Ke Huy Quan wins Oscar in an inspiring Hollywood comeback

Streaming HUBMarch 13, 2023

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Frustrated by the lack of on-camera work for Asian Americans, Ke Hui Quan disappeared from Hollywood for more than two decades. He returned in a big way, winning a supporting actor Oscar for completing an inspiring comeback story.

Kwan accepted the trophy for his role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” on Sunday night, becoming only the second Asian winner in the supporting actor category after Heng Sung for “The Killing Fields” in 1984. Encore joined.

As soon as her name was announced, Kwan got up and hugged co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, who won supporting actress honors after her. He put his hands to his mouth.

“My mother is 84 and she is watching at home,” Quan said. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”

An emotional Kwan kissed his statue repeatedly and sniffed at the microphone on stage after receiving a standing ovation. Presenter Ariana DeBose welled up in tears.

“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood.” He says such stories only happen in movies. I can’t believe this is happening to me. This is the American dream.

As a child actor, Kwan followed his manager’s advice to adopt an Americanized name, so he followed the moniker of Jonathan.

“When I decided to get back into acting three years ago, the first thing I wanted to do was go back to my birth name,” he said backstage. “To see Ariana open that envelope and say Ke Hui Quan, it was so emotional.”

Having won every major award except a BAFTA, Kwan rode a huge wave of momentum into the Oscars. Quan endeared himself as much during the acceptance speeches as he did in his winning performance. He used his position to encourage other struggling actors that one day they too would find success.

Along the awards show trail, the much-loved Kwan compiled a photo album for the ages as she posed for selfies with everyone from Tom Cruise to directors James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. It seemed any celebrity was more than happy to smile or make funny faces with Kwan.

The Vietnam-born actor, whose family immigrated to California in the late 1970s, first appeared as a pre-teen in the hugely popular 1980s films “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies.” attracted attention. He had roles in the TV show “Head of the Class” and the film “Encino Man” (starring fellow Oscar nominee Brendan Fraser) before the job dropped out in the early 1990s.

Lacking on-camera opportunities, Kwan turned elsewhere. He earned a film degree from the University of Southern California and worked behind the scenes as a stunt coordinator and assistant director.

“I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife Echo,” he said, “who told me month after month, year after year for 20 years that one day, one day my time would come. Dreams are like that. The ones you have to believe in. I almost gave up on my dreams. To all of you, please keep your dreams alive.”

Inspired by the success of the 2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians”, Kwan returned to acting and auditioned for “Everything Everywhere at Once”, which earned 11 Oscar nominations. Her former “Goonies” co-star, Jeff Cohen, serves as her attorney, having contracted for her Oscar-winning role.

“Thanks to my ‘Goonies’ brother, Jeff Cohen, for life,” Kwan said.

Now, people stop him to talk about a movie he made when he was growing up, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

As Waymond Wang, Kwan appears in three different avatars in the critically acclaimed film. He won a Golden Globe and became the first Asian to win an individual category at the SAG Awards.

Kwan won the Oscar over fellow nominees Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for “The Banshees of Inishrin,” Brian Tyree Henry of “Causeway,” and Judd Hirsch of “The Fablemans.”

During a commercial break, Kwan said that he approached Spielberg, who gave Kwan his first big break by casting him in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. He hugged.

“He said, ‘Kay, you’re an Oscar-winning actor now,'” Kwan said. “Hearing him say that meant the world to me and I still can’t believe it.”

They had another reunion on stage after “Everything Everywhere at Once” by Harrison Ford, Kwan’s co-star in “Indiana Jones”.

Kwan, 51, is set to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series ‘Loki’ on Disney+.

However, he is looking for more work. Quan remembered years ago his agent calling him every three and six months to ask if there were any jobs for him, only to be told no.

“First thing tomorrow I’m going to call my agent,” he said. “Hopefully, he’ll give me a different answer.”


For more coverage of this year’s Academy Awards, visit:

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