Before “Shang-Chi”, some people in Hollywood didn’t see Simu Liu’s star power.
Appearing on the podcast “How to Fail with Elizabeth Day”, the actor revealed that, before landing the coveted Marvel superhero role, he auditioned four times for “Crazy Rich Asians”.
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“Through some sort of broken telephone, whether it had gone through a studio exec or a casting director before it got to our side, we got, ‘Well, Simu doesn’t have the X-factor. The It factor,’” Liu recalled. “And that was just such a crushing blow for me.
“It felt like someone was telling me that I just wasn’t good enough, that I just wasn’t likable. I didn’t have that thing that made people want to watch it. It was at a time that was very difficult for me, I was trying to figure out whether I could be the lead character or whether I could only be a supporting character for my entire career.”
Liu said that after that experience, he took stock of his approach to trying out for movie roles.
“It forced me to take a step back and realize that maybe I wanted it too badly. Like, maybe I was too desperate and that desperation was showing in my work,” he said. “There had to be an element of confidence in what I was doing and self-assuredness. I had to trust I was talented and I was watchable and I was good.”
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He admitted that while he was “devastated at the time,” he was ultimately “so grateful” for the experience and the lessons learned, and that despite not being in the film, he was “truly” happy when “Crazy Rich Asians” was released to huge success in 2018.
Liu is currently filming the new “Barbie” movie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.