Simu Liu rose to international stardom after playing the titular character in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He hopes to be the representation that Asian kids in the western world can look up to in the entertainment space.

Liu is proud of his ethnicity and is honored to be the first Asian actor to be the face of a Marvel superhero franchise.

However, that hadn’t always been the case, and Liu was unhappy with his Asian name and culture growing up.

The actor shared about all these things in an open letter he penned for Maclean’s Before You Go, a series that collected unique, heartfelt letters from Canadians taking their time to say “Thanks, I love you” to special people in their lives.

Simu Liu’s Letter to His Parents

In the aforementioned letter, Liu wrote about his childhood, career, and relationship with his parents.

Liu was born in Harbin, China, in 1989. Shortly after he was born, his parents moved to Canada to pursue graduate studies at Queen’s University, leaving him in the care of his grandparents.

Liu spent the first five years of his life with his grandparents and then moved to Canada to be with his parents.

Unfortunately, Liu’s life after moving to Canada was far from ideal. The Shang-Chi actor noted there was a rift between him and his parents because he adopted the values and norms, and culture of the western world.

“We often fought. If I tripped on my laces, I was clumsy. If I scored below an A, I was stupid. If I wanted to hang out with my friends, I was wasting my time,” he wrote.

“I grew to resent the pressure you put on me, resolving to make your lives as difficult as you were making mine.”

Liu shared he ran away from home in 2005, staying at a different friend’s house every day for a week. Though he and his parents had a very different view of the life he should lead, he walked the path they had laid out for him.

Simu Liu with his parents.

Simu Liu strikes a pose with his parents. (Source: Instagram)

He got into a prestigious business school and landed a stable nine-to-five job at a top accounting firm after his graduation.

Unfortunately, the job wasn’t a good fit for him, and he was laid off after eight months in the workplace.

Simu Liu Later Found Love in Acting

Following the incident, Liu was determined to live his life the way he wanted. The same month, he came across a Craigslist ad that landed him a minimum-wage job as an extra in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.

Liu fell in love with acting immediately and focused all his attention on his newfound passion.

Years later, Liu could finally look at the events of his childhood from the perspective of his parents and not just himself.

“In hindsight, I know that you were doing the best you could. Money was always tight, and so you worked hard and often; the alternative would have meant all of us going hungry,” he wrote.

“You pushed me as hard as you could so that I would never have to know the struggle of not knowing where my next meal would come from.”

Liu further added that he was grateful for all the values of hard work and resilience his parents had instilled in him.