MCU’s Shang Chi star Simu Liu recently took a facetious dig at the Mandarin skills of Ethan Hawke who currently stars opposite Oscar Isaac as the antagonist Arthur Harrow. Hawke’s character is a cult leader who’s an avatar of the Egyptian god Ammit and follows her morally inept ways. In the sophomore episode of the miniseries, we see Harrow welcoming Grant into his community. However, his actual goal is to coax information out of Grant about the scarab.
Before we get to the confrontation and the key moments of the episode, however, we get to the one that’s become a topic of discussion among the linguists and fans. It comes when Arthur is walking Grant to the community hall. On the way, he meets a girl in his community/cult to who he talks in Mandarin. It’s a fairly short exchange but not enough to elude the attentive viewing of many fans. One of these many fans who noted the erroneous Mandarin exchange was none other than Simu Liu himself.
Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) April 9, 2022
Simu Liu Tweets A Joke About the Ethan Hawke Mandarin Mumble in Moon Knight
Taking to his Twitter account, the Shang Chi star tweeted, “Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher.” The light dig comes at the enunciation that Hawke engages in when speaking Mandarin in the scene. And it’s not just Hawke who speaks in indiscernible Mandarin either. The girl Hawke converses with also does a pretty bad job of speaking the language properly. According to many of the users in the reply section of Liu’s tweet, only a couple of words at the beginning of what they both say make any sense whatever. Everything that follows sounds as succinct as gibberish.
To a non-Mandarin speaker as well, the words coming out of Hawke’s mouth sound very off. Liu’s tweet is interesting to note as the actor’s recent MCU outing was one of the examples where Marvel incorporated and embraced a different culture really well, including nailing the language department. Some of the replies to Simu’s tweet also pointed this out. However, the case in point is Hawke’s fumble at the Mandarin attempt, although he delivers it with the same panache as with anything he acts out.
Moon Knight is currently streaming on Disney+.