Simu Liu is already paying it forward.
The “Kim’s Convenience” star made headlines over the weekend after being cast as Marvel’s first Asian superhero Shang-Chi in the upcoming movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” And shortly after the announcement was made, Liu bought out a theater at the Varsity Cineplex in Toronto on Monday so that fans could support “The Farewell,” another culturally impactful film that’s been hailed as a win for Asian representation in Hollywood.
According to Liu’s recent Instagram post, the showing was a success. The Canadian actor also further underscored the importance of films like “The Farewell,” as well as “Shang-Chi.”
“The reason that films like The Farewell (and yes, Shang Chi) are so important to me are because they speak to the differences between Eastern and Western raised Asians,” he wrote. “It is my genuine hope that these movies will bring us closer together by opening a dialogue through which we can share culture with each other, and with the whole world.”
Liu gifted his fans as part of the #GoldOpen movement. The initiative helps facilitate theater buyouts and social media campaigns to ensure opening weekend success for films and shows featuring people of color. Others, including “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu, as well as the film’s cast, also bought out theaters as part of the campaign.
In his post, Liu said that he felt “very out of touch” with developments from within China and while he’s proud of his heritage, he “cannot speak to the experiences of my brothers and sisters across the ocean.”
“In turn, I feel that it’s probably true that many native Chinese have difficulty understanding the struggles of identity and belonging that defined my formative years in Canada,” he wrote.
Liu concluded by saying the upcoming film will have special “significance to both West and East-raised Asians,” adding that he looks forward to exploring more of his own roots.