Simu Liu is celebrating a big anniversary today.
“Soon it’ll be apr 12th, the day i got laid off from @Deloitte,” the star of 2021 blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings posted on social media. “i owe my life to being let go from a career i hated. accounting = not for me.”
In the caption, he wrote that he “thought my life was over” when he got the news that his job as an accountant had ended. And it wasn’t just about the loss of a paycheck.
“I had wasted countless time and money that my family had invested in me,” Liu wrote. “Years of schooling, gifted programs, trying to live up to my parents’ expectations. It all came crashing down in an instant.”
He said that the 10th anniversary left him “REALLY in my feels.”
Liu noted that several of the years since had been spent “running around like a headless chicken” trying to figure out how to succeed in showbiz and desperately trying to pay off his credit card debt. It’s only in the last three years, he said, that his efforts have begun to pay off.
And have they! Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, in which Liu played the MCU’s first Asian superhero, broke box office records. He also starred in the critically lauded TV comedy Kim’s Convenience, about a Korean-American family running a convenience store.
“I know luck has played a substantial role in my successes but I am sure that if I hadn’t been cast in two life-changing roles, I’d still find purpose and meaning in the pursuit of success on my own terms,” Liu wrote. “Not my parents’ definition — MINE. I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but no amount of money is worth compromising your vision for yourself. The pursuit of a dream — YOUR dream — against all odds… that’s what life is all about.”
He sincerely thanked the company that had let him go.
“You did for me what I never had the courage to do myself,” he wrote. “You destroyed a life that I was building for someone else, so that I could finally begin to build a life for me.”
In August 2021, Liu explained to People that breaking the news to his parents that he had lost his job was difficult. They hoped that it would prompt him to go into law or medicine, maybe even become an academic, like they did. Of course, he decided then that he wanted to give acting a go.
“Initially to their credit, they were sympathetic. I think they knew that I was going through a lot with the loss of my job,” Liu said. “But they became more and more panicked as they realized that I was actually serious [about acting]. We had a lot of arguments about it. My parents felt like I was throwing my life away.”
He won his first credited roles in shorts in 2012, but bigger things were in store. And Liu’s parents proudly accompanied him to the Shang-Chi premiere.
In addition to a sequel to that film, Liu’s upcoming projects include Arthur the King, with Mark Wahlberg, and Greta Gerwig’s high-profile Barbie movie, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.