Is it kind of early for an actor who has only starred in a single Marvel movie and a recurring role in a Canadian sitcom worthy to have an autobiography of his own? You might however change your mind after sitting through Simu Liu’s We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story.
If Simu Liu is not an actor, he probably makes a pretty good writer given his memoir is a hilarious, relatable read to all Asians out there whether you are an immigrant or not.
Like all typical Asian parents out there, Simu’s parents who originates from Harbin and Beijing, both accomplished engineers wanted their only son to be either a doctor or scientist. Dreams? Who cares? This is not even a proper word in most of Asian parents’ dictionary.
In Act Two of his book, Simu shares some very heartbreaking stories of how he turned into a rebel without his parent’s support. Physical abuse and harsh words were a common part of his childhood although he did mention he indeed had some lovely times with his overbearing parents whom had worked hard to establish their careers in a foreign country.
From his teenage years, Simu finds work at a local coffee shop to working at Abercrombie to being Spider-man at kids’ birthday parties (when he can’t find any acting gigs on Craiglist) just to earn enough money to get away from his parents. In the end, he managed to scrap through university with a business degree and worked as an accountant but his unengaging work ethic causes him to lose the job just nine months later. While being an extra on the set of Pacific Rim, Liu discovers the passion of acting and filmmaking, a spark which he never felt until now.
Despite Asians being not traditionally outspoken people, We Were Dreamers delivers heartfelt chapters between the stormy relationship between Simu and his parents. Accordingly, Simu did consult his parents on it. It’s not about washing dirty laundry in public but rather more of a lesson for strict Asian parents not to treat their kids in these undesirable ways.
Even though Simu does sounds a bit arrogant at times, we feel it’s more of a tongue-in-cheek approach for the record. His writings are light and humorous. His stories are engaging. The guy did struggle for a number of years before he lands the MCU’s golden ticket. Simply, Simu just wants you to follow your dreams. Both American Chinese or Singapore Chinese for sure can relate to Simu’s stories.
While you are here, do check out Jimmy O. Yang’s How To American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents as well for similar vibes.
Review by Linus Tee
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