wrote for season 2 of Blood and Water, contributing as a story editor for the entire season and as the main writer for an episode. Liu also continues to train in martial arts and stunt work. He has hosted Saturday Night Live in 2021 and the Juno Awards in 2022 and 2023.

Other Interests

Apart from being an actor, Simu Liu is also a writer. In 2022, he penned his memoir, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story.

He has also often been vocal about the racial violence that Asian communities face in the US. He has promoted fundraisers for the victims of the mass shooting at the Lunar New Year Festival held in Monterey Park, California, in 2023.

Personal Life

In December 2022, Simu Liu declared his relationship with girlfriend Allison Hsu on Instagram. The picture he posted, which showed them dressed in their Christmas sweaters, quickly became viral. Liu and Hsu had already made their first public appearance together at the premiere of Violent Night the previous month.

Hsu is apparently a digital marketing manager at Interscope Records. In 2022, Hsu was featured on the Forbes list of 30 Under 30. Simu Liu has earlier been romantically linked with actors Jade Bender and Tina Jung, too.

In April 2022, Liu reportedly celebrated a decade of being fired by Deloitte. He thanked his manager in an Instagram post, stating that the fateful day had eventually led to his stardom.

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