Ke Huy Quan wins best supporting actor Oscar for ‘Everything, Everywhere’

March 13, 2023 - 9:08 AM
Ke Huy Quan wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" during the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 12, 2023. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

 Ke Huy Quan, the Vietnamese-born actor who as a child appeared in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” received the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role as Waymond Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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Quan, 51, made his big-screen debut as Harrison Ford’s sidekick, Short Round, in the 1984 film, and later appeared in the film “The Goonies” and the situation comedy “Head of the Class.”

He has spoken publicly about stepping away from acting as an adult, working as a stunt coordinator and assistant director, because there weren’t enough opportunities for Asian actors.

Quan’s portrayal of Waymond Wang was his first major role since the ’90s.

“Dreams are something you have to believe in,” Quan said. “I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive,” he said in his acceptance speech.

Quan has said he felt “so very lucky to have been chosen” for the “Indiana Jones” role, though he began to wonder “if that was it.”

“For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer, that no matter what I did, I would never surpass what I achieved as a kid,” Quan said. “Thankfully, more than 30 years later, two guys thought of me. They remembered that kid. And they gave me an opportunity to try again.”

On stage at the Oscars, Quan tearfully acknowledged his 84-year-old mother watching at home, hefting the Oscar and declaring, “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”

“My journey stared on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I wound up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage,” Quan said. “They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This, this is the American dream.”

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—Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski; editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis