Simu Liu Auditioned For 'Shang-Chi' By Pulling Off The 'Black Widow' Pose

From the early stages of its development, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was teased as a martial arts movie with superpowers. Based on the early buzz, the movie definitely delivers on its promise of intense action: it's apparently so good that many are calling it the best action in the MCU so far. A lot of work went into making Shang-Chi's action so authentic, and many are praising the film's star, Simu Liu, for both his incredible character performance and his action movie skills. It turns out Liu is a man of many talents, allowing him to pull off a few of his own stunts in the movie.

Recently, /Film's Hoai-Tran Bui attended a press conference with the film's cast and crew, where they continued to praise Liu for his action-packed performance. Ronny Chieng, who co-stars in Shang-Chi and moderated the panel said:

Chieng: What's interesting is that, you know, for once Simu is actually too humble to say this, but you actually have a tricking background, like a stunt background [that] you were doing way before the movie.

Liu: Yeah, I was shouting "parkour!" in my backyard and landing on my neck.

Though Liu joked about the compliment, Shang-Chi director Daniel Destin Cretton was quick to agree with Chieng's point — in fact, he revealed that Liu showed off a very memorable stunt in the early audition stages. According to Cretton:

He did actually do that exact backflip into that pose that is made fun of in Back Widow. He did a backflip straight into the Black Widow kneel pose, hair flip up, looking straight to the camera as the closer to his first audition.

What I wouldn't give to see that footage...

Actor By Day, Stuntman By Night

Clearly, Liu's judgment is impeccable. Not only did he manage to impress a couple of Marvel head honchos, he also called out an iconic MCU moment that later became a hilarious running gag in Black Widow. Early in the film, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) takes a break from overthrowing the Red Room to tease her sister about the silly pose she tends to land in. Sure, it's a very photogenic look, but judging by Natasha's training, it takes real skill to pull off — making it the perfect pose to strike in a superhero movie audition. At the press conference, Liu chimed in to say:

I thought it was a good thing to do. I thought it couldn't hurt that I was auditioning for a Marvel movie...and I could show them that I could pull off a superhero pose.

You can't have a superhero movie with a really showy superhero landing! Those are the rules of the game, and clearly, Liu's been studying up.

Hardcore fans won't be shocked to hear how well Shang-Chi's action is being received, and they'll definitely assume Liu has a huge part in that. Long before we got an official first look at the film, Liu hinted at the martial arts skills required for his role. He even uploaded a few videos to Instagram where he performed dizzying somersaults. With the movie still a couple weeks away, we might just need to use Liu's insta-stunts to get our fix.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3, 2021.