Connect with us


Ke Huy Quan Wins Best Supporting Actor Oscar After Decades-Long Absence From Screens: “This is the American Dream”



A year ago, this sentence would have felt impossible: As predicted, Ke Huy Quan won an Oscar on Sunday night for his supporting actor performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

For many, Quan’s appearance in the Daniels-directed, genre-breaking, sci-fi action-comedy — an unlikely awards contender in its own right — was the sudden reintroduction of a child star who had disappeared into pop culture history after a promising debut. in the 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies a year later.

But on the strength of his role — or make that rolesgiven EEAAO‘s multiversal nature — as the alternately sweet/badass/debonair Waymond Wang, Quan became virtually the only lock this season, picking up Critics Choice, Indie Spirit, Golden Globe, SAG, Gotham, National Society of Film Critics, LA Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Circle awards on the way to the Dolby Theater. Still, presenter Ariana DeBose’s voice cracked as she announced his name at the Dolby Theater.

“My journey started on a boat,” said a tearful Quan, now 51, who was born in Vietnam during the war. “I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I can’t believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream!”

It wasn’t until 2018 when he watched Crazy Rich Asians — co-starring his future leading lady, Michelle Yeoh — that he realized opportunities for Asian performers might have changed, and he began exploring a path back in front of the camera, landing a part in the 2021 Netflix family film Finding ‘Ohana. But even then, a comeback wasn’t assured, as Quan lost his health insurance during the pandemic, just before EEAAO‘s release, because he failed to book enough work to meet union requirements.

“I owe everything to the love of my life: my wife, Echo, who month after month, year after year for 20 years told me that one day my time will come,” Quan continued from the stage. “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there: Please keep your dreams alive!”

With his Oscar, Quan becomes just the second Asian performer to win in the supporting actor category, after The Killing Fields‘ Haing S. Ngor in 1985. Like the late Cambodia-born Ngor, Quan, who was born in Vietnam, is ethnically Chinese. The only other Asian men to earn Oscars for acting are lead actor winners Yul Brynner (who was partially of Russian and Mongolian descent), Ben Kingsley (whose father was Indian) and F. Murray Abraham (whose family hails from the Western Asian country of Syria).

The 2023 Oscars aired live on ABC on Sunday from the Dolby Theater at Ovation Hollywood and were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. See the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.

Check the latest Hollywood news here.