Everything to Know About People’s Choice Awards 2024 Host Simu Liu

Actor Simu Liu, who played one of many Kens in the Barbie movie, will host the People’s Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California, on Sunday. 

Liu is up for a movie performance of the year award in the annual event that’s akin to a popularity contest, where public votes determine the winners.

The host told USA Today he plans to “punch up” with his jokes and not slander anyone. That extends especially to pop superstar Taylor Swift after a quip at her expense by Golden Globes host Jo Koy fell flat. Liu, who told Variety he’s a “Swiftie,” guaranteed in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “there will be no Taylor slander.”

Liu also teased a possible Barbie reunion at the show, where his co-stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are also up for awards, telling E! News: “I would wager that we’ll see a couple people from the movie. I wanna leave a little bit to surprise as well.” Robbie and Gosling, however, will not be in attendance due to the BAFTAs in London falling on the same day.

Here’s everything you need to know about Liu. 

Simu Liu opened up about his childhood in his 2022 book

The 34-year-old was born in Harbin, China, and initially raised by his grandparents as his mother worked in Beijing and his father immigrated to the U.S. and then Canada, where his parents brought Liu to join them when he was four and a half years old. Liu recounted his background and upbringing in his 2022 memoir We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story. 

Liu grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, where his parents became successful aerospace engineers. In his memoir, Liu wrote he played the perfect child—getting straight A’s, winning national math competitions, and making his parents proud. According to a 2022 interview and book review with The Guardian, Liu felt “guilty and very worthless” when growing up, due to pressures enforced on him by his parents. The Guardian reported he had a good relationship with his parents by the time the book came out, and consulted with them on its contents.

After college, he graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario, and worked for accounting firm Deloitte for nearly a year, but got fired. It was then that he switched to acting. 

Simu Liu’s movies and TV portfolio ranges from Marvel to sitcoms

According to an interview with TIME, he got his first big screen role by answering a Craigslist ad to play an extra in Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film Pacific Rim when it was shooting in Toronto. 

His break-out role was in the sitcom Kim’s Convenience, which revolved around a Korean immigrant family who runs a convenience store in Canada. (Liu and other co-stars have since spoken out about what they called a racist work environment on the show). Liu played roles in other TV series including Fresh off the Boat, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, and The Simpsons. 

He ascended to stardom as the lead in Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021, for which he won a People’s Choice Award, before nabbing the role of a Ken in the 2023 Barbie movie. 

Liu has also done stunt work and written and made his own short films. He’s gained fame and wealth in recent years, with Celebrity Net Worth estimating his net worth as $4 million.

In addition to his work in film and TV, he’s also a singer.

He’s active in advocacy and charity work 

According to UNICEF Canada’s X account, Liu is an ambassador for the children’s charity. He also works with KultureCity, a charity whose mission statement is to normalize neurodivergency and make concerts and sports games accessible to everyone, he said on X. That included donating a sensory room for babies at Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team, to take a “quick timeout.”

He’s also spoken out against anti-Asian hate and the need for more diversity and Asian representation in Hollywood.

This is not Simu Liu’s first hosting gig

Liu made it on the TIME100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2022 and hosted TIME’s gala that year to celebrate the list. He also hosted the 2023 Juno Awards, Canada’s top awards show. He’s also guest-hosted an episode of Jimmy Kimmel: Live, filling in for the late-night host during summer 2022.

Liu shouted out his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day with a Taylor Swift-inspired post

Everything to Know About People's Choice Awards 2024 Host Simu Liu

The 5’11’’ actor has been dating girlfriend Allison Hsu since late 2022. Hsu is a senior manager in digital marketing for Interscope Records, managing digital and social for Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and more, according to Forbes, who named her to its 30 under 30—Music list in 2022.

Earlier this week, Liu posted a picture on Instagram of the couple at the Super Bowl with a caption that he would “fly in from Tokyo for your Super Bowl any day,” a reference to Swift jetting from her tour in Tokyo to Las Vegas to watch her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs’ player Travis Kelce and his team, win. 

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