Shang-Chi Star Recalls Punching Simu Liu In The Face During Filming

Meng’er Zhang, who plays Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing in the new Marvel film, recalls the time she socked Simu Liu in the face while filming.

Meng’er Zhang, star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, recalls punching Simu Liu in the face during filming. Marvel’s second film of the year is now playing in theaters and has broken numerous box office records, more than tripling the previous highest-grossing Labor Day weekend. With Liu’s Shang-Chi at the forefront, the Phase 4 film introduces plenty of fresh faces to the MCU, including Awkwafina as his best friend Katy, Tony Leung as his father, Wenwu, Fala Chen as his mother, Ying Li, Michelle Yeoh as his aunt, Ying Nan, and Zhang as his sister, Xialing.

Shang-Chi acts as a full-fledged origin story for Liu’s titular hero, examining his relationship with each of these aforementioned characters. The film’s inciting incident occurs when Shang-Chi and Katy are ambushed on a bus by Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) and other henchmen from Wenwu’s Ten Rings organization who steal Shang-Chi’s pendant that his mother had given to him. Afterward, they head to Macau to find Xialing who has been running an underground fighting club that has attracted the likes of Doctor Strange’s Wong and The Incredible Hulk’s Abomination.

Shang-Chi unknowingly enters the fighting tournament and finds himself squaring off against his estranged sister, Xialing, played by Meng’er Zhang, who makes her screen debut in the Marvel film. In an interview with SyFy, Zhang opened up about what that experience was like, recalling the time that she accidentally punched the movie’s lead star in the face while filming their first fight scene together, which she seems to have thoroughly enjoyed. Read what Zhang had to say about socking Simu Liu in the face below:

I can tell you that I really did punch Simu in the face. It's not a fun memory for him, but I did enjoy it. I didn't mean to, but I did enjoy it.

Even though Zhang had no screen experience prior to Shang-Chi, it wasn’t at all apparent from her performance as Xialing. Her physicality during the scene in the fighting tournament measured up against Simu Liu’s, who has experience as a stuntman. Zhang also fits in nicely with the film’s veteran actors like Leung, Yeoh, and Ben Kingsley. Her co-star, Fala Chen, told a similarly funny story in which she made Liu scream during flexibility training

Shang-Chi’s ending and mid-credits scene all but guarantee an appearance for Shang-Chi and Katy in Doctor Strange 2, but Xialing’s MCU future is a little more unclear. A surprising end-credits scene revealed that she has taken over as leader of the Ten Rings and a final card confirmed the titular organization will return, but it’s unclear exactly when. They could return in a sequel to Shang-Chi, but considering the interconnectivity of the MCU, it could always be sooner than that.