The next couple of months are going to be a big deal for ascending actor Dallas Liu! Today he hits the big screen co-starring in what promises to be THE end of summer blockbuster “Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings”! Following shortly we'll also see his highly anticipated debut in Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” live-action remake. We were lucky enough to catch up with Dallas prior to the pandemonium for some quick Q&A on everything from
martial arts to majoring in architecture?
DALLAS Your first big acting role was as a young 'Jin Kazama' in Tekken back in 2009. is it true that you were originally a martial artist? How did the idea/desire/ opportunity for acting show up for you?
Yes, I began martial arts at the age of 5, and then competed internationally from the ages of 11-13. The desire [to act] actually came from another martial artist who transitioned into acting! His name is Leo Howard. After doing martial arts for about 8 years, I wanted to try something new and I'd always enjoyed film and TV, so I thought I'd give it a try -& here we are!
A lot of people know you for sure from Hulu’s hilarious 'PEN15', how was that process for you going from being on set to the notoriety that followed after?
Honestly, life hadn't really changed all that much other than the fact that I had a job in the entertainment industry. Everyone around me continued to treat me the same which I'm extremely thankful for and I just continued to keep working at my craft to become the best version of myself. My social media accounts had definitely grown quite a bit after the show was released, but at the end of the day, that's all on the internet! After receiving acknowledgement from many people, I felt like I was really growing as an actor. It gave me hope and showed me that I had the potential to really have a spot in this industry.
for your emerging fans, give us a little backstory dallas, where are you from, where did you grow up?
I'm [actually] from the San Gabriel Valley in California! Although, I can admit that I wasn't spending all my time here. My parents were always taking me around & I was everywhere to be quite honest. Whether it was for training or any number of casual experiences, I was able to receive a lot of exposure to the outside world beyond the small town that we lived in.
If you weren’t acting, what other occupation do you think you’d be doing?
I'd probably be in school for architecture right now. That was my major during my time in college!
Do you have any hidden talents or favorite pastimes that fans would be surprised to find out about you?
Yes! I actually love to snowboard! I'm definitely not the best, but my friends and I go up to Mammoth and Big Bear all the time in the winter.
What can you tell us about your character in 'Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings'?
The quick version is that his name is 'Ruihua' and he is the younger brother of Awkwafina's character! -But definitely check it out to see more :)
Speaking of your new projects, people are already buzzing about your upcoming portrayal as Prince Zuko in 'The Last Airbender' remake, what did landing that role mean to you?
It actually meant the world to me. I feel extremely honored to be given this opportunity and I'm going to give it everything I've got! It's a character that I've admired since I was little, so this really feels like a dream come true.
What’s your definition of luxury dallas?
I would say that luxury is a feeling. Being extremely comfortable physically & even mentally.
Where do you hope to be by age 26?
Honestly, I just hope to be comfortable and happy. Hopefully I'll still be in this industry making all my friends and family proud!
What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
My dad has given me the best advice!! It was after I'd graduated high school and was still thinking about whether or not acting was a real career path for me. "Bet on yourself" is what he told me. He continued to explain how he didn't want me living with any regrets, that this was a rare opportunity that many people don't get, so I should take this risk and put my all into it!
See Dallas in Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters + streaming today!
Photography: Jonny Marlow
Wardrobe: Adam H. Ballheim
Grooming: Nathaniel Dezan