Before the legend, there was the everyday man. With Simu Liu proudly taking to the silver screen as the MCU’s first Asian superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, there’s no better time than to revisit his past.
No, it’s nothing bad – in fact, it’s something that the 32-year-old actor has embraced and poked fun at himself for. Meet the star prior to his Shang-Chi and Kim’s Convenience days: the modest, unexpected stock image model.
The information first surfaced in 2017 when Liu tweeted, “Call @Alanis Morissette because I just died from irony. I did a stock photo shoot in 2014 and it ended up here. I used to be an accountant.” This was later followed up by a February 2020 update on Twitter, where he once again addressed the images.
“Legitimately wondering if I am the greatest stock photo model of all time. Totally unrelated note, please stop buying these photos,” he wrote jokingly.
As the Shang-Chi hype continues to build up, fans have been having plenty of fun unearthing the old pictures on social media. The result is an entertaining string of memes and funny commentaries, with one user stating, “This [sic] stock photos of Simu Liu are so funny help #$&@*”.
“You’re cool, but not Simu Liu stock photos kinda cool,” another quipped. Meanwhile, a tweet that reads, “i present to you…simu stock photos…” is doing God’s work by attaching additional visuals in a thread, showing the actor in all his, uh, professional glory.
The collection can be found on Getty through using search words like “Cheerful East Asian coworker,” “East Asian,” “business person,” “smiling,” “cheerful,” and “coworker”, so inspired individuals can easily create their own masterpieces with a quick search.
Of course, Liu is certainly not missing out on the fun. Sharing a photo of himself pointing at a laptop screen, he wrote, “me laughing at the people who thought we’d flop”. The response is more than well-warranted, considering the film’s impressive S$95 million debut at the global box office, and its rise to the number one movie spot in Singapore.
It’s always nice to see celebrities, who are often viewed to be larger than life, not taking themselves too seriously, but more so in the case of Liu. While joyous and humorous, the man can come across as stern and fiercely passionate in matters that mean a great deal to him, which may not sit well with some – even if there are merits to his sentiments.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now showing in Singapore cinemas, with a synopsis that reads, “Martial-arts master Shang-Chi confronts the past he thought he left behind when he’s drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organisation.”