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Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Opens Up About Working With His Powerhouse Female Co-Stars

The long-awaited release of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is so close we can taste it — and there are many reasons to be excited about this one, not the least of which is Canadian actor Simu Liu, who started out as an accountant and then began his acting career as a minimum-wage extra on a little film called "Pacific Rim" (via Entertainment Tonight). The actor, who worked hard to get this role, will make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in a big way this weekend. And he's really taking his role as the new face of the franchise (at least until the hype machine for "Eternals" kicks into higher gear) seriously.

Part of that manifests in how he's been very outspoken about his work, including heaping praise onto his co-stars while promoting the film. And in a recent interview with satellite radio service Sirius XM, he opened up about the women who play supporting characters in "Shang-Chi."

Liu says the inclusion of incredible women is an important part of the story

The women of "Shang-Chi," as noted by an interviewer speaking to Liu, include Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, the guardian of a mythical land; Awkwafina as Katy, his friend, and Meng'er Zhang as Xialing, his sister. And according to Liu, the inclusion of strong Asian women and characters such as these is no accident. 

"It's definitely something that we wanted to be a part of our story, was this idea that — look, this movie is called 'Shang-Chi,' but let's surround him with these incredible female characters that don't just exist to further his own character growth or his own development," Liu said. "Let's really make sure this is not a movie about one Asian superhero, but about 5,6,7. And Michelle Yeoh is absolutely that, Meng'er Zhang is definitely that, and Awkwafina is definitely that. And I'll throw Fala Chen in the mix too — her character, I think, is just so amazing, and she does an incredible job playing that." Chen plays Leiko Wu, Shang-Chi's mother.

Liu went on to expound upon the importance of this new Marvel film to the Asian community, much as "Black Panther" was to the Black community. "The reason why representation is so important is because we begin to give people different slices of what it means to be Asian or Asian-American, Asian-Canadian and whatever have you," he said. "And I feel like this movie has just such a wide-ranging cast, nearly all of whom are Asian, and so we're able to not have a token character that has to speak for an entire community. We have so many and [it's] very great to hear that so many of them are incredible badass women."

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will be released officially in theaters on Friday, Sept. 3, which will be movie-goers' first chance to see those women in action.