Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu Reveals Why He Looks Up To Marvel Co-Star Awkwafina

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Awkwafina, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Marvel Studios is inching closer to its return to theaters, which will include two new debuts coming in 2021. The first of these will be Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September, introducing Marvel fans to the franchise's first Asian leading man and the first movie with a predominantly Asian cast and crew.

Simu Liu has been open and upfront about his excitement for this opportunity since he was first cast in the role in 2019, showcasing his own martial arts skills on social media on multiple occasions. He will be joined by an all-star cast of characters including the legendary Tony Leung as the real Mandarin/Shang-Chi's father along with up-and-comer Awkwafina as the hero's friend Katy. 

Liu and Awkwafina have developed a strong bond of friendship through filming the movie together, which Liu spoke on in his latest interview.


Simu Liu Shang Chi Awkwafina

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu spoke with Access about his relationship with his co-star Awkwafina before they make their MCU debuts this summer.

Describing himself as "a huge fan of Awkwafina," Liu describes her as "a creative force" while saying that working with her is "everything you imagine her to be." He compliments her comedic skills while admitting that he doesn't "always know where [they're] going" on set, but that he's always excited about it:

"I’m a huge fan of Awkwafina. Getting to work with her is I think everything you imagine her to be. She is such a creative force, you know? She has her own show, Nora From Queens, which is amazing and hilarious and so much her voice. And she’s able to bring that on set every single day. She’s so funny, so great off the cuff, and it’s really just…for me, being able to kind of grab on and hang on for dear life. Wherever she takes us, I don’t always know where we’re going, but I know it’s gonna be really funny, and I know it’s gonna be a really really great time."

Liu concluded by calling Awkwafina "someone who [he looks] up to" as a coworker, a friend, and someone who's done what Liu's trying to do with his career. Having "nothing but respect for her and everything she's accomplished," the star comments on how he hopes he "can follow in her footsteps" as his career continues:

"She’s just such a joy to work with as a person. As Nora, she’s so kind and so generous with her advice to me, too. She’s someone who I look up to as an Asian American who’s really broken the mold and carved a path out for herself, and as someone who’s looking to do the same in a very similar space, I have nothing but respect for her and everything she’s accomplished. I hope that I can follow in her footsteps."


Marvel has a knack for helping kick off great relationships, and this bond between Liu and Awkwafina seems to be yet another example of this happening. As the two join forces in their first MCU movie together, Liu appears genuine about his respect and love for the Nora From Queens star as he heaps praise on her for a full minute in the interview.

Especially for both of them being relatively young and new in the industry, it's great to see them developing a friendship that seems to continue after leaving the set. This bond should help their unknown relationship shine on screen, particularly since Awkwafina's Katy is still such a mystery at the moment.

From the few seconds they shared together in the trailer, they already appear to "make a great team," as Katy so energetically said in the final seconds. Seeing their characters bond on screen should be a fun part of this new journey as Shang-Chi becomes a superhero and finds his way in the world.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will debut exclusively in theaters on September 3, 2021.

Release Date
September 03, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.