Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu Recalls Horror Stories From Playing Spider-Man At Children’s Parties

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi on San Francisco bus in Legend of the Ten Rings action sequence.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Simu Liu hit the Hollywood jackpot in 2019 when it was announced that he had been cast as Marvel’s Shang-Chi. Since the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the actor has already become a new fan-favorite in the MCU, with a Shang-Chi sequel now on the way and more appearances as the superhero to look forward to. Ahead of nabbing the role, Liu had the chance to play Spider-Man, but on a much smaller scale: kid’s birthday parties. 

Prior to Shang-Chi, Simu Liu actually went through many different jobs, from an accountant to a stock model and stunt man. But back to the Spider-Man parties, here’s how that time in his life went, per the actor: 

I remember the ones where the kids just do not believe that you're Spider-Man, and they will go through any means necessary to prove it, whether that means physically assaulting you or pulling on your mask. They're just little detectives that just want to get to the bottom of it. Oftentimes, those kids had parents who were not around, either. They were in the corner, day-drinking with their friends, and I was just brought in to entertain and really babysit for an hour or two.

Yikes! It sounds like being a Spider-Man impersonator was not a glamorous job for Simu Liu. The Marvel hero spent the pandemic writing a memoir about his life thus far with We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story, which is now available to buy on Amazon. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Liu touched on the section of the book where he talked about his not-so-friendly Spider-Man days. But don’t worry, it had its good moments too. In his words: 

Once in a while you would really make a kid's day. If the kid was young enough and innocent enough that they could actually believe you were Spider-Man, they thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I loved that. That was early on in my acting career, so it was a way for me to sharpen my tools as a performer.

While being a superhero in movies certainly has its big perks, being a superhero in the trenches of kid-filled birthday parties is much different. With Spider-Man specifically, the mystery aspect is something that these kids get a kick out of, as in their minds, Liu could have been the real Web-Slinger. 

We Were Dreamers tells Simu Liu’s story from his own perspective, shedding light on his upbringing as a Chinese Canadian immigrant, becoming a high-achieving kid, graduating from business school in 2011 and becoming an accountant for Deloitte. The only problem was it was a career he “hated,” and was eventually fired. Liu has since said he owes his life to the company firing him when it did because it led to his current success. Before catching his big break, Simu Liu was also a stock model, which fans have compiled evidence of, much to his own cringe. 

Simu Liu is currently filming the live-action Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling from Lady Bird, which is being directed by Little Women filmmaker Greta Gerwig. Liu recently teased that he’ll be part of dance sequences in the film, which he has a background in and led to him nabbing the role. We don’t know which upcoming Marvel movie Liu’s Shang-Chi will show up in next, but we’ll keep you posted here on CinemaBlend. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.