There is no such thing as failure, as Simu Liu can attest.
The groundbreaking Marvel superhero star of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has a legendary origin story of his own: Liu partially owes his acting career to being fired from what he thought was his dream job 10 years ago exactly.
“I owe my life to being let go from a career I hated. Accounting = not for me,” Liu tweeted.
The “Kim’s Convenience” alum captioned in an Instagram post that he celebrates every April 12 as the anniversary of leaving Deloitte.
“I was [led] into my managing partner’s office at Deloitte and told that they were terminating my employment effective immediately,” Liu wrote. “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.”
Liu continued, “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.”
The star of the upcoming “Barbie” film noted that every year to the day he gets “really funny and introspective” but the 10th anniversary means something deeper. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory in his book “Outliers,” the 10 years (and countless hours) since Liu left Deloitte has been an “incredible journey” for the actor.
“I 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,” Liu said. “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.”
Liu said that he knows luck has played a “substantial role” in his success, but even without “Kim’s Convenience” or “Shang-Chi,” Liu believes he would have found purpose in the pursuit of his dreams, regardless.
“Not my parents’ definition – MINE,” Liu summed up. “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. Happy April 12th, Instagram.”
Liu concluded with a special note to his former boss: “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.”
Liu currently has five films in the works, with the romance “One True Loves” set for release this year. In addition to “Barbie,” Liu leads the sci-fi action drama “Hello Stranger” and the adventure film “Arthur the King” opposite Mark Wahlberg. Liu will also reprise his Marvel role for a planned “Shang-Chi” sequel.