Canadian actor Simu Liu graduated to a whole new level of fame when he announced that he’d been cast as Marvel superhero Shang-Chi. Simu Liu is not letting his newfound success go to his head, though. The actor invited 500 fans to his co-star Awkwafina’s new flick, which focuses on the importance of Asian representation in the film industry.
The newly christened Marvel star gave out hundreds of free tickets to "The Farewell" at Toronto’s Varsity Cinemas on Tuesday, July 23. Liu, who grew up in Mississauga, cut his teeth playing the role of Jung in the acclaimed CBC program “Kim’s Convenience,” based in Toronto. Liu made history earlier this week when he was cast as the first Marvel superhero to be of Chinese descent.
The buzz seemed all too real when Liu found himself swarmed by ecstatic fans upon arriving at the theatre:
Look at all these BEAUTIFUL people who showed up to watch @TheFarewell with me! Congratulations to @awkwafina and… https://t.co/eX6xIzIwHg— Simu Liu (@Simu Liu)1563950293.0
“It’s a little thing I like to call, big asian energy” @SimuLiu Also We all appreciate you buying the theatre❤️ tha… https://t.co/PqKnUaiT4f— Eunice✿ (@Eunice✿)1563946752.0
BIG. ASIAN. ENERGY. A huge thanks to @SimuLiu for hosting a screening of @thefarewell with @awkwafina! Moving, hil… https://t.co/p8aggx1z19— Jozef Agtarap (@Jozef Agtarap)1563942138.0
Here’s the lineup outside Varsity Cinemas in Toronto to see @thefarewell @ 9:30pm in the theatre bought out by… https://t.co/rclA4bYkRR— Taylor Mann (@Taylor Mann)1563922235.0
@SimuLiu @thefarewell @awkwafina Almost showtime and the line is still growing. Where #ShangChi at? #TheFarewell… https://t.co/3HEAMfb4r8— Teerex (@Teerex)1563926757.0
@SimuLiu @thefarewell @awkwafina The line has moved to the lower level!! https://t.co/S3wC01kUdG— ϟїη Ðαḯ 🇨🇦♥♫ (@ϟїη Ðαḯ 🇨🇦♥♫)1563926392.0
Liu later took to Instagram to express his gratitude to all who came out.
“The reason that films like The Farewell (and yes, Shang Chi) are so important to me are because they speak to the differences between Eastern and Western raised Asians," he wrote on Instagram. "It recently occurred to me that I was very out of touch with what was happening in my home country of China, and it made me feel a bit sad. I consider myself proudly Chinese Canadian, yet I cannot speak to the experiences of my brothers and sisters across the ocean."
"In turn, I feel that it’s probably true that many native Chinese have difficulty understanding the struggles of identity and belonging that defined my formative years in Canada. It is my genuine hope that these movies will bring us closer together by opening a dialogue through which we can share culture with each other, and with the whole world.”
Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will hit theaters on February 12, 2021.