Simu Liu recently shared a memory about his time as a Spider-Man impersonator. Liu is known for his breakout role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first Marvel film that was led by an Asian-American actor. Released in September 2021, the film went on to be a massive hit at the box office. The actor is set to star in the upcoming Barbie film with The Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie in the titular role. Although Liu is now considered one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men, the 33-year-old actor struggled through much of his career. His early work consisted of roles as extras in such television series as Nikita and Warehouse 13, as well as a stuntman in various projects. He landed a substantial part on the Canadian crime series Blood and Water before securing a major role in the critically-acclaimed comedy show Kim’s Convenience which told the story of a Korean-Canadian family and their convenience store in Toronto. However, the series became mired in controversy following its conclusion due to a number of Kim Convenience’s stars, including Liu, who found issues with the production’s Asian representation.
Liu recently recalled a time in his life when he impersonated Spider-Man for children’s birthday parties. Early in his career, as he struggled to find steady work as an actor, Liu admitted that he picked up gigs at parties for kids where he dressed up as Spider-Man. When asked what it was like to revisit those memories for Liu’s upcoming memoir We Were Dreamers, the actor remembered both the good and the bad moments of that experience.Oh man. I still have all the emails that my superhero party boss would send me. All the details are there, so I know where I was at what time, what superhero I was playing, what I was being paid. But I remember the good parts. 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.
Liu appears to cherish those memories as a children’s entertainer. The days in which the children were receptive to his work and embraced his version of Spider-Man seemingly reinforced his passion to act and helped him hone his craft for future performances. Unfortunately, not all gigs are equal and he had to suffer through some moments that were less than inspiring. However, those rougher days probably pushed him further to land those acting roles to get him out of the birthday scene. Taking a job as an impersonator for children’s parties is nothing to shy away from, nor are those types of jobs uncommon for actors when starting their professions. Before Brad Pitt became a household name in films like Fight Club, Se7en, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the actor used to dress up as a chicken and stand on the street to advertise for an El Pollo Loco restaurant. The Lost City’s Channing Tatum was famously a stripper before scoring roles in Coach Carter, Step Up, and 21 Jump Street. With Simu Liu looking back on those early days of his career, he can’t help but smile and laugh at the irony in that he still goes to work impersonating a superhero, entertaining kids around the world.