Ke Huy Quan realizes an Oscar dream he thought was dead

Streaming HUBJanuary 24, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — About an hour after her name was read out as an Academy Award nominee for her performance in Ke Hui Quan’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” would be more accurate.

“This is one of the happiest mornings I’ve ever had!” Quan says.

Few Oscar nominees this year have had a more circuitous route leading up to the Academy Awards than 51-year-old Kwan. After starring as a kid in two of the most beloved films of the 1980s — Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Data in “The Goonies” — Kwan struggled to find work in an industry that where Asian-American actors were few and far between. He eventually went to film school, began working off-camera, and more or less gave up on his hopes of ever acting again.

Now, thanks to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s existential rom-com — “Everything Everywhere at Once” led all films on Tuesday, including best picture and best actress for Michelle Yeoh — Kwan is living a dream. which he had abandoned. Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, Kwan — widely considered the frontrunner to win Best Supporting Actor at the March 12 Oscars — reflected on his once-immeasurable Oscar moment.

AP: How does it feel?

Quan: It feels real. I can’t believe this is happening. When I heard the nomination, I jumped and screamed so loudly. I felt exactly the same way I felt when my agent called to tell me I’d gotten the part of Waymond. It’s something I’ve dreamed of for over 30 years. I religiously watch the Oscars every year. I always visualize myself on the red carpet, being in that room, getting nominated and the anticipation of their reading – all of that. It just seemed far-fetched. Especially when I had to go away for acting for so many years, that dream felt like it was dead. I didn’t even dare to think about it now because I was no longer an actor. All I wanted was a job. I just wanted to have a steady job where I could act again. So getting an Oscar nomination is beyond my imagination. I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with you.

AP: How was your morning?

Quan: I’ll set an alarm clock. I woke up really early and I went on Zoom with my “EEAO” family, with Michelle, with Danielle, with our producer Jonathan[Wang]. We were just chatting and watching the enrollment process. We all lost our senses. We can’t believe we’re rolling out with 11 categories. I am very grateful to the academy. He has made many dreams come true today.

AP: You’ve celebrated a lot this awards season. Have you felt that people are on your side and inspired by your turn of fortune?

Quan: When I decided to get back into acting, I was very scared. The last time he saw me on screen, I was a little kid. Now, I’m a middle aged man. Ever since our film came, she has shown me nothing but love and kindness and I am grateful to her. How many times have I cried I have become very emotional as I have met many of them in person and all of them said that they are very happy to see me again on screen. It has been such a wild and incredible ride. I didn’t expect it. I hope my story inspires them not to give up on their dreams.

AP: What are you going to do to celebrate today?

Quan: I want to call my family. I want to hug my wife. He has supported me unconditionally all these years. He saw me when I was struggling. He was more than happy to start making those films for me. And when I was down, they started worrying about me. They always asked if there was anything they could do for me, even offering to drive me up to Houston – where most of my family lives – to see if there was anything else I wanted to do. . So they understand my struggles more than anyone. Ever since our film came out, especially during the awards season, they are very happy for me. Seeing their smile, their happiness, this pleases my heart. I am thankful for. Especially my wife to whom I have been married for 22 years. Every month, every year, she says that: “K, one day it will happen.” His faith in me never wavered. (Quan’s voice trembles) He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

AP: Michelle Yeoh describes her Oscar nomination as a validation. Especially considering you’ve gone through those long periods of self-doubt, is it the same for you?

Quan: That’s right. This is the biggest recognition. When I stepped in front of the camera, I didn’t know if I could do it again, and I didn’t know if the audience wanted to see me do it again. All I knew was that I felt happy when I was in front of the camera. I felt very comfortable, like I belonged there. So this nomination means I made the right decision. For the longest time, when I was very young, I was very lost because I could not see a way out for myself. But now I see it. I guess it means that I can do it for as long as I like. And honestly, being able to do something you love is a huge luxury. This is enrollment. It means the world to me.

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