Canadian actor Simu Liu was initially supposed to be in Australia for eight months and wrap shooting on his Marvel movie by June 2020. As you probably know, things in 2020 got a little... complicated and most people's plans had to adapt. Long story short: Simu eventually finished filming his history-making role as Marvel's first Asian superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and then jetted back to Canada to return to his beloved role as Jung Kim on Kim's Convenience. Or at least, to finish filming the Kim's he wasn't able to do while he was in Australia.
Ahead of the Kim’s Convenience Season 5 premiere, Simu sat down with etalk’s Traci Melchor over Zoom (because how else would we communicate with each other these days without technology? Amirite?) to explain.
Simu said that 2020 was a whirlwind year for him, starting out in Australia, where he shot Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for several months. “Way longer than we officially thought we would, but obviously, the universe had other plans in store and threw a wrench in pretty much everyone’s schedules,” he said, adding that production on the Marvel film shut down for four months before starting back up.
The 31-year-old revealed that the tech-mediated nature of how we're communicating right now actually made it possible to shoot some scenes for Kim’s Convenience while he was in Australia. “There’s a natural, kind of, built-in element into the story that allows Jung to still interact with the family when he’s not physically with them. Obviously, that was rooted in a real-world conundrum of having somebody be halfway around the world when you need them for something,” Simu explained.
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He said the Kim’s Convenience team found creative and collaborative solutions for his absence from Canada, adding that one of his favourite scenes in the new season was shot remotely. In reference to the scene, Simu's not giving away any spoilers but says, "I'm very excited to show this side of Jung," with a laugh. Simu came back to Canada in the middle of the shoots for Season 5 and his catchup game was "intense" because his co-stars had already started filming their scenes.
“I was coming in, kind of, in the middle of everything and picking up all the shots that I had missed before. I had two weeks straight where I was shooting every single scene of every day, and it was brutal and a bit of a grind, but at the same time, it felt so great to be around familiar faces and familiar people again. I’ve known my co-stars for, coming up to five years now,” he added. He called shooting Kim’s Convenience “a wonderful feeling of home and old friends.” Oh Canada, we think Simu just missed being home while he was in the land down under.
Simu opened up about 2020 being “one of the hardest years of his life.” He continued, “For different reasons than others. It was definitely the busiest year for me because I had to shoot a movie, I did a season of television, and then I also wrote a book in the four months of quarantine. A very, very, productive but a very hard year.”
The actor hopes that this challenging year has given everyone the time to reflect on what’s important in their lives. “As terrible of a situation as COVID has been for all of us unilaterally across the board, hopefully, it’s given us a lot of time to reflect as well and to reflect on things like: what are we doing with our lives? How can we be doing better? Who are the people that really matter, and how can I spend more time with them? It’s really just about family and the people you love at the end of the day.”
Simu said that he’s fortunate to work with people that he considers family. “We’re a family on TV, but it’s been such a joy every day, despite COVID, just kind of working together just trying to get through it. I have to say it’s brought me closer to my own family, my co-stars and everybody along the way.” That felt like a virtual hug from Canada's next superhero. Watch out Ryan Reynolds!
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