Before 'Shang-Chi' Simu Liu Was a Stock Photo Model—and Fans Are Obsessed

Marvel's latest offering is all the rage at movie theatres, as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dominates at the box office.

It stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, aka Shaun, as the hero of the piece. If you were wondering why his face looked familiar, chances are you may recognize him from an advert or textbook.

Before acting fame Liu posed for stock photos—snaps showing people miming ordinary activities in a range of settings—which has seen his image plastered on everything from magazines to ads at bus stops.

As the DC flick hit the silver screen, it was only a matter of time before these images resurfaced, and Marvel fans are obsessed.

Remote file

Numerous people have taken to Twitter and Reddit to share their favorite business-themed photos of Liu, as the Canadian actor chats in a boardroom, and rides a bus in a suit.

The 32-year-old is no stranger to the images coming back to haunt him, and has previously referenced the posed images in various tweets.

Alongside snaps of his likeness being used in various media, he said last year: "Legitimately wondering if I am the greatest stock photo model of all time. Totally unrelated note, please stop buying these photos."

I saw this while waiting for the bus the other day pic.twitter.com/aC579iTuHK

— 💎 (@optimusharu) February 21, 2020

Call @Alanis Morissette because I just died from irony. I did a stock photo shoot in 2014 and it ended up here. I used to be an accountant. pic.twitter.com/2spNQuG4MH

— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) February 22, 2017

And after spotting himself on the cover of an accountancy textbook a few years ago, he said: "Call @Alanis Morissette because I just died from irony. I did a stock photo shoot in 2014 and it ended up here. I used to be an accountant.

"This is massively ironic because I worked for Deloitte out of business school and got laid off because i was so bad hahahaha."

He revealed he got paid a paltry sum for the shoot back in 2014, as he answered a fan question last month, explaining: "Got paid 120 bucks and signed away all my rights to them because I was in credit card debt. Now they are everywhere."

Did you know you're the face of @YMCA_Canada workout parties @SimuLiu? Looks like my kinda party... pic.twitter.com/niQrlMnpVk

— Chloe Giddings (@chloelgiddings) September 25, 2018

simu liu and john boyega from stock photos to leads of big franchises WE LOVE TO SEE IT pic.twitter.com/qtD2ssTTnf

— amanda (@pwrsphone) September 5, 2021

While in an Instagram story, where he shared a snap of himself wearing a hardhat in an advert, he added: "I did ONE stock photo shoot for 100 bucks cash in 2014... and I have ended up on HUNDREDS of ads and storefronts and pamphlets and textbook covers."

Alongside snaps of the images, one fan, @plapchardesign, said: "Alright who's gonna be the first one to redraw all of these with Shang-Chi."

Amanda wrote: "Simu Liu and John Boyega from stock photos to leads of big franchises WE LOVE TO SEE IT."

SIMU LIU USED TO MODEL FOR STOCK IMAGES HELPP pic.twitter.com/jsxCnckhjA

— ever (@magiksupreme) September 5, 2021

Hk office lol pic.twitter.com/oTUTxU7ft9

— Patrick Wong (@_pat_wong) August 16, 2021

Posting on Reddit, dance_ninja quipped: "Simu Liu and the Legend of the Ten Memes."

N00bvin added: "Shang-Chi, I think you're on mute."

While another fan suggested: "Shang-Chi & The Legend of the 10 Conference Rooms."

Simu Liu with Shang-Chi poster.
imu Liu attends the Toronto Premiere of 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' at Shangri-La Hotel on September 01, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario. Ryan Emberley/Getty Images