The actor has long tweeted about how, at the beginning of his career while strapped for cash, he gave stock modelling a try. According to Insider, you can find the stock pictures on Getty if you search for terms like “business person” and “coworker”. Most of the images are from the one 2014 shoot, with one of the photos even ending up in a QuickBooks Accountant book. The irony isn’t lost on Liu, who shared to his followers on Twitter that he did in fact used to be an accountant. In a Tweet, the actor wrote: “this is massively ironic because I worked for Deloitte out of business school and got laid off because I was so bad hahahaha.”
He later added, “PLEASE STOP USING MY FACE FOR YOUR ACCOUNTING MATERIALS!! I WAS AN ACCOUNTANT FOR 9 MONTHS I WAS AWFUL AT IT AND I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY AT WORK (That’s not to say that accounting is not a perfectly valid pursuit for certain people!! Live yo best life!!)”
But accounting isn’t the only industry Liu’s stock image has been used, he’s even fronted an ad for a gym. Posing in front of the image, Liu tweeted in 2018: “To those of you wondering; yes that’s me in many @GoodLifeFitness locations across Canada. I was doing Zumba in a stock photo shoot in which I was paid $120. It was 2014, I needed it. No I have no idea why it’s still up. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy Zumba.”
Liu jokingly has asked people to stop purchasing the pictures and using his face, but given the recent success of his Marvel film, it’s likely businesses will be doing all they can to capitalise on his fame. Still, it’s a poignant reminder that from little things, big things can happen. Liu may have started as a stock photo model, but he’s since landed one of the biggest roles of any actor’s career.