‘Shang-Chi’ actor Dallas Liu said costar Awkwafina gave him renewed confidence in his acting career

‘Shang-Chi’ actor Dallas Liu said costar Awkwafina gave him renewed confidence in his acting career

  • Dallas Liu played Ruihua in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
  • The young actor told Insider that he was previously questioning his place in the film industry.
  • Liu said his “Shang-Chi” co-star Awkwafina gave him great advice to just keep pushing.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is a mammoth hit and break-out role for leading man Simu Liu.

The latest Marvel movie has garnered A+ reviews and smashed the box office, but it’s just not just Simu Liu who has benefited from the success of “Shang-Chi.”

Insider spoke to up-and-coming actor Dallas Liu, who played Ruihua, Awkwafina’s brother, in “Shang-Chi.”

Dallas Liu

Dallas Liu spoke to Insider about his career and role in “Shang-Chi.”

Jonny Marlow

While Liu (of no relation to Simu) played Awkwafina’s brother in the MCU movie, he told Insider the bond carried over off-screen, too. In fact, Awkwafina took the time to have multiple conversations with Liu about his career and told the 20-year-old actor how impressed she was with his work on the movie and his professionalism.

“I had a couple of conversations with Awkwafina off-set and we connected pretty well,” Liu told Insider. “She gave me some affirmation, just telling me that I did have a place in this industry. She told me that she was impressed with how I had my lines memorized already and I just came prepared.”

“She told me just to be patient,” he continued. “I guess that’s what everyone says in the industry, but hearing it from her really made me believe that I could do it.”

Liu said that being on set with stars like Awkwafina and Simu Liu gave him a renewed sense of confidence in his acting career. 

Shang-Chi Awkwafina Simu Liu

Awkwafina features as Shang-Chi’s friend, Katy.

Marvel Studios

This came at a vital time for Liu who, up until working on “Shang-Chi,” said he had begun to question his future in Hollywood. Liu had previously starred in several TV shows, including the Emmy-nominated “PEN15,” but work had started to slow down for the young actor.

“Things were kind of slow before and then COVID hit,” he said. “It was really taking a toll on my mental [health] — whether or not this career path was really for me. It just slowed down a ton and I’d graduated high school and I went to community college, but I wanted to be doing more with my life.”

Then, “Shang-Chi” came along.

“That’s when Awkwafina told me, ‘You can do this. You definitely have a place here.’ I had been questioning that for a while leading up to my time working there, so the experience gave me the confidence to keep pushing,” Liu said.

Dallas Liu PEN15

Dallas Liu in “PEN15.”


Liu added that while he doesn’t consider “Shang-Chi” to be his big break just yet, he believes it will come soon. The young actor has been cast as Prince Zuko in

‘s upcoming live-action adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” a popular character in the beloved animated series.

This “dream role” for Liu could be his big break. And thanks to Awkwafina and “Shang-Chi,” Liu said he feels much more confident that things will work out for him in the industry.

“I feel like if I work hard enough, things will start to come my way.”


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