Simo Liu thinks of ‘Defining the Poor’ as he donates $100,000 to Feeding America at BoxLunch Gala

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star Simu Liu is best known as a Marvel superhero, but the actor recently demonstrated his superpowers in real life by donating $100,000 to the hunger nonprofit Feeding America.

The Chinese-Canadian actor made the surprise donation Wednesday night during the first-ever BoxLunch Holiday Gala benefiting Feeding America, held at the City Market Social House in Los Angeles. This was Liu’s first appearance as the retailer’s inaugural tender ambassador, a title he took literally.

When executives at BoxLunch — which specializes in merchandise focused on pop culture, not “artisanal sandwiches” like Liu joked — told the actor that they were planning to donate $100,000 to Feeding America, the Marvel star devised a secret plan to match the amount from his own bank account.

When Liu took the stage during the program, he told the audience, “I feel a very personal connection to their mission. The pandemic has negatively affected many communities of color and families. I have seen and felt that in the circles of people my parents knew, I knew my extended family, and witnessed how difficult things were over the course of the two years.” the last two.”

Joined on stage by Casey Marsh, Feeding America’s chief development officer, Liu added that in these times of uncertainty, it’s important to focus on “caring for each other.” The actor then presented Marsh with a huge check for $100,000 in honor of the 150 million meals the nonprofit has provided since Feeding America and BoxLunch first partnered in 2015.

“I’m just looking at that number, $100,000. It’s a really big number, but what’s bigger than $100,000?” Liu asked aloud. “Let’s say for the sake of argument $200,000…”

Then another presenter appeared on stage with a second giant check for $ 100,000, which Leo immediately signed. As the audience cheered, Marsh made it clear that this joint donation would cover the cost of two million meals for those in need.

Moments after the show, Liu went behind the scenes for an interview diverse. “I feel like I’ve lived to my namesake level as an ambassador,” Liu said, still pulsing with adrenaline of surprise. “I feel like this is not a title to take lightly.”

As he mentioned in his notes on stage, food insecurity is a reason close to Liu’s heart after growing up as “defining the poor,” living on his parents’ grant money when the family emigrated from China.

“We were shoppers in the discount aisles of the supermarket, getting all the things that were about to go awry. We didn’t really have any savings to our name, no support system to back us up,” recalls Liu.

Even just a few years ago, a donation of $100,000 was completely out of the question. Before “Shang-Chi” and even “Comfort Kim”, Liu didn’t have that kind of money to offer.

“I turned back the clock six years ago, owed credit card debt, wondering when I would be able to break free from the minimal payments, interest, and struggling artist lifestyle,” he said. “The privilege I have experienced, how fortunate my life has been, and how amazingly blessed I have been in these past few years, I have not lost.”

Nights like the BoxLunch Gala encourage him to share his bounty with others. “It’s great to enjoy one’s own success and all that, but it’s really essential, the responsibility and duty to give back, to be of service and to constantly look for ways to make the world better with the resources available,” Donne is. “It could happen on any scale.”

Simu Liu donates $100,000 to Feeding America at the BoxLunch Gala honoring Feeding America.
Getty Images for BoxLunch

A quick scroll through Liu’s social media shows that he often has a tender spirit, especially when it comes to his parents.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” he said of his ability to shower them with appreciation, both financially (in September, he bought them a Tesla) and simply because he was a good son. After all, he fulfilled his Hollywood dream because of them, even though they really didn’t want him to pursue acting at first.

“They continue to support me reluctantly,” Liu said, adding, “It has been great seeing them light up and enjoying the fruits of our mutual success.”

But the rise to stardom wasn’t always easy. A few hours before the concert, Liu shared a behind-the-scenes photo of He recently acted in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty movie fashion show. He captioned the post, “Hard to believe that just a couple of weeks before this photo was taken I was so sick and wanted nothing more than to withdraw from the world. It was like I lost my vision for a hot second. Well that was a very cool way to blast again!” “

Liu described a moment of social media weakness as a symptom of being a “classic moderator.” But he noted that being so open about things like his mental health journey in the wake of all the post-Marvel interest has created a real, personal dialogue with his fans.

