Simu Liu talks about the importance of Shang-Chi at the level of representation

Capture of the trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

The actor Simu liu live in this 2021 his great year with the premiere of the movie Marvel “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” / “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”. A movie that points to it will not go unnoticed, be it one way or the other. This makes Simu Liu living a few months of great fame, especially since the first trailer for the film was released.

This has led to Simu Liu starring in the latest issue of Men’s Health magazine, because the actor has had to get in shape to be able to give life to a hero like Shang-Chi, master of martial arts. In the special article that the publication has dedicated to the actor, his life and professional career are reviewed, and some touches of information are given about what we will see in the Shang-Chi film.

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We are certainly not talking about any spoiler details. In fact, they don’t even go into the story or plot of the movie. These are Liu’s words, in addition to those of the director Destin Daniel Cretton and the Marvel Studios president Kevin Studios, who come to explain the proposal and focus of the film. Especially to explain the importance of representation, and the goal they were looking for with this movie.

Serve as an example

Capture of the trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Capture of the trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

We have already brought the statements of Kevin Feige acknowledging his mistake when casting Tilda Swinton as The Old Woman. However, for this movie, he hopes that will not be the case. Since the inception of Marvel Studios, Feige says, the studio has had a portfolio of “great people who could make great movies regardless of how famous they were.” Shang-Chi was in that folder, because stereotypes aside, it is a very Disney story: In the comics, the character discovers the true nature of his father, fakes his own death and runs away. “Break away from that and become a hero,” says Feige, “It was always a very, very big story.”

Due to the nature of the character, Marvel is able to reinvent Shang-Chi on film in a way that couldn’t alter Spider-Man or Captain America. The MCU version will fight, but its new origin story runs deeper.

It’s about having a foot in both worlds – Feige says – in the North American world and in China. And Simu fits into that pretty well.

Liu has presented himself as “proudly Asian and unapologetic” on social media and in his appearances, he speaks openly about the stereotypes that lead Asian men to be seen as weak and unattractive. The actor also highlights the increasing levels of violence against Asians.

We are experiencing harassment and violence at an unprecedented level, and it is very important to be a man who stands up and says, ‘Hey, this is not right.’ And there’s a real responsibility that comes not just with anyone with a platform, but with mine, specifically, to be the first in a community to be, you know, a superhero. “

Maybe that’s why I loved superhero movies from the beginning. They face these great ideas of good versus evil. Once you have power, how are you going to use it?

Simu Liu learned martial arts to be Shang-Chi

Promotional image of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Promotional image of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

This is a story about an Asian superhero, and martial arts play a role in it, but Simu Liu did not earn the role of Shang-Chi with his kung fu skills. He has earned it with his acting skills. Liu had limited martial arts experience prior to this movie. This is important to Liu, and to the entire Shang-Chi team, and is central to the conversation about Liu as the Asian-American protagonist.

Liu describes himself as a “self-taught person who likes to do cartwheels in his backyard” and prides himself on his personal superhero transformation. He gained three kilos of muscle to his 1.70 meter body, coming to weigh 55 kilos. Last year, while filming in Australia, he dedicated himself to training three times a day. He lifted weights and worked on the fight choreography on a daily basis. And every few days, he would do a stretching session to get the flexibility he needed for kung fu. In one of the stretches, she sat on the floor, her legs stretched out wide. A coach reflected that position, placed his heels against Liu’s and little by little he was separating the hero’s feet, almost separating them.

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He could barely walk after each stretching session, but the work he put into playing the role serves as proof that he is an actor, not a martial arts curiosity.

As with any actor in any role, like Ryan Gosling did when he learned to play the piano for La La Land, “says Liu,” what I think Marvel did – what I hope Marvel did – was cast an actor.

That was the director’s goal Destin Daniel Cretton, and that may be why early audition tapes had Liu and other hopefuls duplicating scenes from Good Will Hunting, not John Wick.

Beyond fighting, he’s an Asian American

Capture of the trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Capture of the trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

They clarify that this is not a kung fu story. Moreover, despite what is already known about the plot, they advance that we shouldn’t expect the movie to start with fights.

We wanted to show people a character that is clearly Asian-American from the beginning, ”says Cretton. Before even knowing anything about his past, his education, his martial arts skills, we wanted people to know that he is an Asian American.

This approach allows Cretton, Liu, and the rest of the heavily Asian-American team to invigorate the film with an energy and soul that goes beyond the roots of the main character. Decades ago, Asian culture was only represented in movies with Bruce Lee-inspired fighting. In ‘Shang-Chi’, the fights ensue alongside scenes that illuminate other parts of the Asian-American experience.

Promotional image of Razorfist in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Promotional image of Razorfist in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

The actor also anecdotally comments that they added what they consider to be a staple of Asian American culture, especially in San Francisco, the bubble tea.

There are millions of people who consume this drink in insane amounts. It’s such an iconic Asian-American drink that I said to myself: you can’t make this movie without some kind of goofball.

They thus explain that it was a last minute addition to the film, with the logos hastily printed on the glasses in Australia before filming ended.

In Shang-Chi, kung fu is no longer just a symbol of inclusion. These are Asian Americans who appropriate their stereotype.

Kung fu for kung fu’s sake, as an aesthetic or accessory, is where it starts to get tropos and dangerous, ”Liu says. [Pero] There is a reason why when Hong Kong action was presented to Western audiences, people went crazy for it. Kung fu is, objectively, great.

Reviews received

Although Liu has earned the appreciation of many, he has not been without controversy. It has received a lot of criticism, some calling it “too ugly” to play shang chi

I have days when I feel really sexy and on top of the world, and I have days when I don’t. But more than anything I can be at peace with who I am.

Your proposal for Solar Fire (Sunfire)

To truly advance the representation of Asians in show business, Simu Liu acknowledges that she believes she has to produce, direct, and write other works as well, in order to create opportunities for others. Thus, in that eagerness to contribute, the publication is aimed at that perhaps

Maybe restart Crimson Defender or dust off the “multi-season bible” you wrote for Sunfire. Last year he wrote his memoirs, which will be published in 2022.

In the end, when all is said and done, it will be more than just the roles that I took on as an actor. It will be what it is capable of contributing to the world in terms of stories, in terms of culture.

Men’s Health cover

Finally, close with the cover in question, which the actor himself shared on social networks:

Ladies and gentlemen, I am SO excited to introduce you to the cover of June of [Men’s Health]with his first model in East Asian history, ”Liu tweeted alongside the two covers. You know it’s a big deal because I left the Bubble tea for weeks for this session… WEEKS

Both covers describe Liu as “America’s next superstar,” “Hollywood’s new changemaker,” and “the future of Marvel,” while also showing him posing in a blue tank top and performing shirtless stunts. . The actor then posted a second tweet to clarify that Jet Li had also been the cover of Men’s Health in 2010, but Li continued to congratulate Liu on his success.

As Shang-Chi, Liu will be the first Asian actor to play a major leading role in a Film Universe project. A first teaser trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” was released in April, featuring his character’s lineage as the heir to the leader of the Ten Rings, Wenwu (also known as The Mandarin). , who trained Shang-Chi for years “so that the most dangerous people in the world could not kill him.” After rejecting his father’s request to return to the Ten Rings, the trailer shows Shang-Chi fighting various powerful adversaries such as the masked warrior Death Dealer and Razor Fist.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Daniel Callaham, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as Wenwu / The Mandarin, Awkwafina as Katy, Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan , Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon, Fala Chen as Jiang Li, and Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist. The film hits theaters on September 3.

Via information | Men’s Health

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