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Simu Liu Was Told He Didn’t Have the ‘It Factor’ to Star in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: ‘Maybe I Was Too Desperate’

"I didn't have that thing that made people want to watch it."

BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA - DECEMBER 11: Canadian actor Simu Liu arrives at the 19th Annual Unforgettable Gala Asian American Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 11, 2021 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Simu Liu

Sipa USA via AP

Simu Liu desperately wanted to get “Crazy” before becoming a MCU superhero.

The “Kim’s Convenience” breakout star revealed that he auditioned four times for Jon M. Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians” and ultimately lost out on the role. Why? Well, because Liu apparently didn’t have the “It” factor for Hollywood.

“Through some sort of broken telephone, whether it had gone through a studio exec or a casting director before it got to our side, we got, ‘Well Simu doesn’t have the X-factor. The It factor,'” the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star said during the podcast “How To Fail With Elizabeth Day.” “And that was just such a crushing blow for me.”

Liu continued, “It felt like someone was telling me that I just wasn’t good enough, that I just wasn’t likable. I didn’t have that thing that made people want to watch it. It was at a time that was very difficult for me, I was trying to figure out whether I could be the lead character or whether I could only be a supporting character for my entire career.”

The whole experience led to Liu reflecting on his approach to auditions, with the star saying, “It forced me to take a step back and realize that maybe I wanted it too badly. Like maybe I was too desperate and that desperation was showing in my work. There had to be an element of confidence in what I was doing and self-assuredness. I had to trust I was talented and I was watchable and I was good.”

Despite being “devastated at the time,” Liu added that he was “so grateful” for the lessons he learned because of being passed over for the role. Liu said he was “truly happy” when the movie was released in 2018. A sequel and spin-off projects are currently in the works starring Henry Golding, Constance Wu, Harry Shum Jr., and Gemma Chan.

Liu is currently in production on “Barbie” opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. While Liu’s role is currently under wraps, he did tease that the script penned by writer-director Greta Gerwig was the best he’s ever read, and that his casting hinged on his hip-hop dance skills. Clearly Liu has the “It” factor to bring the star-studded Mattel world to life.

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