“How I grew up in the industry was not by being closed off and obscure, but by really showing weakness. I personally saw the rewards of that – not just selfishly in my career, but also in the way my fans and supporters interact with me,” Liu explained. That it may seem mysterious as an elusive star you don’t know much about is a mystery, and I have found it very rewarding to open up to the world and share a little.”

He’s even tighter when it comes to his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Shang-Chi is set to return in some capacity, details have been kept confidential, but Destin director Daniel Creighton has been officially appointed to lead the 2025 movie “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” So this must mean that Leo is part of that representation, right?

When diverse When asked when he last spoke to Cretton, the actor admitted that they met “very recently,” but when they call, the conversation rarely turns to Marvel projects.

“I know Marvel is what brought us together, but I think we have a friendship that has lasted and will continue beyond, so it’s more about, ‘How are you? How is your heart, what is going on in your life? Are you well? ‘ said Leo. ‘And the Marvel stuff, you know, I trust has been dealt with.’

Liu avoided speculation about when and how Shang-Chi could make a brilliant comeback, whether it’s in a theatrical sequel, the Disney+ series, or a cameo in someone else’s movie, sparking what he hopes to explore in later appearances.

“More karaoke,” he said. “I feel like that was a bright spot in our first movie, so more karaoke with Katy (Awkwafina) and Wong (Benedict Wong). We are a great karaoke crew, who is going to join us?”

For now, fans will have to enjoy a different kind of cross-over look as Leo is joined at the BoxLunch Gala by fellow Marvel star, Xochitl Gomez (aka America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”), who served as a presenter during the program.

“He is an inspiration to many around the world with a huge heart and a smile that lights up the room,” Gomez said in her introduction to Leo. “While he certainly knows how to defeat an on-screen villain when it comes to fighting bad situations in real life, he doesn’t throw any punches.”

The two actors—who were each introduced in Marvel Phase 4—developed a bond after Liu reached out to Gomez for advice.

Leo said, explaining why he signed on to MCU newbies as Gomez and “Mrs. Marvel star” Iman Villani. “If it was too much for me, how much do you think it was for a 16 or 18-year-old girl? I think they both handled it very well.”

Liu says he’s following in the footsteps of “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt, who “really went out of his way” when he booked “Shang-Chi” in 2019. “I would like to think of everyone who enters this into the world, there is always someone to introduce them to.” Newly, from person to person. This reinforced my need to give the next person a little guidance to help them along the way.”

right after it diverse In an interview, Leo switched to dancer mode to learn some TikTok choreography from Gomez. It took Liu about five minutes to highlight the video’s routine, which currently has 8.4 million views)

Outside of Marvel, Liu keeps a lot busy. After completing filming for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, the actor is currently starring as Jennifer Lopez in Netflix’s Atlas, and he recently signed a deal with executive producer and starred in Seven Wonders, an action-adventure series for Amazon, directed by Justin Lin. Stepping into this next chapter of his career, Liu focuses on “expanding people’s perceptions of what I and, in turn, all Asian Americans are capable of, can do, and can do.” That’s why it’s important to star in a movie like “Barbie,” where he plays “the kind of character you’re not used to seeing someone like me play.”

“Now that I have a platform and a bit of a voice,” Liu explained, “it’s really a matter of getting to grips with that narrative.” “It’s one thing for an actor to receive a great script. But to have a say in what happens and what doesn’t shine, to be in the driver’s seat of your future, your destiny, that’s critical for any artist.”

He continued, “As an Asian American, I think it’s something we’re just now beginning to realize, and we’re beginning to see in the world. I really want to be part of that, the wave looking for stories and intellectual property and just real people that I want to shine a light on and be part of the culture. It’s Something that means an incredible amount to me.”

Simu Liu poses with Feeding America’s Casey Marsh at the BoxLunch Gala honoring Feeding America.
Vivian Killia/Getty Images for BoxLunch

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