'Shang-Chi' star Simu Liu responds to claim he's 'too ugly' to be in a Marvel movie

By Suzy Byrne, Yahoo Entertainment

Simu Liu has barely had time to celebrate his casting in the lead role of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and he’s already dealing with haters.

The actor from Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero film, which will be out in 2021, shared a video from the website Asian Boss in which a reporter hit the streets of Beijing to ask if Liu is “too ugly” — by Chinese standards — to be in the Marvel movie.

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The question apparently stemmed from comments on Chinese social media calling both Liu and his co-star Awkwafina “ugly.” And while Liu noted that, “I've never been called ugly so many times in my entire life!” he went on to make the whole hateful topic a “teachable moment” by responding with smarts and class.

After cracking a joke about his ugliness rating — one woman gave him a 3.5 — and noting that they pronounced his name wrong in the segment, Liu got serious talking about having “people question me my entire life,” listing teachers, producers, directors, writers and co-stars “who have questioned my acting ability... I've been second-guessed at every single possible step of my career.”

Read more: Marvel’s diversity timeline

However, Liu went on to say that he’s “still standing” in the cut-throat business because he has the “utmost belief in my abilities” and refuses “to let the opinions of others define me.”

Simu Liu at the Marvel Studios panel at 2019 Comic-Con International on July 20. (Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Simu Liu at the Marvel Studios panel at 2019 Comic-Con International on July 20. (Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

The actor, who also appeared in Netflix’s Kim’s Convenience, then urged his fans to build up that confidence in themselves as well.

“In your careers, in your lives, no matter where you go, you will always encounter voices of doubt,” Liu wrote. “Some will come from people who are frighteningly close to you. Are you going to let those voices own you?”

He continued, “That isn't to say you can't have bad days, and that you shouldn't use your support systems and talk about how you feel like I'm doing right now. I've never been called ugly so many times in my entire life! For me, it's never been about trying to shut the voices out — it's a fruitless effort (especially if people happen to be making Youtube videos about it lol). Rather, it's about learning to let the voices exist and be OKAY with it. I'm still doing my thing, and I'm still over the moon happy I get this amazing opportunity.”

Read more: Shang-Chi to shoot in Sydney

Liu ended by saying that he’s “not going [to let] a few voices of doubt ruin that for me, and neither should you, in whatever you are pursuing in your life.”

On Twitter, Liu made some jokes about the situation.

But he also called out a news outlet for their “wonderful headline.” Sarcasm intended.

It was announced that Liu had nabbed the role at Comic-Con in July. Old tweets from the star surfaced after in which Liu messaged Marvel Studios several years ago saying they needed an Asian-American hero — and he offered up his services.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, also stars Tony Leung.

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