Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu Reveals How He Got Ripped To Play A Superhero

Simu Liu shirtless in Shang-Chi

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is constantly growing, and Phase Four looks like it’s going to be a doozy. There are a number of film projects currently in the can, including Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The movie’s first trailer recently arrived, showing how ripped Simu Liu got to play the title character. And now we know how the Kim’s Convenience actor managed to get into superhero shape.

Simu Liu will make history with Shang-Chi, further showing Marvel’s commitment to telling inclusive stories. The limited footage shows Liu participating in dizzying fight choreography, and looking thoroughly badass in the process. And thanks to a recent conversation with Men’s Health we know how he stayed so yoked for Shang-Chi.

In a long-form interview with the popular publication, it was revealed that he added a whopping ten pounds of muscle to the already muscular frame he showed off in Kim’s Convenience. The feat was done by working out three times a day throughout filming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This included plenty of weight lifting, intense fight choreography, as well as extensive stretching to ensure mobility.

Clearly the work paid off, as Simu Liu looks massive in Shang-Chi’s first trailer, which includes a gratuitous shirtless scene. But despite this, it turns out that Liu is still getting some backlash online, specifically about his appearance. In the same interview he revealed about the trolling that came after he was cast, saying:

I got a ton of trolls. They’d leave Chinese comments on my page, and I’d be so excited to translate them, because I thought ‘ooh they must be voicing their support.’ And [instead] it would be like, ‘Your face looks like a dog's anus, you don’t deserve this role.’

Ouch. Fame is definitely a double-edged sword, and being cast in a role in Star Wars or the MCU can open actors up to a ton of scrutiny. We’ve seen a number of celebs leave social media as a result, although Simu Liu remains very active on places like Twitter. At least, for now.

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The first trailer arrived as a surprise birthday present for Simu Liu, so it’s clear that his partnership with Marvel Studios is getting off on the right foot. Shang-Chi looks like it’ll bring something wholly unique to the MCU, and fans already can’t wait to see Liu’s title character crossover with other popular characters in the future.

Simu Liu was known for being in great shape prior to Shang-Chi, as Kim’s Convenience showed off his physique in a number of scenes throughout its run. Unfortunately that comedy series is coming to an end, which should open Liu’s schedule up for all things Marvel.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to arrive in theaters September 3rd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.