Lucy Liu discusses “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” her desire to be a superhero and challenging Hollywood’s norms

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Following the release of Warner Bros.’ first Shazam! Fans of the franchise were treated to a glance at both the movie’s antagonists, the daughters of Atlas, as well as the Shazamly uniting and becoming heroes in Fury of the Gods. We got a glimpse of Helen Mirren as Hespera and Lucy Liu as Kalypso, as well as a sneak glance at the plans they have for these young people who possess godly abilities.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Lucy Liu spoke about being cast in a superhero movie for the first time, as well as what that means to her as a 30-year acting veteran. In the late 1990s, Liu was one of the few Chinese-American actors on popular television, and she has subsequently had a variety of roles, from voice acting to live-action.

Liu became well-known for her role as Chinese-American lawyer Ling Woo in the television series Ally McBeal. Since Ling originally appeared, the character has been the subject of extensive research. Most of this analysis criticizes the writing for turning Ling into a hypersexualized dragon lady, but Liu’s effect is noteworthy as one of the few Asian American women on television at the time.

She later went on to have notable roles in Charlie’s Angels’ Alex Munday, Kill Bill’s O-Ren Ishii, and Kung Fu Panda’s Master Viper. She was paired with Johnny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes in the 2012 television series Elementary as Joan Watson. a program that gave the traditional Sherlock Holmes story a new, contemporary spin, with Liu giving a superb performance as Watson.

Lucy Liu discusses "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," her desire to be a superhero and challenging Hollywood's norms
Shazam! Fury of the Gods © Warner Bros. Pictures

It is really thrilling to see Liu join this franchise, and she discussed what it means to her to be in a superhero movie:

Being a part of a superhero movie, in my opinion, is the stuff of incredible fantasies since I am a tremendous fan of comic books and that time period, which is the one I grew up in. Being a part of something that, at the time, was unachievable and growing into that space – for diversity, for women, and for empowerment – is therefore truly a dream. Being a part of that is truly a dream come true since it isn’t simply these quotables.”

According to Liu, achieving diversity and inclusion for Asians and Asian Americans will take time and involves choosing what an actor wants to perform. She spoke on her own quest to find a place to call home:

“Is it interesting? is constantly at the forefront. Is it difficult? And as those things accumulate, you start to create this foundation and structure, and as more people join, it develops into a city, a state, or a nation that we can all be a part of. We all desire a sense of belonging, which is why we’re all together at Comic-Con, in my opinion.”

“In other words, growing up in an immigrant home, I never felt like I belonged. Right? And so, in a way, I believe that working in the entertainment industry forces you to join a crowd of people who are all scrambling to make ends meet. I’ve been fortunate enough to work hard and have achieved a level of accomplishment that makes me truly feel like I belong, and we’re all searching for that. In other words, growing up in an immigrant home, I never felt like I belonged.”

“Right? And so, in a way, I believe that working in the entertainment industry forces you to join a crowd of people who are all scrambling to make ends meet. I’ve been fortunate enough to work hard and have achieved a level of accomplishment that makes me truly feel like I belong, and we’re all searching for that.”

But the road is not ended yet, she added. She discussed the normalization of diversity and integration in the entertainment industry and the potential effects on society:

Even though I’ve worked in this field for thirty years, it still seems like yesterday. As much as I’d like to, the fight is far from over. It seems like a fight every day, and you question, “Well, what about all the other things you’ve done?” And that’s not what it’s about, right? It’s important for people to understand that by visibly normalizing who you are, the status quo and the very fabric of existence will become a little bit more unified. I realize that’s not the appropriate word, but we must integrate through working in the entertainment industry to make people feel at ease.”

“It’s not a criticism, but the fact that we’re divided and segregated means that we need to come together. The only way to proceed is to continue to let the entertainment industry bring us together in order to do that. The one aspect of entertainment that has great power is that. Because it can be aspirational, and I hope my son will someday have that as a goal.”

Shazam! The current plan is for Fury of the Gods to hit theaters on December 21. Check out the newest trailer below until then: