Simu Liu revealed that he exaggerated his martial arts experience when auditioning for Shang-Chi.
As one of the most exciting new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi brings a unique energy to the franchise given that he boasts the most skilled martial arts abilities of any superhero. Much of what made his debut film such a breath of fresh air for the MCU was seeing Simu Liu himself performing much of his own stunts.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was not just a great showcase for Simu Liu’s cinematic debut as the Master of Kung Fu in terms of his acting chops, but also the skills he attained from his martial arts training. Interestingly enough, it turns out that his prior experience wasn’t as vast as one would expect upon his audition with Marvel Studios.
In a recent appearance on Variety’s Actors on Actors series in which he had a one-on-one conversation with West Side Story star Ariana DeBose, Simu Liu revealed that when auditioning with Marvel Studios for Shang-Chi, he exaggerated his martial arts experience in the hopes he’d land the role, attributing much of his previous work as a dancer in helping his chances:
“When I got the part, they asked me about my martial arts background and experience, which of course I exaggerated because I wanted the job really badly. I had done some work as an on-again, off-again stuntman, but if we’re honest, I think I was more of a dancer than I ever was a martial artist. Pretty much from the moment I was cast, I started working with trainers and learning how to move. I had such awful flexibility. My groin and my tendons were just so stiff. A big part of that early process was just bending my body and trying to rip those legs apart.”
Simu Liu expressed gratitude for action director Brad Allan, whom tragically passed away in 2021 before the film released. When it came to performing the stunts for the film, the approach made was to make sure that the fights did not appear to be over-choreographed and feel natural for the story and convincing enough for the characters’ big emotional beats to feel real.
Here is the synopsis for the Marvel Studios film:
“Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, the film stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley and Tony Leung.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings is now available to own on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray DVD, Digital HD and to stream on Disney Plus. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the Simu Liu in the MCU as we learn it and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.