• Simu Liu received the Breakout in Film Award at this year's Unforgettable Gala
  • He said his community needs to be "unafraid" and to "own our greatness"
  •  Liu revealed that he finds setting an example difficult because his parents raised him to be humble and "under the radar"

Simu Liu opened up about what it means to be a trailblazer when he attended the Unforgettable Gala over the weekend.

The 32-year-old Chinese-Canadian actor, who made history as Marvel's first Asian superhero in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," said Saturday evening that he is not sure if the word trailblazer accurately fits him but believes that his community needs to own their own "greatness" during this time.

"I feel like somebody who's just trying to take up space," Liu told People. "My parents raised me kind of the way that they lived, which is very humbly, very under the radar, don't want to rock the boat too much, don't want to cause a ruckus."

He added, "I just feel like for us to collectively take [the] next steps as a community, we have to step into the spotlight. We have to be unapologetic and unafraid and we have to own our greatness. So that's what I'm trying to do."

However, Liu added that he finds setting an example difficult because he was "still my parents' son."

This year's Unforgettable Gala was the 19th iteration of the famed awards show and took place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. It recognized "Asian and Pacific Islander leaders who have fought for API presence in the arts, entertainment and culture," according to the event's website.

Saturday's ceremony was hosted by Sherry Cola. In addition to Liu, other stars such as Sandra Oh, John Cho, Benedict Wong and Daniel Dae Kim were also present.

Liu won this year's Breakout in Film Award, which recognizes "a rising talent who has impacted audiences around the world," a press release said.

The "Asian Bachelorette 2" star said that it was an honor for him to be acknowledged by his own community.

During his interview with People, he recalled his first Unforgettable Gala appearance three years ago while he was still starring in "Kim's Convenience," sharing that it "felt so good to be a part of the community [and] to celebrate the wins."

Liu said it was "tremendously gratifying" to be recognized for his work in "Shang-Chi" and to be surrounded by the peers he knew and loved.

He made similar remarks during his acceptance speech for his award, telling attendees, "I think I've been asked a million times over whether I feel like representing my community ever feels heavy, or like a burden, as if being a part of this community is something I can just turn on and off like a light switch."

"So to set the record straight — No, I'm not tired of being Asian," he concluded.

"Shang-Chi" premiered in September, and its $90-million four-day opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada beat the previous record for a Labor Day weekend.

It was the first Marvel movie since 2019's "Spider-Man: Far From Home" to be released only in theaters, rather than getting a same-day online release like "Black Widow."

Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu is the star of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" -- again top at the North American box office
Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu is the star of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" -- again top at the North American box office AFP / VALERIE MACON