Ten years ago on April 12, actor Simu Liu was fired from an accounting job that he hated. While struggling in the aftermath, the young college graduate started acting as an extra in films — and a whole new career began, leading to a starring role on the beloved series Kim’s Convenience and a blockbuster Marvel role as Shang-Chi.
Simu Liu provided some insight recently into the backstory behind his time as an accountant, sharing a heartfelt post on Instagram.
“Ten years ago to the day, I was lead [sic] into my managing partner’s office at Deloitte and told that they were terminating my employment effective immediately. A lady from HR and a security guard escorted me back onto the floor in front of the entire open concept office. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Nobody moved, offered a whisper of encouragement or even looked in my direction. I fought back tears of humiliation, grabbed my things, and never looked back”, Simu Liu wrote on April 12.
“Ten years ago I thought my life was over. I had wasted countless time and money that my family had invested in me. Years of schooling, gifted programs, trying to live up to my parents’ expectations. It all came crashing down in an instant.”
After discovering acting, Simu Liu says that he “spent four of those years running around like a headless chicken trying to figure out how to break into the industry, struggling with credit card debt and taking any job I could. Another three years were spent trying to break into Hollywood, sinking my precious life savings into something many would call a pipe dream. It’s really only been these past three years that anything I’ve done has begun to bear any fruit”.
Let’s not forget that Simu Liu’s Marvel role as Shang-Chi also involved extremely difficult stunts and intense stretch training once he did finally make it big in Hollywood!
The Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings actor then shared a message to his fans and all dreamers (in keeping with his new memoir, We Were Dreamers).
“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. 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”, the Marvel actor wrote.
The actor and author then directly thanked the accounting company that had fired him, saying “To Paul Gibbon and the offices of Deloitte Toronto; sincerely, honestly, THANK YOU. You did for me what I never had the courage to do myself; you destroyed a life that I was building for someone else, so that I could finally begin to build a life for me.”
The actor added on Twitter that being let go from Deloitte may have “devastated [him] at the time, [but] it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to [him].” Becoming a successful actor is very hard work, with many celebrities only becoming famous after decades of auditions (and the audition process isn’t easier for Disney princesses, either!). For Simu Liu, and Marvel fans, it seems wonderful that the actor combined luck and determination to make a go of it!