Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu Didn't Have an Agent When Marvel Hired Him

Actor Simu Liu is set to take the Marvel Cinematic Universe by storm when he appears in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. And while it's still a ways away, Liu's announcement has already increased his profile immensely. The actor known for his role on Kim's Convenience actually won the role of Marvel Studios' Master of Kung-Fu without having an agent, which is a rarity in the current era of Hollywood.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Liu just signed with Creative Artists Agency, one of the largest sports and entertainment representatives in the country. It's Liu's first agent, meaning that he managed to earn his role of Shang-Chi without the maneuvering of CAA or any other company.

Liu recounted the experience of learning of his casting four days before the public reveal at San Diego Comic-Con during an interview with the Associated Press.

"It's Tuesday night. It's two nights after I screen-tested in New York," Liu remembers. "When you're an actor, the whole audition adage is 'Forget about it,' Leave it at the door, just do your best job and if they call, they call. This was not one of those times. Every single second was excruciating, every time my phone buzzed my heart skipped. It was a very unhealthy equilibrium state."

He added, "I waited two days and I had gone online and watched videos of all these other Marvel stars and how they got cast and I think I got it in my mind that Kevin likes to call them personally so I thought if my manager calls, it might be bad news but if I get a call from an unknown number, it might be good news," the actor continues. "It's about 6:19 p.m. Tuesday and lo and behold, I'm in my underwear eating shrimp crackers and there's an unknown number from Burbank, California. Now I know Disney Studios is in Burbank so my heart's thumping out of my chest and I jump and am like 'Hello!' and it's the divine voice of Kevin Feige. I'll never forget it, it's so calm, it's so booming."

"He's like 'Simu, hi. We'd like you to play Shang-Chi. Also, we need you to go to Comic-Con in four days.' I can't describe how I felt. I think I cried hysterically, I can't remember if it was on the phone or after, but probably a bit of both."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will feature the title character "recount his complicated childhood, including the weight of immigrant family expectations, his determination to follow his dream, and his gratitude for his parents' sacrifices, love and life lessons."


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres in theaters on February 12, 2021.