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S14, Ep1 How To Fail: Simu Liu

S14, Ep1 How To Fail: Simu Liu

By Elizabeth Day

We're back, baby! And I thought I'd open this new season with a bona fide SUPERHERO. Because that's just how we roll.

My guest today is Simu Liu - the first Asian superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe and the star of the 2019 movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He also appeared in season 4 of Selling Sunset, where Chrishell tried to sell him a house (arguably the real achievement, amirite?).

Simu was born in China. His parents were products of Mao's Cultural Revolution and ended up emigrating to Canada. Simu was raised by his grandparents for the first four years of his life before being taken to Canada, where he couldn't speak the language. It was an early lesson in resilience - one he would never forget.

Simu joins me to talk about this, as well as his failed accountancy career, a formative heartbreak and failing to get a part in Crazy Rich Asians. Along the way we discuss 'the white gaze' and marginalisation in Hollywood, the dark days of his adolescence when he rebelled against his parents restrictive (and sometimes abusive) behaviour and...well, menstruation. Plus: how he's still friends with Chrishell and what it's like filming Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

I adored our conversation because Simu came so willing to own every single one of his failures. His experience of heartbreak from a straight, male perspective was fascinating to me. And he's so smart I could just listen to him for days.


Simu's memoir, We Were Dreamers, is published next week! Pre-order it here:


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. To contact us, email


Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Simu Liu @simuliu
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