Dallas Liu Dishes on His Marvel Goals and Tackling Zuko for Netflix's Avatar Series

When it comes to rising actors, Dallas Liu is a name to keep on your radar. From Tekken to PEN15, the star has become a fixture on must-watch lists given his latest projects. Earlier this year, Liu appeared in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings to mark his arrival in one of Hollywood's hottest franchises. The actor will also help lead one of Netflix's biggest projects as he will play Zuko in the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series. And luckily, ComicBook got the chance to speak with Liu about his latest projects amidst the release of Shang-Chi

You can find Liu's interview below where he talks alll things Marvel, Zuko, and more. The actor revealed which Marvel hero he wants to see fight Shang-Chi one on one, and to the delight of many, it turns out Liu has been a huge fan of Avatar for years now!


Question: I am very excited to talk about Shang-Chi with you. Obviously, I kind of have to start with first, it's doing amazing right now. Reviews are excellent. I want to know how are you feeling these days knowing that the movie's here, the pressure is off and everyone's loving it?

Dallas Liu: I'm just glad that you know, it's doing this well. I didn't get a full script, so I had no idea what to even expect from this movie. Like I think when I had originally gotten on set to shoot, I don't know if they had finished the script yet or not. So I was just there to do my scenes and then I was out. But to see the outcome and watch it with everyone for the first time was truly a special experience. And now all my friends are sending me pictures and telling me it's like a top-three for them. It's a great feeling.

Question: We know the Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge. It's ridiculous how culturally pervasive the Marvel Universe is. There's got to be some good, interesting perks that come with that. I want to know about your experience on set, what was the best thing about taking part in a Marvel movie?

Liu: I would say getting to work with such talented actors and the director in Destin Daniel Cretton. Obviously, you have Simu Liu and Awkwafina, and those are two people that I really do look up to. Not only because they look like me, but they're doing great things for our community moving forward. And like I said earlier, they're extremely talented and hardworking people and hopefully one day I can have that impact as well. 

Question: Hollywood is having a much-needed embrace of diversity, especially with Asian, Asian-American, Pacific Islander actors who are finally getting the due that they deserve so much. Shang-Chi has become a really kind of interesting part of that, given how pervasive Marvel's influence is. I wanted to ask, how do you feel right now kind of knowing that you've become a face of this movement?

Liu: Oh, it's such an honor. It's such an honor. I mean, when I started acting, I had no idea that I would be able to take part in this journey for the Asian community in this industry. So obviously I'm just taking it day by day, but hopefully, I can do even more.

Question: Given your work on your Hulu projects and on Shang-Chi, moving forward I expect many, many great things from you. Hopefully, you get to appear more in more Marvel stuff because fans would love that.

Liu: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I would love to too. I mean, I also have a background in martial arts, so obviously I was kind of bummed that I didn't get to showcase that in the movie, but you know, hopefully, one day in the future that'd be pretty cool.

Question: I'm going to cross my fingers because the martial arts and choreography in Shang-Chi were mind-blowing in every way.

Liu: Oh, yeah. The choreography was insane. I personally loved the very first scene that we get... Or no, not the first, but between Shang-Chi's mother and father. I thought that was incredible.

Question: We discussed earlier the amazing benefits that come with working with Marvel films, but there's also a lot of pressure when you think about the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Was there anything that you felt on set that was difficult in terms of pressure or anything like that when it came to filming this movie?

Liu: I honestly didn't feel a ton of pressure just because I was surrounded by such amazing people, as far as the cast and even the people working on set. I felt like there was a lot of trust between everyone and we knew what we could get done and showcase everything that we had been working on. I mean, I wasn't there for long, but seeing the people that were working on set, I had no doubt that this movie was going to be great.

Question: If you were able to choose which other character in the Marvel lineup right now you would want to see Shang-Chi fight, who would you say?  

Liu: I'd want to see him go against probably Hawkeye.  I think that would be a really interesting battle. And I mean, one of the end credits scenes was Hawkeye in an Asian city. I don't know if it was an end-credit scene, I forget from which movie it was, but he had the hood on and then he took it off and he had like two swords and it was just, it was crazy. I think Shang-Chi and Hawkeye would have a great battle.

Question: Finally, I do have to say congrats on your casting in Avatar. I was in middle school when that show came out and it was my life for like, two years. I was that kid in middle school who only talked about Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Liu: I was the same. I was just asking people like if you had four options, which one would you bend? Then I would like, determine whether I thought they were cool enough to hang out with.

Question: I've just got to ask, how are you feeling knowing that fans are so excited about this adaptation? I know you can't say much, but you know, it's a super exciting thing.

Liu: I mean, because it is such a beloved show I feel like there is some pressure to do a great job and not that I'm doubting anyone or the project at all, but this is the biggest project and the biggest role that I've been able to take part in now, especially leading with a character like Zuko, who's so complex and one of, if not the favorite, one of the favorites of the show with his fire bending and his history. I mean, he's such an incredible character and he has one of my favorite character developments in all of the animated series. So, I mean, I'm just as much of a fan of Zuko as everyone else is. So I mean, obviously I'm excited because this is like a dream, but at the same time, it gets a little nerve-wracking. You know? To do a good job, and I mean, at the end of the day I can only do what I'm capable of, but I hope that people enjoy my performance.



Did you love Liu's part in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? How hyped are you for his role in Netflix's take on Avatar? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.