Ke Huy Quan’s incredible Oscar win comeback after quitting acting because no one would hire him
"They say stories like this only happen in the movies."
As a child star, Ke Huy Quan, was in two of the biggest movies of the 1980s, but then the curtain came down on his dream because no one would hire him.
On Sunday night, writes Steve Hopkins, he won an Oscar for best supporting actor for superhero comedy, Everything Everywhere All at Once, in what was a remarkable night for both him and the movie.
The movie collected seven awards including best picture, director and three acting prizes – a first for a movie in the history of the Academy Awards. Quan told the crowd at the event in Los Angeles:
"They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream!"
"Mom, I just won an Oscar!" Ke Huy Quan sobs as he accepts the #Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. https://t.co/ndiKiHfmID pic.twitter.com/92QIp3PRmS
— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2023
'Mom, I just won an Oscar!'
Quan triumphed over Judd Hirsch for The Fabelmans, and two of The Banshees of Inisherin’s cast, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan.
His comeback, on the same night Brendan Fraser completed his, with a best actor win for The Whale, comes after he appeared in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (as Short Round) and The Goonies (as Data), but was forced to quit acting in the 90s. He had no acting roles between 1996 an 2002. He became a stunt choreographer and assistant director, before returning to acting in the 2020s.
Quan yelled “Oh my God,” as he took to the stage amid a standing ovation, before mentioning his mum.
“My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar!”
BREAKING: Ke Huy Quan just won an #Oscar at the Academy Awards for best supporting actor for his role in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'
"Mom, I just won an Oscar!!"
For those unaware Ke Huy Quan spent a year with his family in a Hong Kong refugee camp before arriving in… https://t.co/KqUPSJVYfe pic.twitter.com/yeRxujYzcU
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) March 13, 2023
He continued: “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up on Hollywood’s biggest stage!
“They say stories like that only happen in the movies; I can’t believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream!”
Quan went on to thank his mum for “all the sacrifices”, his brother, David “for calling me to tell me to take care of myself every day – I love you, brother”. He dedicated his triumph to “the love of my life” – his wife, Echo.
"Month after month," he declared, "year after year for 20 years told me one day my time will come. 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.
“Thank you so much for welcoming me back. I love you. Thank you!”
The BBC details Quan’s remarkable journey here.
- All of the winners of the 2023 Academy Awards
- Colin Farrell won probably the best award at the Razzies this year
- Irish film is now fully primed for a complete global takeover
- There has been an understandable reaction to SNL sketch of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson