Simu Liu was born 19 April 1989 and is a Canadian actor and stuntman.
Liu was born in Harbin, China, and immigrated to Canada at the age of five after being raised by his grandparents for the first four years of his life. He was raised in Erin Mills, an area of Mississauga, Ontario, and is an only child. He attended University of Toronto Schools for high school and studied business administration at the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, graduating with honors in 2011.
Liu initially worked as an accountant at Deloitte but was dissatisfied with his career and was eventually laid off. He began to explore other career options and decided to pursue a career as an actor and stuntman.
He got his start in acting working as an extra and stuntman, appearing in movies and music videos such as Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and Avicii’s I Could Be The One. His other early onscreen credits include Nikita (2012) and Beauty and the Beast (2014). He appeared as a stuntman in Sick: Survive the Night (2012) and the TV miniseries Heroes Reborn.
In 2015, Liu was cast in his first significant recurring role, appearing as a series regular in seven episodes of the crime drama series Blood and Water (2015–2016).
Later in 2015, Liu was cast in his first main role as Jung Kim in CBC’s popular sitcom Kim’s Convenience, the TV adaptation of a popular play of the same name. It remains his most notable television success to date. In 2016, Liu was cast in a recurring role as the ex-CIA analyst Faaron, loosely modeled on real-life ex-analyst Rodney Faraon, in the NBC prequel series Taken based on the film franchise starring Liam Neeson. Even as he was cast in main and recurring roles, Liu continued to appear as an extra on several television shows, appearing in an episode of the hit BBC-Space series Orphan Black as well as in the Canadian science fiction series Dark Matter.
In 2017, Liu joined the cast of the second season of Slasher as well as the miniseries Bad Blood, both as recurring characters. In 2018, he appeared in the science fiction television series The Expanse and Wong Fu Productions’ YouTube series Yappie. In early 2019, Liu guest starred in the 100th episode of ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat as a noodle vendor named Willie. He also guest starred in an episode of the TV series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens as Garbage Boy. At Comic-Con 2019, it was announced that Liu was cast as the titular superhero Shang-Chi in the film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is Marvel’s first film with an Asian-led cast.
In September 2021, it was revealed that Liu will lead the English-language voice cast of Bright: Samurai Soul, a Netflix anime film which premiered on October 12.
In 2014, Liu was paid 100 dollars to model for a set of stock photos for FatCamera, with the photos later appearing in subway stations, advertisements, storefronts, pamphlets, and textbook covers, as well as being the subject of widespread media coverage upon Liu’s mainstream acting breakthrough in 2021.
Alongside his acting and stunt career, Liu is also a filmmaker, producer, and writer. Liu’s first work in this area was Open Gym, a short film he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in that debuted at the 2013 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. He would go on to direct, produce and write several other shorts, including Crimson Defender vs. The Slightly Racist Family (2015).
In December 2017, Liu wrote an online piece for Maclean’s magazine detailing his experiences growing up in an immigrant family. The article was later published in the magazine’s January 2018 issue. He is writing a memoir, “We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story”, which is set to be published by HarperCollins on May 3, 2022.
In 2018, he founded his own film production company, 4:12 Entertainment, and began developing long-form film projects under it.