Simu Liu Becomes Men’s Health’s First East Asian Cover Model Since Jet Li

simu liu

Actor Simu Liu is gracing the cover of Men’s Health for June, making him the magazine’s first East Asian cover model in over a decade.

Hero on the cover: Liu, who stars in the upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” announced the milestone via a tweet on Wednesday.

  • “I am SO very excited to present to you the June cover of @MensHealthMag,” Liu posted along with images from the cover shoot.
  • “You know it’s a big deal because I gave up boba for weeks for this shoot… WEEKS!”
  • Liu first wrote he was the first-ever East Asian cover model for Men’s Health but later corrected it, saying Jet Li was featured in 2010.

Cover story: In his Men’s Health interview, the Chinese Canadian actor shared his thoughts on leading the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to center around an Asian superhero.

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  • “I am that person that struggled with my identity my whole life. I am that person that’s always felt like he wasn’t enough,” he explained. “And those [experiences] are more core to Shang-Chi’s character than his ability to punch people.”
  • Initially, when the film was announced in 2018, Liu revealed that he was “almost disappointed” with how the character tied in Chinese stereotypes.
  • As it turned out, director Destin Daniel Cretton and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige wanted to dive more into the character to emphasize the Asian American experience on the big screen.
  • “Kung fu for kung fu’s sake, as an aesthetic or a prop, that’s where it starts to get tropey and dangerous,” Liu said.
  • Liu also said that anyone with a platform, him in particular as the first Asian superhero, has a responsibility to speak out about the rise of anti-Asian violence.
  • “We’re experiencing harassment and violence at an unprecedented level, and it’s just very important to be a guy that stands up and says, ‘Hey, this is not okay,'” said Liu.

Featured Image via Men’s Health

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