‘Shang Chi’ actor, Simu Liu, recently opened up about the pressure of becoming the new face of Asian representation in an interview for Vanity Fair’s 2022 Hollywood Issue, as well as the unexpected support he received from Ken Jeong, whose act of kindness made him feel welcome.
The 32-year-old actor discussed how he felt like an “outsider” in Hollywood and the challenges of becoming the first Asian MCU headliner. Simu also went into greater detail about his struggle of becoming one of the industry’s most recognizable Asian faces and the pressure to meet the demands of a large and diverse audience.
According to Liu, fellow Asian actor Ken Jeong was one of the first people who reached out to him when he first got to Los Angeles. Jeong gave Liu a tour of the studio lot, and he would bring Liu into his dressing room and ask him how was he doing.
The Hollywood actor admitted that it was the first time he really felt the generosity of a community and that he’ll never forget that kind of kindness.
“I still feel very much like I’m an outsider in Hollywood…but I’m starting to realize I don’t have to prove to anyone or myself that I deserve to be here,” he concluded. “Taking up this space and being unapologetic—these things came a lot easier to me back in the day, when I didn’t have a seat at the table. I was playing a very different game, but I think I’m slowly finding that courage again.”
Simu’s memoir “We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story” will be released in May.