We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story
Actor Simu Liu and Marvel character Shang-Chi are intractable from each other, but there was a time when the Canadian talent was scouring Craigslist ads for acting roles. We Were Dreamers is Liu’s origin story, an Asian immigrant tale of perseverance, becoming, and overcoming. The book chronicles the family’s journey from China to Toronto, and the young Simu’s experiences growing up in Canada, in a family with high expectations for educational and career achievement. Lius shares his journey from commercials and non-speaking roles in indie films to landing a lucrative television contract.
I read We Were Dreamers from the lens of my Asian American immigrant experience. The role that catapulted Liu to global stardom was centered on family dynamics. It was also a definite win for representation, as Liu singlehandedly redefined the narrative for Asian American men. It is no surprise that the actor’s own life experiences were also defined by defying expectations. While he pursued accounting as a career, Liu eventually decided to follow his true calling. The legendary role of the first Asian American superhero was a dream come true not only for Liu but also for Asians in the global diaspora who longed to see one of our own headline a major Hollywood production.
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