Masala: Say Hello to Your New Prince Zuko, ‘PEN15’s Dallas Liu

Get ready—actor Dallas Liu is channeling his inner fire for his new role.

Liu first got into showbiz at the age of seven after being scouted via his martial arts performance videos. Best known for his role as Shuji in Maya Erskine’s comedy series “PEN15,” Liu appeared most recently in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” as Katy’s (Awkwafina) younger brother Ruihua. Now, he’s bringing his real-life martial arts talents to Netflix’s live-action iteration of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” in which he will play the iconic Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation.

As the original series is so beloved around the world, transcending boundaries of both culture and age, Liu admitted that he does feel a certain sense of pressure about stepping into Zuko’s shoes. “It is really nerve-wracking because there is that huge fandom. Especially for Zuko, who has one of the greatest character developments ever,” Liu said. However, he’s determined to go above and beyond to do the role justice. “I’ve been taking it extremely seriously: spending a lot of time, putting in the hours. So everything that I do on-screen is everything that I’ve got inside me.”

He luckily has plenty of role models in the industry, like his on-screen sisters, to help calm his nerves. Liu recalled a moment in which questioned if acting was really for him, but found reassurance in his “PEN15” co-star Erskine. “Toward the end of high school, I got to talk to [Maya] about what I wanted to do with my future career paths,” Liu said. “She told me, ‘You only really get one shot at this; you’ve got one life. Why live with any regret when you’re still young and you’ve got time?’”

As a result of that talk with Erskine, Liu decided to keep acting and fans everywhere can’t wait to catch him in “Avatar.” Watch Liu’s full interview above, and keep your eyes peeled for more on the adaptation!