Simu Liu’s life is an open book now that he’s written a memoir, the recently published We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Story.
In an excerpt published in People, the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star gets candid about the efforts he’s made to repair what he describes as a pretty terrible relationship with his parents.
It was during his teen years in particular when the cultural differences between his traditional Chinese-Canadian parents and his own experience as the child of immigrants came to the forefront, which led him to join a boy band, date girls and stay out late.
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When his grades began slipping, it led to screaming matches and corporal punishment. “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve got the worst parents in the world.’ I felt so alone,” he adds. “Nobody could understand what I was enduring at home.”
It wasn’t until he graduated from Western University’s Ivey Business School and then landed an accounting job that his parents became visibly proud — something that evaporated when he was fired months later and decided to embark on a career as an actor.
As he writes, it was his landing his career-making role in CBC sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” that led to a turning point.
“We weren’t fighting, but at the same time we hadn’t collectively chosen to dive back into our trauma and how we were all individually affected by it,” he writes, recalling how he decided to lay out everything he was experiencing in a heartfelt letter he wrote to his mother.
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“It was eight pages, and I remember being so nervous as I was handing it to her,” he says. “I said, ‘I want you to know it comes from a place of love.'”
After she’d read what he’d written, she called him, resulting in “the first time we really talked about those issues,” he explains. “We both acknowledged that we were flawed human beings trying to do our best.”
We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Story is available now.