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Ke Huy Quan Just Won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor

The former child star scored another award for his performance in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.

ke US-Vietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) AFP via Getty Images

After a 40-year lull, Ke Huy Quan is suddenly everywhere all at once. The former child star has won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 95th Academy Awards tonight for his role as affable laundromat owner Waymond Wang in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.

The 51-year-old, who beat out Brendan Gleeson, Brian Tyree Henry, Judd Hirsch, and Barry Keoghan for the coveted gold statue, has enjoyed a blockbuster awards season following a truly astonishing cinematic comeback. Quan’s first major role in four decades has landed him an Oscar, a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, and a number of other accolades. It’s also put him back on the acting map.

“My journey started on a boat,” Quan said during his speech. “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 cannot believe it’s happening to me. This, this is the American dream!”

After emigrating from Vietnam to America in 1979, Quan cemented himself as one of the biggest child stars of the ‘80s by playing Chinese orphan Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and then Data in 1985’s The Goonies. However, he soon found that good roles for Asian actors were difficult to come by and pivoted to work as a stunt choreographer in his 20s.

Fast forward to 2018, when Quan watched the popular romcom Crazy Rich Asians and was inspired to give acting a final try. He auditioned for Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the rest is history. No, really: Quan made history at this year’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards after becoming the first Asian male to win the outstanding supporting actor award in the film category.

Sunday’s proceedings also set a record for the most Asian actors ever nominated in a single year. That was largely due to Everything Everywhere All at Once. The absurdist sci-fi hit, written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, received a staggering 11 Oscar nominations for best picture, best director, best actress (Michelle Yeoh), best supporting actress (Stephanie Hsu), and more.

As for Quan, he is set to star in the upcoming Disney+ show Loki and the TV adaptation of American Born Chinese. Sounds like he may notch up more awards yet.

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